Toyota has advanced the styling and technology of its hybrid halo model with the global reveal of an updated Prius at the Los Angeles auto show.
The new Prius brings cleaner, more engaging lines with revised front and rear-end treatments, headlamps, tail-lights, wheel designs and colour choices.
Inside, the cabin’s sensory quality is even more refined with new upholstery along with revisions to the centre console and some of the controls on the instrument panel.
Front-wheel-drive Prius, which is due in Australia in April next year, gains new features including an updated 7-inch multimedia touch screen with the “pinch” and “flick” gestures familiar to smartphone users.
The fourth-generation Prius, launched in March 2016, was the first car equipped with a Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform.
It has been praised for its impressive driving dynamics, excellent ride comfort, low centre of gravity and significantly increased body rigidity.
Revamped styling for the 2019 Prius incorporates sharp, slim headlights with a more swept-back look and bi-beam LEDs that give a wider field of illumination.
A more dynamic silhouette has been created by blending the upper front bumper more smoothly into a flowing line down the sides of the car.
New rear combination lamps mirror the shape of the headlights by introducing a more horizontal look to emphasise the car’s width and low centre of gravity.
A restyled 17-inch alloy wheel features on the high-grade Prius i-Tech while the 15-inch wheel caps come with a new contrast dark-grey finish. Two new strong exterior paint colours in red and blue are available.
Globally, Toyota has sold more than 11 million hybrid vehicles, including more than four million Prius. Both are world-leading figures.
In Australia, Prius sales have topped 20,000 cars – second only to Camry, which now exceeds 50,000 sales.
Toyota will accelerate its hybrid sales with the arrival of RAV4 in 2019 and an increasing range of hybrid models over the next few years.
Performance for Prius comes from the combined output of a 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and two motor/generators through an electronically controlled planetary-type continuously variable transmission.
An electronically controlled brake system coordinates control between the vehicle’s regenerative braking and its hydraulic brake force to provide optimal brake performance and feel.
The 2ZR-FXE petrol engine, with ultra-low internal friction and efficient combustion, exceeds thermal efficiency of 40 per cent, which is among the highest in the world for a petrol engine.
Every Prius sold in Australia today is fitted with seven airbags, reversing camera, vehicle stability and traction control, anti-skid brakes, emergency brake signal, hill-start assist and smart entry and start.
Toyota Safety Sense is standard: pre-collision safety system, lane departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beam and all-speed active cruise control.
The Prius is also equipped with satellite navigation*, a colour head-up display, 15-inch alloy wheels with aerodynamic covers, a 10-speaker JBL^ audio system and wireless phone charger.
Additional features in today’s Prius i-Tech include 17-inch alloy wheels and leather-accented seats with eight-way power adjustment for the driver’s seat and front-seat heaters.
There are no plans to introduce an electric AWD system for Prius in the Australian market.
* Coverage varies based on vehicle location.
^ JBL is a registered trade mark.