Sounds like the biggest limiting factor might have been the tires.
Mazyar Aman
Whoever wrote this article clearly does not understand the purpose of this car. This is not only a biased, but a totally nut-job article. "Neither will it allow you to turn donuts in a snowy parking lot with any kind of thrilling speed."... are you serious? The car is made for fuel efficiency. The performance and reliability of Prius is unmatched for the amount of power it generates and the fuel it uses. AWD is added so it could meet road condition requirements in restricted areas, and at least be able to move in all weathers whereas 2WD would not move at all. Prius is not meant for speed, 4x4 performance, or rough terrain.
Bob Stuart
Snow tires also have low rolling resistance, because of the softer rubber. What were you running on the comparison vehicles?
I don't think anyone who lives in a snowy area uses the standard prius tires during the winter. The question is more whether this would let a prius get around with regular snow tires instead of needing studded ones.
Phil Cassell
I agree with Mazhar on this one. I currently drive a 2015 Prius V and then allure of the AWD Prius was that it has AWD and still have more space then most hatchbacks on the market. I live up north and during the winter months the roads in town are a constant slippery mess. I took the AWD Prius out for a test drive last week and guess what? I was doing donuts in a parking lot and the BS about really getting any added traction...not true. I deliberately went down the messiest snow and over covered roads and when I hit the gas I would feel the car slip for a second and then the rear wheels kick in and keep the car stable. I was taking snowy corners and was practically drafting the car because the AWD was keeping everything in line with the all season tires. We almost bought the Technology AWD bought we like the V because of the space and decided to pass. I hope that there will be more AWD small hybrids out there. :)
I have every confidence in the Toyota engineers' ability to produce efficient and functional cars that are very reliable, and this edition of the Prius looks pretty sweet as well. If you live in the north, you're getting AWD when you really need it without affecting the weight or the performance much. Toyotas are some of the best cars I've ever owned.
Only 50mpg with all that rocket science? Big deal, my 1991 CRX did that with basically nothing but a well designed engine and a few tweaks to maximize efficiency. I'm not sure I'd call what they did to these things a "facelift"... cat lady glasses tail lights? And I'm pretty sure I wouldn't pay $1500 for an option to make it easier to pull away from a stop sign. To me, the Prius has always been a little bit ugly, best regarded as a test bed for the technology we'll all be using soon. At least I don't have to listen to that insipid whine of the inverters in slow traffic on the 405 any more, we don't open the windows that much in Phoenix!
Add winter tires and continuous AWD, and you might just have a usable car!?
If you want to turn donuts in a snowy parking lot, awd is useless. What you want is rear wheel drive or fwd and a handy parking brake.
Tim Jonson
Dear Toyota Engineers:
This comment is a genuine attempt to help you. You desperately need the help.
I bought a 2017 Prius Prime and I drive it every day in EV mode, battery only. For readers who don't know, the Prius in the article is a PHEV, meaning you can charge the battery before you drive it, giving the car 25 or 30 miles of 'electric car' mode. It would have been too helpful for the author to provide this background.
The reason I bought the ugliest car ever made is Toyota's reliability. The reliability cannot be disputed- it's the best of all car makes. But this is where the good news ends. The car is riddled with poor planning, execution and design. Let's start with the poor fitting of the battery. It results in a high deck in the cargo area and no middle passenger in the back seat. The charging port looks like the designer quit halfway through, the way you have to stash the inner car plug cover is absurd. The rear compartment for the charging cord lacks a hinged door and is impractical. Moving to the dashboard: the LED graphics are terrible and cluttered. There are 5 different modes for the graphics, but this is only to present the same information a different way, yet all 5 modes are terrible. The owner's manual in the glove compartment is 850 pages of obtuse nonsense- with my engineering background it took me 30 minutes to figure out how to change the time on the dashboard clock. Toyota puts nice 5 spoke aluminum wheels on the car and then covers this with crap plastic hubcaps that would insult a Chevy Spark.
I could go on... I'll spare you. I bought it for the reliability, and it has been reliable. But when both Kia and Hyundai produce such beautiful PHEVs, you have to wonder what's going on with Toyota. Are they too big??