Though few people would look at a Prius and see it as a high-performance vehicle, the truth is that they are every bit as rigorously engineered as a Porsche or BMW. Toyota's designers maintain a ruthless pursuit of fuel economy, improving whenever and wherever they can.
For 2020, two variations of the Prius are available. The original Prius, the standard on which all the others are based, is a 4-door compact hatch that comes in L, Eco, LE, XLE and Limited trims. Prius LE and XLE trims can be optioned with AWD-e, an automatic, on-demand all-wheel-drive system that utilizes a rear-mounted electric motor to power the rear wheels as necessary.
The Prius Prime is a plug-in version of the Prius. It has a larger battery on board that can be charged via wall-outlet. Careful driving can yield up to 25 miles on electric power alone, after which the gasoline engine starts up to keep things rolling. In all other ways, the two Prius behave the same: the powertrain will seamlessly switch between battery and engine power to maximize fuel efficiency and range. Prius Prime models are available in LE, XLE and Limited trims.
The interior of the Prius is big and airy, offering an open feel and a good view of the road ahead, with improved headroom over previous generations. Two 4.2-inch multi-information displays are housed within the instrument panel. Basic information such as speed and fuel level are displayed on the right. The left display, on the other hand, is programmable, allowing the driver to choose what information he or she wants to see at any time. A head-up display projects onto the windshield and serves to further keep the driver in the know without ever having to look away from the road. The Prime benefits from an 11.6-inch touchscreen display that is centrally mounted vertically, similar to that found in the Tesla, and it is controlled through simple tap/swipe gestures, much like a tablet.
Basic features on the Prius include 15-inch alloy wheels, low rolling resistance tires and four-wheel disc brakes. Higher trim levels include a navigation system, 17-inch alloys, and synthetic leather seating surfaces. A suite of safety options includes a pedestrian detection system and a pre-collision warning system, as well as a radar-controlled dynamic cruise control system.
Options include a premium JBL sound system and a full parking assistance system, which will make parallel parking much easier with the help of ultrasonic sensors.