The Top-Selling 2019 Hybrid Model Sold In America Will Get 22 MPG - Why Prius Owners Should Smile
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The Toyota Prius is a vehicle we love to sing the praises of here at Torque News. One of us even drives a Prius. However, for the coming year of 2019, the Prius will lose its title as the top-selling hybrid in America to an unlikely vehicle. The Ram 1500 truck is now equipped with a standard V6 hybrid engine called eTorque and the top trim offers an optional hybrid V8. The Ram is going to outsell the Prius by a huge factor. The standard V6 Ram is rated at 22 MPG combined and the optional V8 hybrid model gets 19 Combined. Our editor Patrick Rall drove the V8, 4X4 eTorque-equipped truck and exceeded the Combined number with over 20 MPG. He also towed a horse trailer with it. His quick summary of the truck? "The eTorque is the perfect hybrid system for a hard-working truck, as it improves drivability and fuel economy without any sort of downside. The best hybrid is one that doesn't feel like a hybrid, and someone who didnt know that the eTorque system was there would never guess that it was a hybrid Hemi."
The new Ram 1500 will outsell the Prius in 2019 by about 7 to one unless something very unexpected happens. Estimates are that just the Ram will sell in the area of over 300,000 units. The majority are expected to be hybrids. The Ram with eTorque went on sale last month. August was the Ram's best-ever month of sales. It was one of the worst in the modern age for the Prius.
Now, if you are a hybrid owner or fan and are thinking that a 22 MPG truck is a gas-guzzler with no real right to be called a "hybrid" we offer you some thoughts for consideration. First, The RAM 1500 is one of America's top-selling nameplates. The hybrid adds a bit over 10% to the vehicle's fuel economy. If there is anything bad about that we can't see it. Second, diesels are the worst polluters on our roads. The new Ram 1500 with the eTorque V6 has better annual fuel economy (fuel costs) than Ram's diesel-equipped truck. If an incentive to buy a cleaner truck is bad in some way we can't see that either.
When Toyota first introduced the Prius, many auto enthusiasts who also care about air quality (like me) thought, "Why try to improve upon the class of car with the best fuel economy? Are small cars really the problem some think need solving?" Millions of Prius cars later, the car is clearly a success, but pickups are huge sellers. Anything that can be done to improve on the thirstiest vehicles seems logical to this observer.
Hat Tip - We must tip our hat to Seeking Alpha's Anton Wahlman for the main theme of this story.