Toyota is hinting that its 2019 Toyota Prius for the North American market will have all-wheel drive capability in its new model year. During a recent press event in New York that featured some sub-30F temps, a Toyota employee offered Torque News some exclusive information on the new 2019 Prius that had to do with cold weather. Rather than keep that information secret until the end of November, we declined the invitation to hear the full details.
Today, Toyota released an image of the 2019 Prius with the text, "2019 Prius Ready for Sunshine or Snow at 2018. Fall is here, winter's near, but the 2019 Prius performs on roads whether snowy or clear." The image above indicates that the Prius will have all-wheel drive. The Prius is presently offered with AWD in the Japanese market.
Toyota already has multiple all-wheel drive hybrid models in its portfolio. Most notably, the RAV4 hybrid. Along with the RAV4 hybrid, there is the Highlander hybrid, and over at Lexus the NX 300 AWD hybrid is also now a popular trim. Toyota seems to be cornering the market on all-weather capable green cars.
Torque News has on multiple occasions tested the RAV4 hybrid AWD in snow. The system works perfectly and makes the RAV4 a viable winter-focused crossover great for ski weekends, or for those who need a vehicle that can go under any circumstances (think doctor on call). In the RAV4 and NX Hybrids, Toyota employs a two-motor system. The rear wheels are driven only by the electric drive system and only when needed for traction.