Ever since its inception in the mid-90s, the Toyota Prius has represented the automotive green movement around the globe. Its unique design and forward-thinking hybrid engine systems paved the way for mainstream car manufacturers everywhere to explore new ideas and strive toward more sustainable designs. After more than 20 years in the public, the Prius has continually innovated and updated its design and function, with the 2019 Toyota Prius being absolutely no exception. Around since 2012, the C model of the Prius is Toyota’s hatchback version of the classic hybrid design. The 2019 lineup will feature iterations of both the classic Prius design and the C hatchback model, with the former being available later in 2019.
A New Take on a “C”lassic
The first thing you will undoubtedly notice about the new 2019 Toyota Prius C is its hatchback design. For those that are unfamiliar with some of the Prius’s iterations over the last few years, this change will surely come as a bit of a surprise. Debuted in 2011 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the Prius C (known as the Prius Aqua in Japan) brought all of the sustainable features the public had grown to know in a more compact and modern package. Toyota advertised the C as a new option for younger buyers that don’t require as much space in their day-to-day.
In addition to its flashy, compact new look, the Prius C also introduced an updated version of Toyota’s famous hybrid four-cylinder. The C employed separate planetary gear reduction paths that ultimately allowed it to output high electric-only and hybrid performance. It also provided this power in a significantly lighter and more efficient package.
The 2019 Prius C is available in two models, the L and LE, the L represents Toyota’s basic package, while the LE offers additional amenities such as their Smart Key System and push-button start feature.
At the risk of repeating myself, it’s worth saying again that the Prius C really captures your attention from the first look. With its unique and compact design, it really stands out from other hybrid compacts. Available in seven eye-catching colors, the Prius C’s lineup of different shades will help you stand out from the crowd, regardless of your choice. It also includes standard 15-inch, eight-spoke alloy wheels with painted accents. With these features, four spacious passenger doors and a large rear liftgate, the Prius has never looked better, nor has it been more ready to keep pace with your busy lifestyle.
The innovations don’t stop once you move past the Prius C’s sleek and colorful exterior. Advertised as a premium interior, Toyota took special care with the 2019 Prius C to make this a car you want to take long road trips in. With a six-way adjustable driver’s seat, attractive two-tone fabric seats, and an available Entune Premium audio system, the interior of a Prius has truly never been more comfortable or inviting. This year’s model also features ample cargo space and versatility. The 60/40 split rear seats provide a variety of ways to configure your seating and storage arrangement within the surprisingly spacious 17.1 cubic foot interior.
As one of the original pioneers of modern green-focused automobiles, the 2019 Prius C lives up to its lofty legacy with a range of new and updated features focusing on maximizing your mpg. This year’s model offers the updated EV/ECO Mode, which enables fully electric driving for up to one mile when necessary. It also includes a comprehensive energy monitor screen that displays the details of how your hybrid system is functioning in real time, allowing you to better understand your vehicle and adjust your driving accordingly to maximize efficiency. A fun feature of the monitor screen is the ECO savings feature, which provides an estimate of how much you are saving on gas by owning a Prius; maybe use it to justify that seven-dollar latte.
Finally, the 2019 Prius C gets an astounding combined average mpg of 46, making it one of the most fuel-efficient autos in the world.
In addition to their sustainability-focused tech, the Prius also employs a variety of nifty amenities to make your drives more comfortable and convenient. To start, every Prius C comes standard with a backup camera, making parking and breeze and helping you avoid any hidden obstructions or obstacles. Its Entune Premium Audio with Integrated Navigation system provides an excellent audio and GPS experience, all integrated into your vehicle.
Toyota also heavily integrates their technology into the 2019 Prius C in the way of cutting-edge safety systems. With nine standard airbags and features such as vehicle stability control, traction control, electronic brakeforce distribution, and smart stop technology make this car one that you can always feel secure in.
The Newly Unveiled 2019 Prius
Now that we’ve covered the 2019 Prius C, this writer would be remiss if he didn’t mention the freshly announced 2019 Toyota Prius. Shown off just this last week at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2019 model will be the next iteration of the famous car that we’ve all known since its debut in 1997.
The most immediately recognizable change in the new model is its updated body design. Giving it a bit more of a streamlined and straightforward appearance compared to previous Prius models. But perhaps the biggest innovation to this year’s model is the introduction of the AWD-e system, Toyota’s four-wheel drive addition to the Prius. Unlike the more traditional four-wheel applications, the AWD-e system uses a separate electric motor to power the back tires from 0 to 6 mph to assist with the vehicle’s initial acceleration. Once the car is up to speed, the onboard computer will only engage this engine to provide additional grip or stability. The new model also offers the option of a rugged new crossbar to help you further brave the outdoors with the help of your new four-wheel drive system.
As of the time of writing, the details we have on the Prius are still relatively scarce. Toyota has yet to disclose any specific specifications for the vehicle or what it’s suggested retail price will be upon launch. Keep an eye out for the latest updates from the company if this new iteration is something you have your eye on.
Take Your Pick
Now that we’ve covered both the 2019 Prius and the 2019 Prius C, you have seen the full range of Toyota’s latest lineup of their popular hybrid. With its sleek hatchback design and focus on compact versatility, the C model offers a wide range of appeal, especially to a younger on-the-go audience. However, the fresh-off-the-press announcement of the new 2019 Prius makes the decision a bit more complicated. The inclusion of the new AWD-e system and a seemingly redesigned approach to the Prius’s range of capabilities make this a car worth keeping your eye on as Toyota rolls out more details.
Whether you want to wait to find out more about the 2019 Toyota Prius or if the Prius c seems like the right model for you, both hybrid vehicles provide excellent gas mileage, a bevy of great features and slick designs to top it all off. Visit your local Toyota dealership today to learn more and make the decision that best suits you.