For more than 20-years, the Toyota Prius has been the leader in hybrid driving. While still in its 4-th generation…for 2019… the Prius receives minor cosmetic adjustments… and, much more notable, all-wheel drive as an option. Here, as traction demands, a 7-horsepower electric motor can roll the rear wheels with 40-lb. feet of torque. 

From a stop, on dry roads, all 4 wheels pull-push up to 6 miles-per-hour… and up to 43-mph when the pavement is slick. While less capable than the RAV4 Hybrid and Highlander Hybrid’s electric all-wheel drive systems, the Prius AWD-e expands Prius appeal, especially for northern states.

So we headed to Wisconsin where Toyota set up a wintery road course.

“When Toyota added an independent rear suspension to the Prius a few years ago it really improved comfort and cornering. This all-wheel drive system further improves the driving experience. It really seems to have good grip on the snowy course they brought us out to. On the gauge cluster there’s a display so you can actually see the shuffling among the wheels… but the transition is so smooth… you really don’t notice it here in the driver’s seat.”

The front-wheel powertrain remains a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder gas engine with two motor/generators and a CVT. All-wheel drive models swap out the lithium ion battery for a classic Nickel-Metal Hydride battery; we’re told it better handles cold weather. Toyota’s Safety Sense P is standard on all Prius models. 

So the 2019 Toyota Prius AWD-e continues to offer great mileage… along with better traction when the road turns treacherous. On sale now the price starts at just under $27,000.


  • Engine: 1.8 liter
  • Price: Starts under $27,000