Facelifted Toy­ota Prius checks in

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Motoring - – Ron Ham­mer­ton

Toy­ota Aus­tralia will stick with fron­twheel drive when its facelifted Prius ar­rives on this mar­ket in April next year.

An all-wheel drive ver­sion – dubbed Prius AWD-E – was re­vealed at the Los An­ge­les mo­tor show last week as part of the new-look Prius line-up.

How­ever, Toy­ota Aus­tralia ruled it out, say­ing the all-paw ver­sion would EH FRQ¿QHG WR 1RUWK $PHULFD ZKHUH it is ex­pected to com­mand up to 25 per­cent of sales.

The big­gest changes to the Prius for Aus­tralia will be cos­metic, with new front and rear styling treat­ments and tweaks to the in­te­rior.

Slim­line bi-beam LED head­lights are the most ob­vi­ous change, along with new ver­ti­cal day­time driving lights in the new-look bumper that Toy­ota said now blends bet­ter with the side lines of the body. At the back, wider tail-lights mimic the new head­lights, while at the same time at­tempt­ing to make the Prius look wider.

Two fresh colours, a red and blue, and new-look wheels – 17-inch al­loys on the up­scale i-tech and 15-inch steels with caps on the base model – com­plete the ex­te­rior makeover.

In­side, the Prius for Aus­tralia will miss out on the large, tablet-style touch­screen shown in Los An­ge­les, but will get a new 7.0-inch screen ZLWK VPDUWSKRQH VW\OH SLQFK DQG ÀLFN ca­pa­bil­ity.

Some in­stru­ment con­trols have also been up­dated, along with up­hol­stery choices.

The re­freshed Prius will be one of three hy­brid ve­hi­cles to launched by Toy­ota in Aus­tralia in 2019, with the new RAV4 hy­brid mak­ing its de­but LQ WKH ¿UVW KDOI RI WKH \HDU DQG WKH ¿UVW &RUROOD VHGDQ K\EULG UROOLQJ LQWR show­rooms in the last quar­ter.

The Prius and hy­brid Corolla share the same pow­er­train that com­bines a

OLWUH $WNLQVRQ F\FOH SHWURO HQJLQH with two mo­tor-gen­er­a­tors, driving the front wheels via a plan­e­tary gear con­tin­u­ously vari­able trans­mis­sion.

When the fourth-gen­er­a­tion Prius was launched in 2016, its fuel economy was rated at 3.4l-100km on the Aus­tralian com­bined test cy­cle.

On this mar­ket, Prius is one of Toy­ota’s slow­est-sell­ing cars, shift­ing just 201 units in the year to date, a de­cline of 16.9 per­cent over the same pe­riod of 2017.

CHECK­ING IN: The facelifted Toy­ota Prius is ex­pected in Aus­tralia early next year.

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