Refreshed Prius drops the horror-show face for a more streamlined and stylish look.
The facelifted 2019 Toyota Prius has been unveiled at the Los Angeles motor show today, ahead of an Australian debut set for next April.
The new look, revealed at least partially through commissioned renderings in the Japanese press earlier this year, sees the fourth generation of the iconic hybrid given a less confronting face for the 2019 model year.
The jagged harpoon headlights are replaced with a sleek and more conventional look, while the tail lamps now hook back into the hatch, rather than extending down towards the road.
Above: before and after
Thus, while the Prius will surrender some of its 'green pioneer' street cred to the likes of Hyundai – which this week launches its new Ioniq in hybrid, plug-in hybrid EV and full EV forms – its flag-bearer may at least win back some ground in the style stakes.
Also new for the 2019 model year is the addition of all-wheel drive for western markets (it could already be had with all-paw traction in its home market of Japan), hence the snow scene atop this article. However, Toyota has confirmed in its announcement tonight that Australia won't gain this feature.
There other otherwise no new tweaks to the Prius's drive system, with the 1.8-litre petrol-electric package listing a combined output of 90kW and a fuel consumption figure of 3.4L/100km, for a theoretical driving range of 1265 kilometres on a single tank.
Australian buyers can, however, expect a lightly revised interior with new materials and revised switches, and an updated 7.0-inch display with 'pinch' and 'flick' gestures similar to those common to smartphones.
Eagle-eyed readers will note the screen we receive in Australia, shown above top, is not the optional 11.6-inch vertical HD display shown above bottom, which is for the North American market.
The updated interior design we'll see in Australia hasn't been revealed yet.
The updated Prius will touch down in Australia from April next year.
Pricing for the revised model is still to be confirmed, with Toyota Australia communications manager Brodie Bott telling CarAdvice tonight the company will reveal further details closer to launch.
In its current form, the Prius kicks off from $36,440, which puts it just over $3000 above Hyundai's new Ioniq hybrid.
Step up to the Prius i-Tech, however, and you'll pay $43,900 before on-road costs – $3000 more than the Ioniq PHEV and a mere grand less than the pure-electric version of the Ioniq.
Whether Toyota will move to compete on either price, or through improving on its standard three-year warranty to match Hyundai's five-year offering, will be a point to watch for.