With its combined fuel economy rating of 52 mpg, the current Toyota Prius remains one of the most efficient cars you can buy. Unfortunately for Toyota, gas mileage doesn’t sell cars the way it used to. Prius sales are down 22 percent for the year and aren’t anywhere close to what they were in 2007 and 2008. But could all-wheel drive reverse that trend?
We won’t actually know what Toyota has in store for the Prius until the Los Angeles auto show kicks off later this month. But based on the teaser Toyota released today, it’s hard to imagine what else it might be hinting at other than an all-wheel drive option.
The image clearly shows a Prius driving down a snow-covered road, which would be enough to start an all-wheel drive rumor on its own. But the release also includes the line, “Fall is here, winter’s near, but the 2019 Prius performs on roads whether snowy or clear.”
It’s theoretically possible Toyota plans to introduce a factory winter tire option for better snow performance, but that’s not the kind of change you typically tease in a press release ahead of an auto show. That’s something you slip into a list of 2019 model year changes and then advertise only in snowy states.
Instead, we’re sticking with the all-wheel drive theory since it makes the most sense. Of course, it’s also possible Toyota has other changes in store for the 2019 Prius. If so, let’s hope one of them is a new front end with a less, uh, polarizing look.