Did you never warm to the unusual “leaking eyeball” look of the current-generation Prius? You weren’t alone, and it appears Toyota itself wasn’t all that enamoured with it either.
Enter the freshly facelifted 2019 Toyota Prius, which receives a front-and-rear makeover with more conventional looks to imbue the company’s hybrid hero with more broadly-appealing aesthetics.
The external differences are obvious enough. New headlight clusters, tail lamps, front and rear bumper plastics, new 15-inch and 17-inch alloy wheels and a slight 35mm stretch to its overall length mark it out straight away as being distinct from the pre-update fourth-generation Toyota Prius.
Inside, Toyota has gifted the updated Prius hatch with new cloth upholstery for the base model (the flagship Prius i-Tech retains its black perforated leather) and a lightly revised centre console that now houses the seat heater switches and comes in a more pleasing piano black finish, rather than the outgoing model’s ‘bathroom white’ look.
Accompanying those changes is an updated infotainment system, which sees a return to physical volume/tuning knobs and traditional push-buttons along the sides of the screen. Not only that, but the system introduces pinch-to-zoom functionality for its standard sat-nav, along with a 10-speaker audio, Siri voice assistant for iPhone users, and Miracast smartphone mirroring.
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay still aren’t supported, but it’s a step in the right direction.
The rest of the feature set carries over with few changes, with the standard Prius offering the satellite navigation, climate control, a head-up display, 15-inch alloys, keyless entry and wireless phone charging as standard.
Move up to the Prius i-Tech, and you gain heated front seats, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, leather upholstery, 17-inch alloys and more. Both models are powered by a 1.8-litre petrol engine and electric motor, developing a combined 90kW and 142Nm and returning an average fuel economy of 3.4 L/100km.
Price rises are very modest for the 2019 Prius range, amounting to $150 for both the base Prius and Prius i-Tech. The 2019 Prius is available for ordering now.
- Toyota Prius hatch - $36,590
- Toyota Prius i-Tech hatch - $44,050