Hybrids & Electrics

The 2019 Toyota Prius Is a Better Buy Than the 2020

The Toyota Prius is one of those cars that people consider a practical vehicle. Its fuel economy is amazing and it can accommodate a small family and their things. Plus, the Toyota Prius hybrid car gets the stamp of Toyota’s reliability. Additionally, the Prius recently received a redesign. It now boasts edgier styling and available all-wheel drive.

But what all is actually new for the 2020 Toyota Prius? Is it worth the extra cost over the 2019 model year? The freshened exterior entered the market in 2019. So did the AWD feature. So why spend thousands more on a 2020 Prius when you can save and spring for a 2019 instead.

The 2020 Toyota Prius

The 2020 Toyota Prius, according to Car and Driver, is “largely a carryover year for the Prius.” It gets the same remarkable 52 miles per gallon. There are a few additions, however. Here’s what you get in the 2020 Prius that you won’t get in the 2019 model year.

The L Eco trim, the LE, and the XLE trim all have a new 7-inch touchscreen display. That’s almost an entire inch larger than the previous model. You’ll find an 11.6-inch screen in Limited models. There is also an Amazon Alexa feature as well as connectivity for Apple CarPlay. Toyota’s emergency response became standard for the Prius.

The 2020 Toyota Prius hybrid car has a price range between $24,325 – $32,500, according to Consumer Reports. Other than the features above, it’s the same car that it was in 2019. What all came new for the 2019 model year of the Prius?

2020 Toyota Prius Prime is on display at the 112th Annual Chicago Auto Show
The Toyota Prius Prime | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

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The 2019 Toyota Prius

The 2019 model year for the Toyota Prius saw a redesign. Altered exterior styling, the addition of available AWD, and a new nomenclature system for its trim levels are all 2019 updates. The AWD system is a first for Toyota’s famous hybrid, and the appearance is meant to “attract more buyers,” according to Car and Driver.

the AWDe is a great example of why knowing what drivetrain and powertrain mean is important
AWDe Toyota Prius | Toyota

“The compact hatchback is losing ground to newer hybrid alternatives such as the Hyundai Ioniq and the Kia Niro, but the Toyota brand maintains an unrivaled reputation for reliability.”

Car and Driver

We see updated bumpers both front and back. Then, there are some new colors and modern wheel designs. Plus, LEDs were added to both the headlights and taillights. There is even a refreshed hatch. However, there isn’t a lot going on inside. The 2019 Prius remains practical and not fancy, which for many buyers is absolutely OK.

Where it really shines in comparison to the 2020 model year is the price. While these two are in most ways the exact same Toyota Prius hybrid car, the 2019 comes thousands of dollars cheaper. The 2019 Toyota Prius goes for between $20,750 – $25,750, according to Consumer Reports.

RELATED: Why Consumer Reports Recommends the 2015 Toyota Prius

Which model year has better value?

Realistically, it’s difficult to justify the higher price of the 2020 model. At this point, we know that the Toyota Prius hybrid car attracts the practical buyer. Both model years get the same astonishing 52 miles per gallon, according to Consumer Reports. However, less than an inch added to the touch display, and the addition of standard emergency response isn’t going to be worth an extra $5,000 or so.

The 2019 Toyota Prius with AWD is shown at the auto trade show, AutoMobility LA
The Toyota Prius | David McNew/Getty Images