It's a relatively affordable option.
Considering a hybrid, but need all-wheel drive? Toyota may have met your otherwise difficult conditions with the launch of the all-wheel drive Prius at the LA Auto Show. And if you've been wondering how much the option would cost you, you need wonder no more.
According to order guides obtained by CarsDirect, the 2019 Toyota Prius LE with the AWD-e option will cost $27,300 (including the requisite $920 destination charge). That's the lowest model on which the option will be offered, and works out to $1,400 more than the front-drive Prius LE.
Step up to the Prius XLE with AWD-e and you'll be looking at $29,740, or $1,000 above the two-wheel-drive version. That's about as much, as CarsDirect points out, as the premium for all-wheel drive on a RAV4.
For 2019, the Prius has also dropped its previous trim-level naming scheme of One, Two, Three in favor of more conventional L, LE, XLE, and Limited designations. Only the middle two will be offered with the electric-assisted all-wheel drive option. If you can do without it, the base Prius L starts at $24,690 and tops out at $33,120 for the top-of-the-line Limited.
The AWD-e system places an additional electric motor on the rear axle to assist with traction under acceleration or slippery road surfaces. Its availability carves out something of a niche for the Prius as a mass-market (read: non-luxury) hybrid passenger car with all-wheel traction – something you wouldn't expect to see this side of a crossover or a far more upscale offering (like the Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid). Its closest competitor, then, may be the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid, which starts much higher at $35,970 and delivers lower fuel economy (at 35 mpg on the combined cycle) to Toyota's latest (50 mpg).