First of all, a HUGE thank you to Toyota of Long Beach20 minutes ago
When you think of highly efficient hybrid vehicles, there's no doubt the Toyota Prius comes to mind. Since its introduction nearly 20 years ago, the venerable Prius has become the paradigm of fuel-sippers. With 50-plus mpg, hatchback versatility and a backing of Toyota reliability, it's easy to see why the Prius is a hybrid sales leader. Now there's another reason to consider the 2019 Toyota Prius, especially if you live in a climate with snowy or icy winters: available all-wheel drive.
There are two principal battery packs, the High Voltage (HV) battery, also known as the traction battery, and a 12 volt battery known as the Low Voltage (LV) battery. The traction battery of the first generation Prius update (2000 onwards) was a sealed 38-module nickel metal hydride (NiMH) battery pack providing 273.6 volt, 6.5 Ah capacity and weighing 53.3 kg (118 lb) and is supplied by Japan's Panasonic EV Energy Co. They are normally charged between 40–60% of maximum capacity to prolong battery life as well as allow headroom for regenerative braking. Each battery pack uses 10–15 kg (22–33 lb) of lanthanum, and each Prius electric motor contains 1 kg (2 lb) of neodymium; production of the car is described as "the biggest user of rare earths of any object in the world." The LV battery is essential to starting the car and providing initial power to the computer.
4 Limited time purchase financing offer provided through Toyota Financial Services on approved credit on new retail sales of qualifying models. Finance example based upon $39,074.87 financed at 0.49% APR equals $1,093.63 per month for 36 months with $0.00 down payment or equivalent trade-in. Cost of borrowing is $295.81, for a total obligation of $39,370.68. Taxes, license, insurance and duty on new tires are extra. Dealer may sell for less. Time limited offer at participating dealers. Offer subject to change/cancellation without notice. See your participating Toyota dealer.
The Nissan Altima is newly redesigned, and it shines. It’s got two new engines with continuously variable automatic transmission, plus the option of all-wheel drive ($25,250) — even better: it’s sporty. But if you want an even sportier version, choose the SR model, with 19-inch wheels and a 248-horsepower engine ($25,250). It’s also got Android Auto standard, but unfortunately no hybrid option.
In August 2013, Toyota Managing Officer Satoshi Ogiso, who was chief engineer for the Prius line, announced some of the improvements and key features of the next generation Prius. This was the first generation of the Prius to use the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) modular platform, which provides a lower center of gravity and increased structural rigidity. Ogiso also explained that the next-generation Prius plug-in hybrid, the Prius Prime, was developed in parallel with the standard Prius model.
The Prime has an EPA-rated all-electric range of 25 mi (40 km), over twice the range of the first generation model, and an EPA rated fuel economy of 133 mpg‑e (25.9 kW⋅h/100 mi) in all-electric mode (EV mode), the highest MPGe rating in EV mode of any vehicle rated by EPA with an internal combustion engine. Among all-electric cars, only the Hyundai Ioniq Electric has a higher energy efficiency, rated at 136 mpg‑e (25.3 kW⋅h/100 mi; 15.7 kW⋅h/100 km).
In 2015, global sales of SUVs overtook the "lower medium car" segment, to become the largest market segment, accounting for 22.9% of "light vehicle" sales in 2015. The following year, worldwide SUV sales experienced further growth of 22%. The world's fastest growing SUV markets in 2014-2015 were: China (+ 47.9%), Italy (+ 48.6%), Spain (+ 42%), Portugal (+ 54.8 %) and Thailand (+ 56.4%). The SUV segment further grew to 26% of the global passenger car market in 2016, then to 36.8% of the market in Q1–Q3 of 2017.
The Wall Street Journal reported in February 2007 on concerns that quiet cars like the Prius may pose a safety risk to those who rely on engine noise to sense the presence or location of moving vehicles. Blind pedestrians are a primary concern, and the National Federation of the Blind advocates audio emitters on hybrid vehicles, but it has been argued that increased risks may also affect sighted pedestrians or bicyclists who are accustomed to aural cues from vehicles. However, silent vehicles are already relatively common, and there is also a lack of aural cues from vehicles that have a conventional internal combustion engine where engine noise has been reduced by noise-absorbing materials in the engine bay and noise-canceling muffler systems. In July 2007, a spokesman for Toyota said the company is aware of the issue and is studying options.
Honda’s Clarity lineup poses a triple-threat: There is a plug-in hybrid (covered here), a pure-electric model, and one powered by a hydrogen fuel-cell. They all look pretty much the same—so, kinda odd. The plug-in’s gas-fueled engine primarily acts as a generator, while the electric motor is the primary motivator. Hence, the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) drives a lot like a fully electric car. (There are circumstances under which the gas engine contributes torque to the drive wheels, but they’re rare.) With its ability to refuel at gas stations when its battery runs out (after 48 miles of EV-only driving, per the EPA), the Clarity can make it across the country without needing to plug in.
The brand name Toyota was derived from the founder’s last name Toyoda, as Toyota was seen to be more pleasing to the ear and recognizable. Marketing efforts have strategically been directed at the high reliability factor and ease of ownership of Toyota vehicles. The operations management philosophy is strategically aligned with Toyota’s message of quality, as the Toyota Production System (TPS) is very prominent in lean manufacturing. The automaker is also a leader in lean manufacturing, with the invention of concepts such as "Kaizen", the need for improvement, and Just in Time (JIT) manufacturing to reduce waste. The company has constantly been rated top quality by J.D Power, and has also received the Top Safety Pick Awards by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for the Yaris Hatchback, Corolla, Camry, Prius, Prius V, Venza, Avalon, Sienna, Highlander, and Tundra.