New 2019 XLE - a Prius fan review

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Main Forum' started by jdw, Sep 11, 2019.

  1. jdw

    jdw Junior Member

    Nov 23, 2013
    2019 Prius
    Hello PriusChat! I thought I'd drop in and leave a review of my new 2019 Prius from the perspective of a long-time Prius owner and fan.

    Background: My family currently has a stable of four Priuses. A 2012 Three in Red, a 2013 V Four in Magnetic Grey, a 2016 Four in Red, and the newest - a 2019 XLE in Sea Glass. We consider ourselves Prius devotees.

    Summary: The 2019 is a really nice car and I highly recommend it to prior Prius drivers or someone getting into a hybrid vehicle for the first time. Fit and finish are good. Handling is much improved over the 2012 and 2013. The ride is smooth and (mostly) quiet. The unique styling is something that I enjoy. The technology is amazing to me, especially at the price point and position in the market. Fuel economy is awesome.

    Interior: I opted for the all-black interior. The 2013 V and 2016 have the moonstone interior and while I like the two-tone look, the all-black is just plain sexy to me. I do live in Florida, so heat is an issue, but window tint and a reflective windshield screen take care of that. The gloss black surfaces aren't really pure black - there is a bit of fine blue and gold glitter worked into the material. Looks really cool in direct sunlight. The black Softex upholstery is soft and supple. The seats are MUCH more supportive than the 2012 and 2013. Black does show dust and dirt more readily, but I'll just keep some cleaning wipes and dust cloth in the console. Storage space is much reduced from the 2013 V that I was daily driving. I miss my top glovebox and under-shifter storage tray. I do appreciate the zippered compartment in the back of the driver's seat to store the owners manual packet. I like that they switched to white LEDs for the footwell and glovebox lighting. I switched out the amber ones in the 2013 V for white and was all prepared to do the same to the 2019 but they beat me to it. I still don't get why they are sticking to incandescent lighting in the interior, but $10 at Amazon got me the LED bulbs that I needed to *properly* light up the inside.

    Exterior: I didn't like the looks of the 2016s when they came out. Too angular, silly taillights, just strange looking. But, the look grew on me and now I appreciate the unique styling of the Gen 4 Prius. 2019 got a new front clip and taillights that improve the overall appearance. The wheel inserts are now a darkish grey instead of the silver of the 2016, a nice subdued touch. I think I'm still going to pull the inserts and paint/plastidip them gloss black. Personally, I think a black roof ala the Camry XSE would be a good look on this car. Hmmm. Maybe vinyl...

    Driving: So much better than the 2012 and 2013. Smoother than the 2016. Steering is light and nimble. Acceleration is adequate - it won't paste you to your seat but it'll get up and go if you floor it. Handling is much improved over the earlier models. It's not a race car, but it's confident on the road and handles curves well. Stability is so much better. Tailing or passing a semi in the 2012 or 2013 was a white-knuckle experience. In the 2019, it's no big deal. The car feels much more stable at speed and does not get caught up in the buffeting that affected the older models. A few times, I've given it some gas on the freeway to pass someone only to see on the HUD that I'm going 90 and wasn't even feeling it. There is some road and wind noise, but it's much reduced from the earlier model years.

    Technology: This is where the car really impresses me. The Toyota Safety Sense P, Intelligent Clearance Sonar, Intelligent Parking Assist, Blind Spot Monitor, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert combine to create a technology bubble that keeps the driver informed and safe. It's amazing to me that I own a car that has so much tech built in and that the tech works really well. I leave all the systems on all the time, especially on long drives. The lane warning keeps me on my toes and helps remind me to keep my attention where it should be - on the road. Parking in a tight spot is easy with the clearance sonar. I haven't tried the parallel parking assist yet, but I rarely parallel park. Cross traffic alert has warned me a couple of times about vehicles that I didn't see when I was pulling out of a parking space. The Advanced Technology Package is a must-have in my opinion. The Head-Up Display is great for keeping your eyes front (and it's just plain cool - like a fighter jet). The Adaptive Front Lighting system is really neat, going around corners, the headlight beams swing around to illuminate the road around the curve. The automatic high beams is another nice feature. Hit the switch, push the turn signal stalk forward, and the car uses the front-facing camera to detect headlights and taillights of cars in front of you. If the road is empty, high beams come on. Someone in front of you? High beams automagically turn off until the car is no longer in sight.

    Fuel economy: 50+ MPG so far over 2500 miles. The first 500 mile trip was mid-40's but I didn't check the tire pressures before I left and the dealer had them inflated to 32 PSI (marshmallow). I inflated them to my preference of 40 front and 38 rear and now I'm getting proper MPG.

    Looks like changes to the 2020 Prius are minor, with the exception of Apple Car Play on the radio. This irritates me, as I would have really liked to have that option on my 2019.
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    May 11, 2005
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Plug-in Base
    great write up, thanks, and all the best!(y)
    krmcg likes this.
  3. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
    Staff Member

    Oct 2, 2004
    2018 Prius Prime
    Congrats! Thanks for the review. I, too, miss the extra storage spaces in the interior (and the smaller lower glovebox)
    alanclarkeau likes this.