Toyota has introduced the facelift for the fourth-generation Toyota Prius which is now on sale in Japan since December 2018. The facelift exercise brought about revised aesthetics, improved features as well as an E-Four Electric 4WD system for the hybrid hatchback.

As far as appearance goes, its only a nip and tuck. It now gets a restyled bumper that houses a more streamlined headlamp design and a single vertical slat for the fog lamp housing. Toyota claims the front grille has also been revised but to be honest we can’t tell the difference. The Prius also gets a new 17-inch five spoke wheel with a dual tone finish while the smaller 15-inch wheel gets a more stylish design.

Customers have a total of nine exterior colour choice with Vivid Blue Metallic and Emotional Red II being the newly added colours. Opt for the Touring Selection and you’ll get a black sticker applied to the roof for a sportier impression.

Inside, changes are minimal except for a new portrait style touchscreen infotainment system that comes with the full range of connectivity feature such as Help Net, an SOS alert button, real-time traffic navigation and LINE My Car Account connection.

Other updates to the cabin include a larger Qi wireless charging tray at the front console solely because Toyota says modern smartphones are getting bigger, so the tray has to be upsized accordingly to fit them. The seat ventilation has also been revised to a suction type where heat is sucked into the seat skin and cool air is blown from the backrest surface for better comfort.

The biggest change on the facelifted Prius is the introduction of a new E-Four Electric 4WD system that uses an electric motor to drive the rear wheels during standstill acceleration and slippery conditions for maximum traction and efficiency.

The car returns to being front-wheel driven when cruising to maintain optimal fuel efficiency. The E-Four system is paired to the 2ZR-FXE 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol and an electric motor that drives the front wheels. All variants of the Prius are front-wheel driven by default while the E-Four 4WD can be ordered as an option.

As standard, all variants of the Toyota Prius facelift come with Toyota Safety Sense advanced driver assistance system as standard. It bundles Pre-Crash Safety (autonomous emergency braking) with pedestrian detection, Lane Departure Alert with steering assist, Automatic High Beam, Radar Cruise Control, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Drive Start Control, Blind Spot Monitor, Parking Support Brake and Simple Intelligent Parking Assist.


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Toyota Prius Facelift in Japan


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Adrian Chia
He believes that the perfect remedy to Monday blues is a mixture of 4 wheels, clear roads and a pinch of twisty tarmac. A hot hatch is the icing on the cake.