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New Toyota Prius is less scary looking, drives more of its wheels

Your next drunk ride home could be in a prettier, AWD Prius

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Thanks to certain ride-hailing apps, the Toyota Prius is potentially the one car the vast majority of us have actually sat in. So you could argue the arrival of a new one is as important as a new Focus, 3 Series or 911.

Especially when there’s stuff that vitally needed fixing. Like the “Freddie Krueger looks” of the current car.

They’ve been partially improved by this facelifted Prius, revealed at the LA Auto Show. While it’s hardly transformed into an E-Type, it ought to be much less divisive than before, its lights slimmed down and its features friendlier. Subtle tweaks have made it a lot less scary.

The bigger news lies beneath, though, with the addition of ‘Hybrid AWD-I’, Toyota’s first all-wheel-drive hybrid system. An additional electric motor operates on the rear axle, at all times when pulling away, and when the car detects low-grip situations below 44mph. That drunken ride home from your Christmas party might suddenly be a whole lot safer.

Other tweaks include a larger wireless charging tray – reflecting just how ginormous phones are getting – and a more advanced head-up display that now incorporates sat nav directions. That should give your driver less of an excuse for driving the long way home to hike up your fare.

There’s no word on how much extra the AWD Prius will cost, nor if it’ll be available on the Prius Plug-In. But if you’re not yet bored of the taxi references, then most of you will only ever sit in the back of one anyway…

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