Toyota‘s venerable Prius is on a roll, with a mid-cycle refresh and a brand-new AWD-e model both arriving for the 2019 model year. Now, Toyota is playing with the formula yet again, gracing its fuel-sipping hybrid hatchback with new standard tech.
All 2020 Toyota Prius models will ship with an upgraded audio system, with Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa compatibility now standard even at the base trim level. But more impressively, Toyota Safety Connect is also being made standard equipment across the entire model range, with a three-year trial subscription tailor-made for Prius lessees.
Toyota Safety Connect is the Japanese automaker’s answer to connected telematics services like GM’s OnStar, providing Emergency Assistance and Roadside Assistance at the touch of a button. It also includes an Automatic Collision Notification feature, which automatically elicits the help of a 24/7 response center in the event of a crash, and a Stolen Vehicle Locator. The Toyota Safety Connect suite was previously only available on the Prius’s top-of-the-line Limited trim.
The 2020 Toyota Prius carries over otherwise unchanged from 2019, rocking the same updated (read: toned down) styling with reshaped bumpers and revamped headlamps and taillights. A massive new 11.6-inch infotainment touchscreen remains available at higher trim levels, and Toyota’s Safety Sense P still comes fitted as standard. That suite includes a forward collision mitigation system, adaptive cruise control, lane departure alert, and automatic high beams.
Yet just as notable as what the 2020 Toyota Prius has is what it’s lacking: Android Auto. Japan’s largest automaker has been reluctant to implement the handset connectivity system in its vehicles due to security concerns, although that attitude is beginning to reverse, as Android Auto will be featured in select 2020 Toyota models. Evidently, the 2020 Prius hasn’t made the cut, leaving somewhere near half of all smartphone users without the same connectivity as iOS users enjoy.