Toyota Prius 2020 Edition celebrates hybrid's 20th birthday in US

May 11, 2020

Toyota is throwing the Prius a party for its 20th birthday in the U.S., and it will be a blacked-out affair. The 2021 Toyota Prius will be available in a special Prius 2020 Edition model with black inserts on the wheels, headlights, body sides, and side mirrors, the automaker announced Monday. You better not be late to the party: only 2,020 of the special edition models will be sold. 

The iconic hybrid appreciated by commuters and celebrities alike as a way to tout one's green credentials launched in the U.S. 20 years ago with an EPA-rated 41 mpg combined. The Prius has come a long way on a little gas; the 2020 Toyota Prius Eco model gets 56 mpg combined.

Even though the Prius followed the Honda Insight hybrid to market by a few months, the egg-shaped Prius proved popular and resilient enough to endure as the Insight went in and out of production. With more than 1.9 million sold in the U.S. through 2019, the Prius helped launch eco-consciousness on wheels, and its popularity paved the way for green cars from other manufacturers ranging from dozens of traditional hybrid models to plug-in hybrids and fully electric vehicles capable of a 400-mile range. 

The Toyota Prius 2020 Edition will be based on the XLE version in front-wheel drive. The black inserts contrast red or white body colors, and feature black 17-inch alloy wheels, black headlight and side mirror elements, as well as special interior flourishes. A "2020" badge appears on the key fob and floor mats, and the black theme carries over to the shift knob and the A-pillar trim. 

The XLE trim on the 2020 Toyota Prius gets an EPA-rated 54 mpg city, 50 highway, 52 combined. The XLE is second only to the Prius Limited in terms of features. It come with synthetic leather steering wheel and front seats—all of which are heated—wireless smartphone charging, and a 7.0-inch touchscreen. The 2020 Edition model complements Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa compatibility with Android Auto. It also upgrades the standard safety features to automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, active lane control, blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, automatic high beams, and road sign recognition.

Toyota isn't saying how much the new Prius will cost. The 2020 Toyota Prius XLE is $29,330, including $955 destination. Availability of the limited-run Prius 2020 Edition will be "evenly distributed throughout the regions," Toyota spokesman Zachary Reed said in an email.   

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