The Toyota Prius has long been America's most popular hybrid vehicle thanks to its high fuel economy, reasonably affordable pricing and practical nature. Now Toyota has expanded the Prius family with the Prius V wagon. Aimed at families, the Toyota Prius V is based on the regular Prius hatchback but offers considerably more cargo capacity.
Basically, the Toyota Prius V is a Prius with a longer, wider and taller body, paired with the same gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain as its smaller sibling. While the Prius V is slightly less fuel-efficient than the original and no more fun to drive, the added practicality is considerable. Hybrid shoppers looking for a vehicle that's as environmentally friendly as it is functional will likely be quite pleased with the Prius V.
Current Toyota Prius V
The Toyota Prius V is a four-door wagon that's offered in three different trim levels dubbed Two, Three and Five. All are powered by the same gasoline-electric hybrid system, which pairs a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine with a pair of electric motors and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) for a total output of 134 horsepower and 153 pound-feet of torque. Fuel economy is excellent for a vehicle this size, with an EPA-estimated 44 mpg city/40 mpg highway and 42 mpg combined.
Standard feature highlights for the Two trim level include 16-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry/ignition, automatic climate control, a fold-flat front passenger seat, sliding and reclining 60/40 split-folding rear seats, Bluetooth and a six-speaker sound system. The Three adds a rearview camera, a navigation system and Toyota's Entune smartphone integration system. The Five gets 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic LED headlights, upgraded upholstery and heated front seats. Optional for the Three and Five are a panoramic sunroof, while only the Five can be had with adaptive cruise control, an automated parking system, upgraded navigation, a premium sound system and a pre-collision safety system.
Behind the wheel, the Toyota Prius V drives much like the original, which is to say the ride quality is smooth, handling is predictable if unexciting and the steering has a light touch that makes for easy maneuvering at slow speeds. A Power mode makes for better acceleration in demanding situations like passing or climbing a hill, while an Eco mode helps maximize fuel economy, albeit with a noticeable drop in performance.
Inside, the Prius V's controls are large and easy to use. Sadly, taller drivers still have to contend with a steering wheel that's placed too far away. There's a telescoping column, but it doesn't extend nearly far enough. And as with the standard Prius, the Prius V's cabin design is plainer and less ambitious than you'll find in other wagons. Materials quality is spotty; some of the plastics are nicely grained, but others look cheap. Fortunately the Toyota Prius V excels as a wagon. The passenger-friendly rear seats slide fore and aft and recline for greater comfort. With the rear seats folded, the spacious 67-cubic-foot cargo hold (along with the fold-flat front passenger seat) provides SUV-like utility.
Used Toyota Prius V Models
Since its debut in 2012, the Toyota Prius V has remained essentially unchanged.