2012 Toyota Prius v Review

The Toyota Prius has racked up more than one million sales in the U.S. since its introduction in 2000, and is now Toyota’s third-best selling passenger car. Yet, the familiar 50-mpg Prius gets crossed off the shopping list of many consumers who say the quintessential hybrid is just not quite big enough. They want stellar fuel economy packaged with more space.

In response, the 2012 Prius v, for “versatility,” joined the standard third-generation Prius last fall as the second model in a new Prius family of cars that also includes the just launched Prius c, an economic compact version. The fourth family member, the Prius Plug-in, will arrive in the next several weeks.

Sporting nearly 60 percent more cargo space, the Prius v earns its additional room at the expense of 8 mpg. The v is bigger, wider and taller – but delivers an EPA average of 44 mpg in the city and 40 on the highway – instead of the 51/48 of the conventional Prius Liftback version. It also has a bigger price tag with a starting price of $26,400 compared to the Liftback’s base price of $24,000. There are three trim levels offered: the Prius v Two, Prius v Three and Prius v Five.

Looks (Mostly) Like A Prius

Historically, people either love or hate the Prius’s wedge shape, and the dramatic curve of its liftback. No matter which camp you’re in, the Prius design is undeniable. For the front half of the Prius v, the signature wedge remains in place, but the rear end breaks the mold with a sheet metal design that looks back heavy and somewhat awkward. (Remember the Pontiac Aztek?)

2012 Toyota Prius V

It’s easy to categorize the v as a station wagon version of the Prius, but it’s not just a stretched out standard Prius with a new body. The new vehicle, designed from the ground up, is larger in all dimensions versus the 2012 Prius Liftback. The Prius v rides on a 109.4-inch wheelbase compared to the 106.3-inch wheelbase of the conventional Prius Liftback, and the overall length of the v is 181.7 inches versus 175.6 inches for the Liftback. Add 1.2 inches in width and 3.3 inches in height and the v not only has more cargo space, but also offers additional passenger room.

Not quite as aerodynamic as the Liftback model, the Prius v nonetheless has a commendable 0.29 coefficient of drag. Toyota engineers paid careful aerodynamic attention to the bumpers, corners and roofline, as well as rocker panels, mirrors, wheels and wheelcovers. Still, apart from an enlarged front under grille and the higher, extended roofline, culminating in a discreet lip spoiler above the rear liftgate, there are few external differences.

Same Hybrid System And Drivetrain

The hybrid system and drivetrain for the Prius v are nearly identical to the one used in the Prius Liftback model. With judicious pressure on the accelerator pedal, Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive System allows the Prius v to travel at around-town speeds on electric power alone. Sensors decide when to employ gasoline engine power or a combination of gas and electric propulsion: the goal is to efficiently balance fuel economy and acceleration.

The gas engine is a 1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle, four-cylinder engine producing 98 horsepower at 5,200 rpm. Together with its electric motor, the hybrid system generates a combined 134 net horsepower. Like all Prii, the v uses a continuously variable transmission (CVT), which acts like an automatic transmission but employs infinite ratios rather than preset gearing.

2012 Toyota Prius V

The hybrid system uses the engine and regenerative braking to recharge a slightly smaller on-board nickel-metal hydride battery pack; there’s no plug-in capability. With the batteries sufficiently charged, the system can further save gas by automatically shutting off the engine when the car comes to a stop and restarting it when the brake pedal is released.

The system carries over four driving modes – Normal, Power, Eco and EV. Power maximizes throttle input at the expense of fuel economy, useful for freeway merging or passing slower vehicles; ECO has sluggish acceleration but provides the best mileage; and EV allows driving at low speeds for about a mile on electric power only. The normal mode, which is the default when the car is started, is somewhere between ECO and Power when it comes to fuel mileage and acceleration performance.

Bigger Is Better

For those considering a five-seat crossover vehicle, a look at the Prius v could sway your decision. Behind the rear seat is 34.3 cubic feet of cargo space, which increases to 40.2 cubic feet when the back seats are moved forward. Fold the 60/40 split rear seats flat, and that number swells to 67.3 cubic feet. That’s more room than the Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Escape, Honda Element or Nissan Rogue crossovers offer.

There’s more. Respectable sized underfloor storage bins add to the Prius v’s function as a family hauler. Additional interior storage includes door pockets, two gloveboxes, a console bin and a large open cubby beneath the center stack.

2012 Toyota Prius V

If you’re familiar with the standard Prius, you won’t find any surprises in the cabin’s front half. That means an instrument panel placed in the center of the dash below the windshield rather than the traditional location behind the steering wheel. Readouts include the speedometer, fuel gauge, trip odometer, gear selection, battery state of charge and a graph showing real-time driving efficiency.

Below the instrument panel, is a screen in the center console with more hybrid info. An Energy Monitor display shows the power flow between the engine, battery and electric motors. It’s great for entertaining passengers who have never experienced a hybrid car, but if you believe safe driving includes keeping your eyes on the road, don’t select it.

The Prius v’s larger dimensions are focused on the cargo area, but passenger space is increased by 3 percent compared to the Liftback. This translates to a little more leg, shoulder and hip room plus a generous amount of headroom. Front seats are large and well bolstered. Short and tall drivers should feel equally comfortable behind the wheel with a standard tilt/telescoping steering wheel and height adjustable seat.

2012 Toyota Prius V

Like its smaller sibling, the Prius v has a smart key system with push-button start; an electronic shift lever; hill assist control, a back-up camera, and seven airbags – all as standard equipment. Available options include energy-efficient LED headlamps; dynamic radar cruise control with a pre-collision system; and a parking guidance system.

2012 Prius v buyers can also be treated to the Entune infotainment system, Toyota’s answer to Ford’s SYNC system. Connect a smart phone to the vehicle via Bluetooth or a USB cable and Entune’s features are then operated using the vehicle’s controls or, for some services, by voice recognition. Mobile apps for Entune include Bing, iHeartRadio, MovieTickets.com, OpenTable, and Pandora. Entune data services include a fuel price guide, sports scores, stocks, traffic and weather.

Behind The Steering Wheel

To my knowledge, no one has proclaimed the Prius Liftback a “fun-to-drive car,” and the Prius v follows in the same tracks. Handling balance is nose heavy and the electric power steering has a numb, disassociated feel. Both are impediments to competent cornering; even straight-line tracking seems compromised by the steering’s artificial feel. Enthusiast-minded drivers will turn their noses up at these characteristics but as a family hauler, it offers an acceptable drive. On the plus side, engine start-stop is unobtrusive while on the road, the interplay between the gas engine and electric motor is, for the most part, insignificant.

For the first time, engineers have employed the hybrid system to control what they call “pitch and bounce” by applying extra tension to the front wheels under some road conditions. We didn’t exactly feel the claimed benefit during our week with the v, but this version of the Prius maintained the overall driving profile of its predecessor: comfortable, somewhat noisy and easy to drive.

2012 Toyota Prius V

With a weight gain of around 250 pounds, the v’s acceleration can best be described as leisurely so passing on two lane roads needs to be well planned. Toyota says that the 0-to-60-mph time is 10.4 seconds, versus 9.8 seconds for the Prius Liftback, a pace that won’t win any stoplight drags. That’s OK. It’s not the reason for this vehicle. Its raison d’etre is to provide as much or more cargo space as nearly every small SUV on the road – and to trample that competition on efficiency by granting 42 mpg combined fuel economy when those vehicles commonly eke mileage in the mid-20 mpg range.

As for that EPA 42 mpg combined rating, like all of our Prius test drives dating back to 2000, the 2012 Prius v blessed us with a higher number. After 339 miles of mixed driving we average 43.7 mpg.

The Family Hauler For You?

At the moment, the Prius v has no head-to-head competitor. There isn’t another vehicle that can deliver the fuel mileage and interior space at any cost. With a sticker price of $26,400, the base 2012 Prius v Two is reasonably well equipped, but if you don’t need the space, the base 2012 Prius Liftback is $2,400 less and delivers a combined 50 mpg. If the v is the best fit for your needs and you want more features, the Prius v Three starts at $27,165, the Prius v Five at $29,990. Surprisingly, there are no entertainment screens for backseat passengers offered. Sorry kids.

2012 Toyota Prius V

For fuel economy and space, the closest Prius v challenger is the Volkswagen SportWagen TDI. This turbocharged diesel powered wagon has a smidgen less cargo room and bests the Prius v’s highway numbers by 4 mpg, but is 8 mpg shy of what the v gets in the city. The bonus is, at about the same price, performance handling is included. If seven-passenger seating is a must, the Mazda 5 falls within inches of the Prius v’s exterior and interior dimensions and has minivan-type rear sliding doors. Fuel mileage won’t match the v, but the 21/28 mpg combined with a starting price of $19,625 make it a practical option.

The 2012 Prius v is a segment-buster with all the versatility and comfort of a family hauler while delivering unparalleled fuel economy. This larger version of the quintessential hybrid vehicle fulfills its mission: a more versatile hybrid than the already useful Prius Liftback.

Prices are manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) at time of publication and do not include destination charges, taxes or licensing.


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2012 Toyota Prius v Review
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  • Anonymous

    “The Prius V is a segment-buster that has been difficult to describe by consumers in Toyota research.”

    Yea, it’s the segment that is confused… not big enough to carry more people and not more fuel efficient than the current Prius. The only benefit is extra cargo room which the current Prius also has plenty of. If not enough, there is always the roof rack option.

    I predict this will be a failure unless more seats (not more cargo room) can be squeezed out of this car.

  • wooac

    No third row of seats?

  • Craig

    Toyota left the door WIDE open for the competition to come in with a more minivan like hybrid that can give the same or better mileage.

    They had the chance to really come in with something different, but all you get is an enlarged Prius that still does not really even fit five people!!!

    They had a chance to extend the prius and provide a third row, or at the very minimum they could’a , would’a, should’a extended the roofline on this Prius V back another 6″-12″ (which would get better fuel mileage and provide even more space.

  • Yegor

    I think it will sell in huge numbers, like 10’000 per month. Yeah it is not a minivan but mid-size 5-seat market is huge (around 20%) so there are plenty of potential buyers.

  • Charles

    “But the Prius V’s raison d’etre is more interior space.”

    I would refine that just a bit and say cargo space. The current Prius is a five passenger car just like the V. The V maybe a bit more comfortable with three in the back, but I still bet no adult wants to be the third person. So does anybody know the V’s cargo dimensions?

    If the Prius V can match my 2004 Focus wagon’s cargo length and height it may well be my next car. Some stuff I squeeze into the Focus touches the roof, so a little more height would be welcomed.

    If my car keeps running well, I will wait and see how the V compares to the Ford C-Max hybrids. The one that uses the least fuel for my normal driving and meets my cargo needs will be my next car (assuming I can afford it). No extra credit for going beyond my cargo needs.

  • Yegor

    I just hate the design – from the side it looks ugly – it is a wagon but rear side window is cut like it is a hatchback so it is asymmetric and plain wacky – I hate it.
    Well, Honda CR-V has the same problem but people still buy it.

  • FamilyGuy

    Looks like a wagon to me. Why are people confused about that? And had it been six years ago when I purchased my Subaru, I would have considered it. But now, with 2 kids and on the verge of starting to haul around some of their friends, seating 4 (I agree with Craig, seating 5 is a joke) just isn’t going to cut it.

    I really thought that the Prius V was going to be a Mazda5-like hybrid. No third row, not a chance.

    Even the Ford C-Max isn’t a hyrbrid, but that one will seat 6.

    The Ford C-Max versions that will run with electricity only seat 4 (don’t tell me 5, show me 5 car seats and I’ll believe you).

    All of these cars/wagons/hatchbacks/crossovers, whichever you choose to call it, are close, but still leave me wanting.

  • Anonymous

    “European Prius V Can Fit Seven People”??

    Sigh. Is Toyota playing a joke to those who want 5+ seats?

  • Anonymous

    seating: fail
    fuel economy: fail
    price: likely will cost a premium – fail
    prius image: ruined

    this car is opposite of everything that made the original prius irresistible. what was toyota thinking?

  • 55mpg

    I totally agree with the message that Anonymous has posted. In every category Prius V is a failure compared to the current Prius. And I wonder how the mileage is so low, when they are using the same power train.

  • Nomo

    Sounds pretty good to me! No more back window bar, better integration of media, better dashboard, more room for hauling stuff. I for one can hardly wait! Looks like they are eliminating most of the current negatives that have made me hold back, waiting and hoping for genuine improvements! Great! I’ll be near the front of the line!

  • thevgtech

    I am currently running a 1997 Escort wagon into the ground (340000km’s/212500 miles). The current Prius has too little cargo area for my needs. If the V has at least the same cargo length and width as the Escort, it will be my next car. That is, it will be next car if the premium over the current Prius is kept to a minimum and the competition doesn’t look like it will bring something better within 6 months after the V’s debut. Tradespeople and salesreps rejoice!

  • Shines

    I agree with Yegor that it will sell well. As far as its looks. I don’t know what most of you are looking at. It looks beautiful to me. Considering it is a wagon, it has nice sleek lines. The aerodynamics make it look clean and well proportioned. It doesn’t have the split rear window. It does not have the overly wedged shaped of the current Prius. What small SUV offers the 5th passenger as much comfort as the other 4?- None really. Seating for 7 – and keeping the fuel economy above 40 MPG – not. At least not yet. Sure a six or seven passenger hybrid will be a success whenever one is produced. In the mean time I think the Prius V will do fine for what it is – a 5 passenger wagon (that gets over 40 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway).

  • Pat

    I think the current Prius will be under power if carryies 7 passagers. The camry hybrid pwr train will be the choice for a 7 seater! I won’t be surprise to see Toyota put the Camery hybrid pwr train into the Verza and Join the Prius line up.

    By the way I have been driving the Camry hybrid for almost 4 years and I enjoy every minute of it. It has all the horse power I need to drive in the city and out on the highway.

  • Anonymous

    if we look at prius 5 vs prius 3 and compare it to matrix vs corolla sales figures (it’s about 1 to 2 ratio), it is reasonable to deduce prius 5 would sell about half of prius 3 volumes.

    however, considering matrix is significantly more room than corolla and it is a hatchback design, there is probably more demand for the matrix due to significant features not covered by corolla. prius 5 on the other hand, is very similar to prius 3, which i suspect will draw very low number of buyers unless the price is almost identical.

  • Nelson Lu

    The key for it is to see how it stacks up against the C-Max Hybrid. According to Ford, the C-Max Hybrid will have higher mileage than the Fusion Hybrid — which means that it will also have higher mileage than the Prius V, too. So let’s see which one can provide more utility.

  • Charles

    Nelson Lu, Ford has said the C-Max Hybrid will beat the Fusion Hybrid, but if it only by 1 MPG it would tie the Prius V. I do think the C-Max will beat the Prius V by 2 or 3 MPG (see the following for why).

    By looking at the specifications for the Prius V from Toyota and for the European C-Max (the one that the hybrid is based on, not the Grand C-Max with seating for 7 and sliding doors) from Ford, I think the Prius V will have a longer length, but be shorter in height. I think that will hold true for the cargo area as well as the overall car. The European C-Max basically matches my 2004 Focus wagon in cargo area, except that it is almost 2 inches (5cm) taller. Without knowing where the batteries are in the C-Max, it is impossible to know for sure about the cargo area dimensions. I have not been able to find cargo area dimensions for the Prius V, so my guess is from looking at the images and knowing the overall length of the car.

    Because the Prius V is coming out first, Ford has the advantage of knowing their target’s EPA’s MPGs. Being taller the C-Max may have a disadvantage in drag. Using Li ion batteries should give the C-Max a bit of a weight advantage and a bit faster current delivery. The non-hybrid C-Max is about 200 pounds lighter than the non-hybrid Fusion. Assuming the non-battery hybrid systems add the same weight to each car, and the Li ion battery saves another 100 pounds, the 300 pounds could mean up to 6% better MPG (according to the EPA). That would translate to 43.5 and 38.2 MPGs for the C-Max Hybrid. I am guessing that Ford will target 45/38 for the C-Max hybrid. I think Ford will get there because they can use more current from the Li Ion batteries and do a bit more tuning of the newer 2.0L vs 2.5L ICE.

    So if I am correct about the cargo area and the MPGs, and the cost of the C-Max Hybrid and Prius V are the same, which would you buy?

  • Anonymous

    Geneva 2011:
    “Prius+, the first full hybrid ‘seven-seater’ in Europe,
    Prius+ features the first lithium-ion battery to be incorporated within a non-plug-in Toyota full hybrid”

    From the exterior pictures, it looks like the Prius+ in Europe is the Prius V in the U.S.

    Q: Why no seven seater for America?
    Q: Why no lithium battery for America?

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous says:
    “Q: Why no seven seater for America?
    Q: Why no lithium battery for America?”

    maybe europe is being used as guinea pigs 🙂

  • Anonymous

    I’d luv toyota to use me to experiment its euro bound 7 seater Prius with lithium battery in america.

    Too bad, they are just not listening.

  • anonymous

    This is the wagon I’ve been waiting for! The Corolla wagon was discontinued in the early 90’s, much to my dismay, and I’ve been urging Toyota to bring back a small wagon. SUV’s are a poor substitute for the station wagons, which were quite sufficient.
    What a bonus to have hybrid advantage!! Hope it isn’t priced
    too high.

  • Smiley

    Prisu V will go on sale in Japan from April with a family-friendly 3rd row seating, make possible by the small space needed for the lithium-based battery available in Japanese market.


    I have been a mini van fan for years- I have never had the rear seats up in any of them that I can recall.. I buy them because they are comfortable and because I can use them to schlep the stuff that I can’t get into other cars.

    The c-max and the prius v will be great for people who want plenty of gas mileage but who routinely have to carry a large volume of cargo.

    I now own a standard prius- and miss the minivan sometimes. My wife’s lease is up this summer and she will buy the Prius V. Great for vacations and moving furniture- it has as much cargo space as her current Ford Edge- which gets 16mpg.

    This car will be perfect for SUV people who want better mileage but who can’t do without serious cargo space.

    Perfect car for a vacation for two couples for example- with golf clubs etc.

  • Uncle Bob

    I think the new, enlarged cargo area is great. It will enable me to get rid of my gas-eating SUV which is important to me because I foresee $5/gal gas later this year

  • Rusties

    I got my Previa for that

  • Anonymous

    From NYT: ‘ The new Toyota Prius V, a wagon version of the Japanese automaker’s popular hybrid, will go on sale in the United States in late summer or early fall with two rows of seats, accommodations for five and a nickel-metal-hydride battery pack similar to that on the current car. Meanwhile, because of a more compact lithium-ion battery, European and Japanese buyers will be offered a version with three rows of seats. […]

    “We don’t see a large market demand in the United States for the three-row version,” said John Hanson, a Toyota spokesman, in a phone interview. “It’s not a roomy third row, although that layout in a compact package is very popular in Europe and Japan. The two-row version combines very roomy accommodations with a large cargo area,” he added. […]

    Automotive News, an industry newsletter and Web site, reported that European consumers were offered only the three-row Prius wagon. ‘

  • Rusties

    Kids,kids,kids…need to know to know how to define build quality.
    sorry kids too young to understand, you cant compare any ford product to Toyota. Rustproofing for 25years, trust me.

  • Bea

    Very excited about this new Prius! Have a very old Honda Accord station wagon that gets 32 mpg and one of the big issues with replacing it is that there is no wagon on the market that compares mpg wise. We have looked at the current Prius and it is just way to small to be practical for us. The new Prius V is exactly what we have been waiting for and I honestly think it is going to sell very, very well.

  • B

    I’m interested in the new V, as having 2 young kids you are always carting around way more stuff than you would think. The current Prius just does not seem to have enough space for what I need.

    My biggest issue now is – is this release going to be delayed significantly due to the nuke issues in Japan? Last word I heard a month or two, so mid-late summer perhaps?

  • Anonymous

    When will they build a hybrid Minivan? This is what is needed. Top management needs to be replaced if they cannot understand this.

  • SMcGee

    Love this! I just bought a Matrix, and will be keeping it clean as a whistle so that I can trade it against a Prius V in a couple of years – I want to wait out the inevitable early-adopter premium price. But it’s a perfect configuration for me – single driver, no kids, but need lots of cargo space on a regular basis. My partner drives a Prius now, and I love it, just can’t get the dog crates in for getting to dog shows – the Prius V will solve that….


  • Insight lover

    I drive a 2011 Insight now, which I love, but with the inevitable addition of baby #3, I am looking at fuel efficient 7-seaters and am finding none. I was super excited about the C-Max but the Hybrid will seat only 5. One row doesn’t do it for 3 car seats. And I like driving a small car. I don’t want one that has more utility than I need: AWD, movie screens, gigantic, etc. If this had a third row, it would be my next choice without a doubt. The third row in most cars is really only comfortable for kids, anyway. This in a 7-seater would really have a market here for families that want fuel-effieceincy without the bulk (or gas bill) of the 7-seaters currently on the market.

  • Divaru

    I have a Toyota Sienna and would love a Hybrid of it!! Come on Toyota, we need a Hybrid Sienna here in America NOW!

  • Townda

    This looks like the love child of a Prius and the RAV4. I’d be more interested the Prius V it if Toyota would toughen up body integrity on ALL its cars. How about titanium? And an interior that has some luxury to it. Wood paneling, solid leather without the air holes, a Bose sound system, thicker carpet and little to no road noise would be good places to start. Best of all a hydrogen/solar engine.

  • Cathy

    I’m in the UK, we pay 8.60 per gallon NOW. ANY car which user less fuel and has enough cargo
    space has got to be good news. I hope the new Prius fits that bill.

  • Cathy

    I’m in the UK, we pay 8.60 per gallon NOW. ANY car which user less fuel and has enough cargo
    space has got to be good news. I hope the new Prius fits that bill.

  • Ashton

    This car sounds perfect for me and my husband. He’s just starting travel nursing, so we need a car for two people with great fuel economy since we’ll be moving to a new state every 3 months. We’ll also need a car that will fit our stuff, not a ton of stuff, but more than just a trip to the grocery. Sounds just like what we need to me.

  • KateMac

    I have a 2004 prius and I love my car, hands down the best vehicle investment I have probably ever made. Last week I took it on a 1700 mile trip around upstate New York camping in various locations. The gas mileage was fantastic as always ( I now have 151,000 miles on the car) but I would have loved the extra room that the V offers. I foresee purchasing a new Prius in the fall or early next year, and I am very interested in what the V offers. Between the camping, kayaking, snow sports, and rock climbing gear I could stand a little extra trunk room not to mention a car that is a little higher off the ground.

  • Anonymous v

    I’m amazed at what I think have been some rather foolish coments regarding this not-yet-released vehicle. I drove a “regular” Prius rented for a 1000 mile round trip a couple of years ago. The car was pretty nice on the highway (where I was often traveling around 85 MPH), and I got 45.8 MPG per the onboard computer.

    That aside, my only “complaints” about that Prius were the smaller interior (I currently drive a Camry), the electronic shifting mechanism, and the lack of view from the poor excuse for a rear window. Regarding “complaint” #1, that would also apply, to some degree, to a vehicle like the Honda Civic. But, if I were to perhaps drive the Prius, or a vehicle like the Civic, on an every day basis, that “complaint” might disappear as I became more used to the vehicle. And I even might become used to that electronic shifter, although definitely not the current Prius rear window.

    Relative to the above, I can certainly see that a Prius with some more passenger and cargo room, and what maybe is a vastly improved rear view, WOULD be a HUGE advantage over the current Prius. And would be worth some more bucks. Further, the approximate 40/40 MPG would certainly make it a viable competitor to mid-size sedans, station wagons and small SUVs (except in regard to 4WD). So there IS a market for this vehicle, and I might be in that market once it’s out and I test drive it.

    Sometimes it’s better to THINK before you write. Just because you may not be interested in a particular vehicle doesn’t mean that others aren’t, or that such a niche doesn’t exist for that vehicle. And the niche here is pretty evident and simple: more room than the current Prius while still returning great (albeit lower than the smaller Prius) gas mileage!

  • Pete

    Just what our family is looking for … great timing for this design upgrade Toyota! A Prius with more cargo space and some extra adjustment room for the rear seat passengers. Perfect!!!

    Why do we care? Because with the global economy going into the toilet – we believe that Americans could be paying $5/gal or $6/gal for gasoline in the not-too-distant future. Our family just can’t afford to have two large cars (or trucks) any more. But we still need to run around the teenagers and kids, do the shopping, and pick up stiff from the hardware store. The Prius V will work for us.

    The only thing I wish Toyota had done was to slightly upgrade the horsepower in this vehicle. Maybe 150 hp instead of 134 hp.

    Pete, California

  • TMG Maker

    Sorry but not having 7 seats is a deal breaker for me.

  • CJ

    3rd row seat, with at least 2 kid size seats are required to call it a minivan.

  • Jayhawk

    Toyota has already released the 7 seat version in Japan & Europe (or so it was planned before the tsunami.)

  • Jayhawk

    Toyota has already released the 7 seat version in Japan & Europe (or so it was planned before the tsunami.)

  • Anonymous

    I have a Toyota Matrix and love it! I am sad that the Matrix has been discontinued. The Prius V seems to be a hybrid Matrix and will meet the demands of other customers who love the Matrix.

  • david colegrove

    What the hell, Toyota? I’ve been waiting for 6 years now and I will not buy from them until they make a hybrid 7 passenger minivan! Come on, Nissan, somebody…even GM!

  • Joe Thomas

    I have a 2006 Prius and it has 115,000 miles. I average approximaely 47-51 mpg.Usually we travel with tow otheer people and it seems to be very compfortable. I hae had people comment that it rides and drives like a larger car. If this one ever wears out I would like one just like ti. My total reparis consist of one set of tires at 100,00 miles and a headlight .
    You cannot improve on perfection.

  • Anonymous

    I just bought a Prius V tonight, and can’t wait to pick it up
    tomorrow. It’s perfect for my husband and myself. No kids. Just a dog, and a need for room to put lots of things in the back. I think
    it will fit the bill for a lot of people like us.

  • anonymous

    im doing a project in school to find out witch is more expensive in the long, a prius v or a ford escape. the ford escape is much cheaper to begin with and runs longer. in the life of a prius it will never become less expansive than some SUV’s even though its mpg is great getting an SUV is smarter for price not but not the enviroment. just a thought

  • Greg G

    This is grossly overpriced for the average shrinking middle class American family. 30k plus for an entry level wagon? You have to be kidding me toyota. This is a car for wealthy suburbanites who don’t care if their monthl car expenses top $500. id take a 2 or 3 year old venza any day. it gets about 25mpg but im saving 10,000 dollars right out of the gate. It would take more than a decade of driving 20000 miles a year to save that money in gas, and all the while you will have an underpowered, still relatively cramped, lighter, less safe car in the process. This is just another way for yuppies to show off their green credentials, when in fact there is not a dime to be saved here. This car is a good 4,000 overpriced for today economic climate.

  • GPMikeS

    Wrong on all counts, in my opinion. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

    This car will probably keep me in the Toyota family. I will trade up from my 2008 RAV4, probably early next year. The Prius V wagon appears to offer me everything I use my RAV4 for, but at about half the fuel costs. Not so the earlier Prius models, which are significantly smaller inside.

    I’ll wait and see how I like the look and feel of the Prius V, of course, and how the actual user reviews come down, but it appears to me that Toyota has hit a homerun with this extension of the Prius technology to the station wagon market. On paper, this looks like a better product (for my family needs) than the bigger, very attractive Venza Wagon — which is more expensive, both to buy AND ESPECIALLY to operate.

  • GPMikeS

    Wrong on all counts, in my opinion. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

    This car will probably keep me in the Toyota family. I will trade up from my 2008 RAV4, probably early next year. The Prius V wagon appears to offer me everything I use my RAV4 for, but at about half the fuel costs. Not so the earlier Prius models, which are significantly smaller inside.

    I’ll wait and see how I like the look and feel of the Prius V, of course, and how the actual user reviews come down, but it appears to me that Toyota has hit a homerun with this extension of the Prius technology to the station wagon market. On paper, this looks like a better product (for my family needs) than the bigger, very attractive Venza Wagon — which is more expensive, both to buy AND ESPECIALLY to operate.

  • bigjon

    Prius V can,or can not be used to tow? If not now when?

  • Anon 2

    Because Europe, unlike America, is not completely owned and run by Big Oil!

  • anon2

    Because Europe, unlike America, is not owned and run by Big Oil.

  • Anonymous

    I see a lot of people predicting failure because it doesn’t carry more people than the other Prius’. Just because it doesn’t fit YOUR need, doesn’t mean it won’t fit A need.

    I’m severely headroom challenged and also need to fit a car seat behind me with the seat all the way back. So I’m interested in something that hauls LARGER people not more. More cargo is good too. I’m eager to sit in one.

  • anon2

    The Prius V is just like the Matrix of 2004, but a little larger, and a hybrid. I have a 2004 Matrix, and it looks the same, feels bigger, and the brochure says it’s bigger. Gas mileage of course is better (44/40 vs 28/32). We were looking to move from the Matrix to a Rav4, but now we are considering the Prius V. The current Matrix is just too small.

  • Dave Karney

    What people are failing to realize is that due to the tsunami, Japan is still being bombarded with radiation. I’d suggest bringing a geiger counter to the dealership before buying any car from Japan.


    Amen. I have a 2000 Sienna with approx. 215,000 miles on it. I have had minivans since 1980. I need it because of my back problems. I cannot sit comfortably in a sedan style vehicle. At times we need to haul wheel chairs and walkers. Will not fit easily and be easy to get in and out of back. I have been waiting for the hybrid minivan for over 3 years. It has been in Japan for that long. Not right at all.

  • JC

    I test drove both the “regular” Prius and the Prius V and found the V to be a little roomier. As a “large man” the Prius V would work for me. The regular Prius would not. This may sound silly, but my chief complaint with the Prius V (even at the top “five” trim level) was the lack of power seats. If my wife and I are both going to use this car, we don’t want to be constantly having to manually adjust the driver’s seat.

  • Jack Smith

    Dave Karney I think you failed to think before you posted. Shut your face….

  • jim priusv5

    bought the v a few weeks ago. finally being more responsible from the 99 suburban bought 12 yrs ago. good sized and am quite happy. as far as amenities, it was a weight issue for toyota to get a bigger car yet maintain a satisfactory mpg. thus no electric motor to adjust seats. also, even though it is only two rows, our big american butts would never have fit in the 3rd row as sold outside the US. but the feel is much like a crossover. especially with the blind spot that all crossover have on the back passenger side. for best price i hily recommend true car.com. couldn’t beleive it works so well i was able to get the local dealer to pretty much match it or lose the sale.

  • SK Haddock

    We just bought a 2010 Prius V yesterday to replace my 2001 Ford Explorer Sport Trac that has 185,000 miles and a failing transmission. We are delighted with our purchase and are now a 2 Prius family. Note: upgrade to leather from a base model, and you can keep it under $30k. If you get factory leather it comes with heated seats and a premium package that will just cost you unnecessary $$. This Prius is more roomy and has excellent cargo potential – another brilliant product from Toyota.

  • concrete dovetail

    Actually, the entry price is 26400, not 30K+, so, actually, it’s not 4000 overpriced, at least in your opinion.

  • Art

    “What the hell, Toyota? I’ve been waiting for 6 years now and I will not buy from them until they make a hybrid 7 passenger minivan! Come on, Nissan, somebody…even GM”

    it is not Toyota it is your federal government.
    V is not a van.
    the hybrid version of the real van (Sienna) has been out for many years – it is called Estima look it up. Oh yeah it is not avail in N america. Why – you have to figure out yourself…

  • Hans Heiduck

    Does the Prius V offer “Lane Departure Control” with the Advanced Technology Package?

  • Hans Heiduck

    I thought the Prius V is new for 2012…

  • Viktor from Kharkov

    This s oine of the models you can’t purchase in Ukraine or Russia, and I honestly don’t understad why. Its price is moderate and the model is made for a working class.

  • Anonymous

    Our Yellow cab has plenty of crash videos from dashboard cameras of taxis owned by privat drivers. Broken legs, arms, heads… Hybrid vehicles save gas not lifes! NY taxi has canceled “hybrid only law”, ges why? You pay this way or another.

  • Mr. K.

    I just got one of these..sold a Titan P/U…as I was spending $100.00 every 8-10 days…and this car gives me (still), some options to move ‘treasures’,… but ALSO causes me to ‘cut-back’ some as well..

    Probably at this stage of my life…’a-good’thing’…

    I’ll start to have more room in the garage..!!

    We like the car… I think the “EV” button is a waste of time….and power is a LOT less than my truck….it takes alittle getting used to..but we’re happy.

  • Anon

    My husband is tall, and the regular Prius just did not cut it for head room. We did not want a mini van, just a little more room with great mileage. We tried some of Ford’s hybrids, but the head room was just not there

  • Scooter

    The original Prius is a great car, but if a person is large and over 6 feet tall, it is like they become a pretzel to fit into it. We bought a Prius V and it works perfect. He can fit in it and with extra room. He can even stretch out his long legs. He enjoys the comfort and economy.

  • logan HIND

    Just tested the Prius yesterday sticker on it said 71 mpg.
    Read many reports saying 40 to 43 mpg can anyone help me to find out what right.

  • anna

    We have two big dogs that we could not have transported in previous Prius models. Plus, I could actually see getting a bike into the back of the Prius V. Or a bunch of shrubs from the garden center. I am seriously thinking of buying this car.

  • tapra1

    or wagon on the market. The 134-horsepower drivetrain—with a 1.8-liter gas engine, electric motor and nickel metal hydride battery pack—for the Prius V is nearly identical to the one used in the current Prius model. Latest News

  • Kris Knight

    Please explain…….somebody……..is the radiation issue in new Prius cars something that is showing up with Geiger counter readings? I do not think this is an empty concern, unless I”m missing something here…….

  • Kris Knight

    Please explain…….somebody……..is the radiation issue in new Prius cars something that is showing up with Geiger counter readings? I do not think this is an empty concern, unless I”m missing something here…….

  • Carol Webb

    I purchased a 2011 Prius IV last October 2011 and I love it with the exception of the low 15″ wheels – too low to the ground – occasionally bottoms out. The 2011 Prius V comes with 17″ wheels but my husband is tall and didn’t fit comfortably in it.

  • Carol Webb

    I have a 2011 Prius IV with nav system and I consistently get 43 to 45 mpg no matter how I drive. This is great since I live in a hilly area. This is based on fuel usage and mileage driven – not just dash readings which are at times significantly higher.

  • hybridhybrid

    i’m pretty sure some guys in toyota prius department thought of this:

    let’s take off that 1.8 HSD, slot in the new camry HSD (that should give enough kick). then stop using elongated prius platform, let’s use the sienna platform, take away the nimh batt and use the lithium batt just as the jap prius alpha is using, and make it a 7 seater. voila! we have a hybrid MPV that will slaughter all other MPV in the world @ $30k. what a brilliant idea!

    but wait… if we do that, then the highlander hybrid and sienna will be eating dust right?… right? hmm… let’s stick with the same plan and make this a lame 5 seater wagon.

    well done toyota for saving the ugly highlander and sienna ass. you should have just scrap that 2 silly junks and produce a prius MPV to replace both of them.

  • charlie

    they build a third row in the overseas models, just not in the US. Due to pricing with the Lithium Batt. they could not put in the US market So they had to go with slightly bigger Nickel Cad and lost the third row. as far as building bigger yes they could have but not get the great MPG it gets now

  • jake

    we bought the prius v a week ago and love it. I drive about 100 miles a day total to and from work…so good mpg was a must. at the same time i am 6’4 and my family members are both over 5’8, we need the room that most small cars dont offer. the cargo area is big enough to fit a couple suit cases and or large duffels for road trips. No complaints here at all!

  • YegorT

    I was close with my 10,000 per month prediction – Toyota sold 5,000 Prius V last month and sales continue to grow.

  • MrJohnCool

    They weren’t thinking but at least they are keeping it economically sound by higher mileage than most other vehicles that only get half the gas milage even for highway miles.

  • systemBuilder

    If you buy some lightweight backpacking equipment (stove, tent, maybe a soft-sided cooler), this becomes to GO-to car for ALL family activities, including car camping! And you can put Rover in the cargo area, strap 2 jerry cans on the back, and escape the Zombie Apocalypse! What’s not to love about this car???

  • CentienT

    This is the car we wanted 2 years ago. We’ll be hopping into a v after our current lease expires in 2014.

  • Flowers4u

    I own a florist and I own Honda odyssey for 7 years at 270,000 miles. I have been waiting for a hybrid van/mini van for ages and wonder why nobody build one? The main reason you buying the hybrid is to save gas and if they want to build a hybrid van, the difference is gas saving is not much because of the size. My Honda now average 14mpg and it’s time for me to move on. The prius v is a perfect car for my business and my personal life. I can use it to deliver flowers and drive my kid to school with good millage. Gas will continue to rise and this is a car for the future. By the way the Japanese model have 7 seat but I guest the USA model have only 5 seat because we are so much bigger and heavier…..:-)

  • Flowers4u

    the main reason why people buy hybrid is to save gas. If they build a hybrid van and the different in gas saving with the gasoline van is not much then nobody will buy the hybrid van. Why do you want to pay more for hybrid and only save 8 to 10mpg. The van is heavier therefore the hybrid engine won’t save that much compare to the gasoline engine. The Prius V is about 240lbs heavier than the prius that’s why its only 44mpg instead of 50mpg.

  • Evan

    Hi All,

    I live in Ebisu, Tokyo and I can tell you that there is no radiation here. Toyota builds the Prius in Aichi-ken (Toyota-shi) and that is even further from Miyagi-ken/Fukushima/Sendai, which is where the earthquake/tsunami happened.

    Gosh, sometimes I really wonder where all you paranoid folks get your news and/or ideas. I can tell that most of you have never spent any real time out in the world, but that certainly does not stop you from speaking with such authoritative voices. I suppose that maybe it is that FOX network I hear about.

    In any event, I am sure the car is fine and you can leave your geiger counter at home.


  • Nath

    “c-max delivers more room, better fuel economy and cheaper sticker price”… Yes, Ford never promises what they can’t deliver… Pffffffft!! Give me a break, Ford will never match Toyo in build quality, fit and finish and lets not forget there “engineered absolecence” of the 80s and 90s when ford produced absolute CRAP…… and people afraid of radiation!!! You gotta be joking,,, there should be an IQ requirement for common sense to own a computer…..Duh!!

  • Wolfchen

    “I can tell that most of you have never spent any real time out in the world, but that certainly does not stop you from speaking with such authoritative voices. I suppose that maybe it is that FOX network I hear about.”

    Still laughing…love the observation about the certitude of ignorance that comes from the Tea-Bagger Fox news types.

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  • Greg D

    I never comment on these stupid things, but in this case I had to.

    I have 2 teenage children and the need for significant cargo space. I’ve driven a RAV4 for over 7 years and changing to the Prius V allows me to fit as much cargo at nearly 2x the MPG compared to my previous car. I’m routinely averaging better than 43MPG.

    So, for me, or many like me it’s a complete no-brainer. Why spend a ton more money for a larger hybrid vehicle if this does the job?

    Honestly, I’m quite weary of all those who feel like you need 3 rows to fit 3 kids. That’s complete rubbish. Also, if you find it uncomfortable or too small, I suggest a weight loss program.

    This vehicle will make sense for a lot of people!

  • Jake

    Totally agree, glad to see I am not the only one who thought that 🙂

  • Darrell Hartman

    I like the V. The space is perfect for our needs, and it has handled two and three people comfortably in the back seat. And we’ve been averaging just over 46 mpg.

  • Al Bunzel

    I reckon they should make all the Prius cars
    * plug in hybrids;
    * put bigger battery packs in them to extend the EV only range – anything above 100 miles EV only range seems to overcome a lot of psychological barriers;
    * put a smaller gas engine in it and a more powerful Electric Motor – Electric Motors have recently become smaller, lighter and more powerful;
    * use carbon fiber body panels to reduce weight;

    If they implement the above suggestions, it will make the Prius a very attractive car.

  • Anonymous

    I realize that this car hasn’t been around very long, but does anyone have any comments about its reliability? I do not change cars often (my current car is 11 years old). I am considering purchasing this car if it is relatively low maintenance. Thank you.

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  • swimbikerun

    Just bought ours last night. Prius v Five in Clear Sky Metallic. We loved the car so much we went for a test drive and drove it home. The interior is nicely designed, and everything has it’s place. We like the design of the exterior as well. It drives very nicely, and much better than our 07 Civic Hybrid. Very nice car overall, and so far, so good.

  • TJW

    I have to agree. However, I think most of the “radiation” concerns people have had about hybrids comes from the high ElectroMagnetic Fields they induce. There is no evidence to support the idea of EMF causing cancer. MRIs have been in use for a long time now and no one who works closely with them has developed cancer as a result and they produce VERY powerful EM fields. I would not be at all surprised if Fox or other ultraconservative outlets and/or oil companies are the ones continuing to perpetuate these rumors. If it was a problem, you can bet the FDA would be all over it and I doubt everyone and their brother would be jumping on the hybrid bandwagon.

    My wife and I are about to buy a V for her and our new baby. I’m a pediatrician and you can bet I wouldn’t put my wife and child in one if I didn’t thoroughly research the safety profile.

  • swimbikerun

    My wife and I test drove the Prius V Five last Thursday, and we were extremely impressed with the vehicle. We went to the dealer to do a test drive because we had other cars in mind, such as the C-Max and TSX Wagon. But after a 20 minute test drive, we were sold and bought the car home that night. For folks that are concerned about “does it have enough room?” Let me tell you this, I am a triathlete, and I was able to fit my size 58 tri bike in the rear by folding down the rear seats without taking off the front wheel. With the seat up, we were able to put our Chow Chow in the cargo area to take her to her monthly bath. I am 6’3″, and usually there isn’t much leg room behind me due to my seat being so far back(both in my 05 Camry and 07 Civic Hybrid). With the Prius, the amount of leg room behind the driver is enough to fit another me back there. In power mode, the car does not drive like a hybrid at all, and that is a good thing when you need the power to merge or pass. I can write on and on about this car because we are simply impressed. I think this is a winning combination in terms of performance, fuel efficiency, and size. And almost forgot…owning the car for four days with about 250 miles worth of driving, we are averaging 40 mpg:)

  • Elizabeth H.

    Only 1 front seat cup holder? And I didn’t see ANY cup holders in the back seat at all. For a one car family, this is un workable.

  • Gina

    You make a really good point. I test drove both vehicles and your right about the venza having more power and it is a heavier and I believe therefore safer vehicle. It does have better pick up also. The prius V is really cool and all the bells and whistles make it super nice to have a new car. But the cash factor of a pre-owned Venza and that fact that it looks like you can put a type 2 or 3 hitch on it to tow stuff like a mobility scooter appeals to me. I have never owned a Toyota before, how are the pre-owned vehicle warrenties???

  • Rich08

    Test drove the Prius v on Saturday. I like the added cargo room it has over our Rogue and the MPG is certainly a plus. I’m holding off making a decision to purchase until I have a chance to test drive the Ford c-max. The c-max has more to offer for the money but believe it will fall very short in the cargo space area. One thing I do like about the c-max is that the dealers are willing to come off the MSRP where as the Toyota dealers are not. I was seriously considering purchasing the Prius v I test drove but it came down to the fact that I’ll never pay MSRP for a new vehicle regardless of the popularity. If the c-max doesn’t work out I’ll wait to purchase a used Prius v.

  • RBT

    Here we are almost a year after introduction. The delers all have the original Prius in stock but can’t seem to keep a V on the lot.

    For the Prius Purists there is still the unmatched Prius. For those of us with the need for a skoash-more room there is the V. Our friends who ride with us on our monthly 300 mile+ weekend trips love the back seats. We love the comfort and poor (43+) mpg.

    In real terms we spend an average $26 for gas vs $46 on our trips compared to the next closest vehicle interior space competetor.
    (43mpg vs 24mpg )

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  • J. How

    Three cup holders in the front. One you can see clearly and one pulls out from the bottom of the consol. The third on the passenger side. Several in the rear too.

  • Tom

    I was looking for a wagon to replace my Focus ZTW wagon with over 218K miles. I didn’t even know there was a Prius wagon. I saw one in a parking lot. I’ve already had a mountain bike in the back. The front seat also folds down (didn’t need that for the bike). I’m averaging 43.5 after 1200 miles.

    There are also cup holders molded in the door bins.

    Has anybody put a roof rack on?

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  • jasee mantak

    We didn’t exactly feel the claimed benefit during our week with the v, but this version of the Prius maintained the overall driving profile of its predecessor: comfortable, somewhat noisy and easy to drive. text spy

  • Smartee

    Still struggling for Pirus v or not. Since I am driving almost 100 km everyday, Pirus V should be able to save a lot on gas but I concern in a long run, if it costs a lot for the maintainence???? I have check that not all the body-shops outside know how to repair the hybrid vehicle.

  • charlie in seattle

    We just test drove the V right after test driving the C Max. I have a 2001 Prius and am a steadfastly loyal Toyota guy. In just about every way< the C Max seemed better. I was disappointed. We did not buy either, but if we had to, I think we would go C Max

  • Smartee

    Thks for your comment, I’m from Canada, it seems that the price for Pirus is better than the Ford. But I still concern the maintainence upkeep.

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  • shannon hall

    We just bought the prius v because we were tired of throwing money away to keep driving a 19mpg minivan. The catch was that it fit 5 people comfortably. Our 3 children have plenty of room in the backseat, even with one in a booster seat. And the oldest child is 6’2″. Leg room is truly amazing. Just sayin’, it is possible to comfortably seat 5 people in this car. Maybe not 5 large adults but for adults and children, it’s perfect.