2012 Toyota Prius V
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The Prius V is the biggest of the three Prius models….roughly the size of Honda’s CRV, Toyota’s RAV 4, and a host of mid-size sport utes.
As such, it’ll seat five comfortably…with sliding and tilting rear seats that are built for family road trips. The sliding rear seats give you limo-like rear leg room when needed…or slide the seats forward when you need those extra 8 or 10 inches of load space in the rear cargo area.
So what’s the Prius V’s real distinction from most of it’s competitors?
At least that’s what we got in a week’s worth of all kinds of driving…in both “power” and “eco” mode. And that’s right in the middle of their EPA rating of 44 city and 40 highway.
The “V”…like all Prius models…is a hybrid…using battery power + a modest gas engine to get you those big MPG numbers.
The Prius V comes with a 1.8 liter engine plus a battery pack, and is only available with a continuously variable automatic transmission…which you’ll see on more and more models in the coming years. The gearless CVT seems more at home on the Prius V …as it’s “shiftless”…when running on gas…or when running only on battery power.
As for the “Power” and “eco” buttons, most hybrid owners start off trying to set their own personal gas-mileage records…then get tired of the lazy acceleration and switch to the “Power” setting. I agree. Hit the “Power” button and you’ll have a much better performing vehicle…with a negligible hit on the gas mileage.
Prius V models start at $27,320 including transportation…and go up to $30,750 for our top-of-the-line “Five” Model, which included a 6.1” touch-screen, backup cam, 6-speaker XM radio, USB Bluetooth connectivity, the sliding / reclining rear seat, keyless start and a trip computer.
The interior was finished in a two-tone grey vinyl thatToyotabills as being eco-friendly. Our was a grey-on-grey two tone…with the greys so similar that it left me wondering whyToyotabothered with the two-tone at all.
I’d suggest that Toyota spend a little time…and charge a little more money…and dress up the interior of the top-of-the-line Prius V. Brighter colors….leather….sunroof….but hey…that’s just me.
But if you’re looking for a 40+ MPG comfortable 5-seater that won’t cost you a fortune, the Pruis V is going to be real hard to beat. You won’t find 42 mpg just anywhere these days.
The biggest challenge?
Remembering which side of the vehicle the gas goes in between fill-ups!