Toyota has long been known for its hybrid vehicles. More specifically, the Prius. The Prius is actually a “status symbol” in Hollywood.
The press car that was delivered to my office was the Prius v, more “station-wagon-like” than the traditional four door hatchback version. The Prius v comes standard with the hybrid Synergy Drive System, 1.8L DOHC 16V VVT-I 4-Cylinder Engine with three power modes, EV/ECO and power. It is also equipped with some of the most common, expected convenience and safety features such as ABS braking system, driver/passenger and side mount airbags and smart key technology.
Also standard and unexpected are navigation, backup camera, SXM Radio and push to start ignition. These luxuries are apparently no longer just for luxury vehicles. However, carpeted floor mats and cargo net are optional in the “Preferred Accessory Package” with a $343 price tag. With all of the basics and unexpected luxury’s and “optional” equipment, the MSRP comes in at $28,618 which includes the $760 delivery charge.
That brings the Prius v in right around the national average sedan sales price of $30,000. This should be an interesting week. Would I prefer an average fuel economy of 42 mpg combined or the power and performance of a normally aspirated, traditional 4 or 6 cylinder sedan? The available cargo space is already a “feather in the cap” for the Prius v.
Driving in ECO mode proves to be short-lived; though economical, very uninspiring and cause for too much pre-planning on takeoff. Power mode is a step in the right direction and the synergy drive system launches the 4 cylinder engine through power range efficiently and effectively.
The transfer of power from electric mode to combustion mode is noticeable, but not intrusive. Toyota has done a good job at improving on some of the 1st generation hybrid technology.
All in all, the 2014 Toyota Prius v, does all of the things it’s designed to do, well. If your daily commute consists of inner city, rush hour traffic and a fuel-efficient, eco-friendly commuter with ample, configurable storage space are a “must have”, then I may have found the vehicle for you.
This car is built for the concrete jungle.
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