The Prius V is the perfect vehicle for those who’ve out grown their Prius….or just about anyone else who’s looking for true 5-passenger + a bunch of stuff + 40+ MPG functionality.

The Pruis V is the biggest Prius in the family….and has been on the roads for a couple of years now.

It looks pretty much like a slightly inflated version of the regular Prius…just an inch wider and under a half-foot longer…but due to its higher roofline, the “V” has ample room for three full-size people in the second row, plus a big 34.3 cu ft to carry their stuff in the back.

That said, it can still fit into the average garage with plenty of room left over for the mower and your recycling.

The Prius V comes with a total 134 HP…coming from a 1.8 liter, regular gas engine + a nickel hydride battery.   Unlike so many hybrid sedans that store the batteries in the trunk, the Prius V stashes their battery under the load floor in such fashion that you really don’t seem to lose any carrying capacity at all.

And as for totin’ those loads, the “V” has the expected rear-seat fold-down options such that you can still carry a passenger back there…along with a bicycle or stroller.   More importantly, the rear seats not only recline, but slide back and forth….giving you about a foot more cargo room in the back when needed….or limo-like legroom for your rear seat passengers.

As for “go”, the Prius V in normal “Eco” default performs pretty much like any hybrid…building speed slowly and keeping you in electric-only mode until you build up a little speed.   But….hit “performance” and you’ll have the gas engine engaged from the get-go….giving you acceleration that can keep up with some of the best of ’em…..and still get you 40+ MPG.    Not bad at all.

The “V” is rated at 44 city and 40 hwy.    We got a right-in-the-middle 42 mpg in our week’s test….usually running in “performance” mode.

And that test was right in the middle of Atlanta’s latest no-go snow.

I was one of the lucky ones….just under 4 hours to get home.   But listening to the radio those four hours and hearing about all the people running out of gas as they just sat on the freeways really drove home the benefits of a hybrid.  As I inched up the road at 7 mph, it was virtually all on electricity….the gas gage barely moved at all.    Much appreciated.

The Prius V comes in three flavors….the “Two”, “Three” and “Five”….each with higher levels of equipment and option availability.

The “Two” starts at $27,540 including transportation, and our test “Five” topped out at $37,411 ….with a $5,650 Tech Package including a dual-panel moonroof, advanced voice recognition, Toyota’s Entune, plus front and rear radar pre-collision warning and more.

So….is it sexy?   Your call.   Do you find limo-like room for five + a bunch of your stuff + 40 mpg “sexy”?

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