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You'll Like The 2012 Toyota Prius v If...

Roomier than anything as efficient, and more efficient than anything as roomy, the Prius V is an unbeatable option for buyers seeking the ultimate balance of fuel economy and cargo capacity.

You May Not Like The 2012 Toyota Prius v If...

The 2012 Toyota Prius V’s sophisticated gas-electric hybrid powertrain requires a price premium that can complicate the car’s long-term value equation compared with many of the equally roomy alternatives. If cargo capacity is your key concern, there are more affordable, more powerful options.

What's New

The 2012 Toyota Prius V was the first extension in what’s to become a 4-car Prius family in 2012. This plus-size Prius puts world-beating fuel economy in the hands of those with armfuls of cargo.

Interior Features

When the Prius V was unveiled, we weren’t sure it was big enough to make a difference. But when we finally had the opportunity to open the door and sit inside, we got it. The sliding rear seat delivers more legroom than some luxury sedans, and the cargo area is bigger than that of a Chevy Equinox. The Prius V even feels roomier than the Prius up front, thanks to an open center stack design in place of the cockpit-like layout of the Prius. We also appreciate the Prius V’s abundance of storage nooks.

Exterior Features

The 2012 Toyota Prius V is instantly recognizable as a Prius relative, although the two don’t share any sheet metal. The Prius V Two and Prius V Three ride on 16-inch covered steel wheels, while the Prius V Five rides on 17-inch alloy wheels (there are no "One" or "Four" trim levels in the Prius V lineup). The Prius V Five also features LED headlights and integrated fog lights, and is the only trim to offer the panoramic moonroof, which covers both rows but doesn’t open.

Driving Impressions

Built on the same platform and using the same powertrain, it’s no surprise the Prius V drives a lot like the Prius classic. Larger and a just tad slower, the 2012 Toyota Prius V nevertheless offers plenty of merging power. Its high-speed passing abilities are another matter, but overtaking is the kind of fuel-intensive maneuver that Prius V drivers might be happier to avoid. Heavier than other cars its size, the Prius V is perfectly comfortable on the highway, while responsive steering helps impart a lively feeling around town. The electric-to-gas power transitions and regenerative braking action are smoother and more refined than most hybrids, and while there may be a short adjustment period, it’s hardly a compromise. Overall, the 2012 Toyota Prius V simply drives like the well-built, modestly powered car it is.

Pricing Notes

The 2012 Toyota Prius V sticker price ranges from about $27,000 to around $37,000, with Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Prices reflecting real-world transaction prices of around $1,000 less than the window sticker. The 2012 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI diesel – less efficient but similarly roomy and more fun – starts in the same neighborhood and tops out near $30,000 with a less robust infotainment offering. As for resale value, we expect the 2012 Toyota Prius V to perform above average.

Notable Equipment

At its starting sticker price of $27,160, the 2012 Toyota Prius V includes a robust, 6.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system with backup camera, USB/iPod connectivity and Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity. Other standard-equipment highlights include auto climate control, a sliding and reclining rear seat, plus keyless entry and start.

Notable Options

A fully loaded Prius V can top $37,000 with leather-like SofTex seating, panoramic moonroof, dynamic cruise control and an upgraded infotainment system featuring a 7-inch, high-resolution touchscreen, navigation, JBL audio, and Toyota’s new Entune system. With Entune you can buy movie tickets, reserve a table, listen to Internet radio and find the cheapest gas in the area. A loaded Prius V can also parallel park itself (while the driver mans the brakes).

Favorite Features

EntuneConnect a phone via Bluetooth wireless or USB cable, and Toyota’s Entune system lets you use the vehicle’s controls or even your voice to access features like iHeartRadio and Pandora internet radio, buy movie tickets, make a restaurant reservation, or get stock quotes, sports scores, traffic or weather info. You can even use it to find the cheapest gas in the area.Sliding Rear SeatThe 2012 Toyota Prius V treats backseat drivers and passengers alike to more legroom – and headroom – than plenty of high-dollar luxury cars. Slide the seats forward and the Prius V makes room for an additional six cubic feet of cargo.

Under the Hood

The 2012 Toyota Prius V hybrid is powered by a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine matched with a 60-kilowatt electric motor, sending power to the front wheels through a gearless, continuously variable transmission (CVT). But for a slightly revised CVT to accommodate the added mass, the Prius V’s powertrain is the same that powers the Prius. And in terms of efficiency and refinement, it’s the best hybrid powertrain on the planet. Toyota says compared to the smaller Prius, the Prius V loses five mpg from aerodynamics, three mpg from weight and one mpg from the slightly revised CVT.4-cylinder hybrid (1.8-liter engine with 60-kilowatt electric motor)134 net horsepower: 98 horsepower @ 5,200 rpm (gasoline engine) + 80 horsepower (electric motor)105 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm (gasoline engine), 153 lb-ft of torque (electric motor)EPA city/highway fuel economy: 44/40 mpg

Editors' Notes

The powertrain is the same, the face is familiar, but a unique interior helps define the 2012 Toyota Prius V as something different than a Prius wagon. It’s a tad slower than the Prius and a little smoother on the highway, but the driving experience is mostly similar. A sliding and reclining back seat provides luxury-size rear accommodations, and the cargo area is larger than that of the Chevy Equinox. While the Prius V’s combined fuel economy rating of 42 mpg isn’t as sexy as the Prius’ 50 mpg, it handily out-economizes anything with similar interior volume.

Road Test Video Reviews

2012 Toyota Prius v Owner Reviews

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Toyota Prius-V Review: Very pleased. Great acceleration and storage.

2012 Toyota Prius v Five

My Prius has much more storage than expected. The back seats are split allowing flexibility for seating and storage. It also has shallow trunk-like storage in back. I love its turning radius, AWD, and gps. Of course the gas Mileage is the biggest plus. We do have to replace the headlight bulbs about every year. It is very quiet, so I sometimes have to alert pedestrians and pets that I am there. I also like the economy and turbo drives. Turbo comes in handy when I have to pull out into busy traffic and get up to the flow of traffic. Some friends cautioned about the hybrid battery having to be replaced, but we never had issues with that, nor have friends that own older models. I am very pleased with the car and if we ever get a new car it will probably be this Prius V model.

- Nancy S

The Prius v, everything but power seats.

2012 Toyota Prius v Five

The Prius v is a reliable, efficient vehicle perfect for quick errands or long road trips. The Prius v seats are easy to get in and out of and the floor board is low and spacious enough for people and pets with limited mobility. Switching from a vehicle getting 15 mpg to the Prius v getting 45+ mpg was the best choice for a budget conscious family. The Prius v has the great fit and finish you'd expect by Toyota. If I had to come up with a complaint, the Prius v has almost every tech feature wanted in a new car except power seats. The seats in the Prius v are heated and have lumbar support but have manual adjustment bar to move it. Strange option not to have. Overall the Prius v is a dependable, efficient vehicle.

- Melissa H

Prius V's have a lot of room to move in and still get wonderful gas mileage.

2012 Toyota Prius v

I love that my car gets great gas mileage but is not cramped on space. I have a large back-seat area that I can fold chairs over in. That gives me confidence and security because I like that I have the option to pack my important belongings in my car and drive away. I do not like that my car is so low to the floor and this makes it hard to see past taller vehicles when approaching an intersection/stoplight. Also, there is a terrible blind spot in the front of my car where the side view mirror attaches to the vehicle. This makes some tight turns a bit frightening.

- Madison B

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