Expanding the scope as well as the scale of its iconic hybrid line, the 2012 Toyota Prius V -- for versatile -- will offer an even more accommodating but equally green alternative to the current five-door hatch sedan. On sale late this summer, the Prius V shares all of the basic design and Hybrid Synergy Drive powertain elements with its namesake while providing over 50 percent more interior volume. Toyota expects the Prius V to deliver EPA numbers of 42 mpg in the city, 38 mpg on the highway and 40 mpg combined, best of any crossover, SUV or wagon currently on the market.
While retaining many basic Prius exterior design cues, the Prius V's revamped front fascia, extended roofline and more vertical tail endow it with unique visual character that should find favor with the young, active family types Toyota hopes it will reach. Roughly six inches longer, and 3.3 inches taller than the sedan, it still boasts a relatively sleek 0.29 coefficient of drag helped in part by a subtle spoiler that's part of the Prius V's large, single-piece hatchback.
Inside its well-appointed cabin -- which also displays the same shared/unique design themes as its exterior, the 2012 Toyota Prius V matches seating for five with 34.3 cubic feet of full-time cargo space. The driver and front-seat passenger ride in well-formed buckets that offer a slightly elevated view while the 60/40 split/folding rear bench slides fore/aft to ease access and features backs that can be reclined up to 45 degrees or flipped down to take full advantage of the Prius V's impressive toting capabilities. The new Prius V also introduces an optional Panoramic View moonroof made of resin that weighs 40 percent lighter than a conventional glass counterpart.
Standards on the 2012 Toyota Prius V will include a major load of comfort/convenience/safety features including a full range of power assists, automatic climate control, Bluetooth/iPod connectivity, Smart Key, Push Button Start, an electronic shift lever, four (Hill Start Assist Control (HAC), a back-up camera and seven airbags as well as Toyota's Star Safety System that brings Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist). It also will come with the new Smart Stop Technology brake-override system. Key options include a navigation system, LED headlamps, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with the Pre-Collision System (PCS), and Advanced Parking Guidance System.
To help keep its owners better connected, the 2012 Prius V also will be one of the first vehicles to feature Toyota's new Entune multimedia system. Entune allows maximum integration and leveraging of smartphones and other devices and supports a multitude of apps like Pandora Internet radio, Microsoft's Bing browser, iheartradio, OpenTable and movietickets.com as well as XM Satellite Radio and its suite of real-time update capabilities.
Pricing on the 2012 Toyota Prius V will be released closer to its on-sale date.