By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.7
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Connect 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 Seat
The 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.
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
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.
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.
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).
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
By Grammy on Monday, August 25, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,070overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfortable..roomy...good leg room"
Cons: "No automatic trunk release and auto close"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Very surprised to learn that there was no inside trunk release or automatic close. I'm in my 70's and have trouble pulling the trunk closed..For the price of 27,000, I feel that is a serious flaw.. I am only getting 38.4 MPG..I bought the Prius for the mileage, but am disappointed that it does not reach at least 40 MPG.. It is also a bit noisy on acceleration, especially going up a hill..."
5 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By Dragonfly on Monday, August 25, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great gas mileage, Bluetooth, roomy, has"
Cons: "No sunroof,"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"It has a great feel when your inside the car. Very roomy for everyone. The back seats recline back and move froward or back. I don't find the the cargo area cover very useful. It could be up higher to cover luggage or what ever you put in back. I find it in the way a lot. The car has plenty of cup holders. Roomy console and two glove-boxes, the back has some cool cubbies also. It drives pretty good. It does get good gas mileage. The MPG is really what they say it gets. My best overall trip was 43 MPG . My worst was 38 MPG. I found being in traffic that is bumper to bumper the car gets the greatest of mileage."
By Dan on Sunday, August 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Reliable, cheap to operate, technologically strong"
Cons: "Image, slow acceleration, handling just 'okay'"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"No one expects a Prius to be a hot rod, and it isn't. What's more, I am a very conservative individual and purchased the Prius for the selfish reasons of reliability and fuel economy - not 'green' concerns. (I had a loaded 4 door 4WD Tacoma prior.) The car doesn't disappoint. If you take it for what it is, the car is awesome. Lots of gadgets (I love gadgets), decent power, decent ride, TONS of carry space, quiet and comfortable (I'm 6'4" and 210 pounds). It's reliable and cheap to operate and I love it. Would I love to have a large pickup? Sure! But I don't carry large loads or pull a trailer - I commute back and forth to work - and the Prius V serves me well."
9 people out of 14 found this review helpful
By MikTheViking on Friday, August 15, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,262overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "More room than you think!"
Cons: "Little less gas mileage than the standard Prius :("
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I'm a disabled vet, and get around in a wheelchair. This Prius V 5 fits my large frame very comfortably even on long drives! My chair fits easily in the back, and my wife never fights it! Whether I'm driving with my hand controls, or as a passenger, it's as easy as rolling up to it, and simply transferring over, no fuss! We don't get the great gas mileage that the standard size Prius gets, but for us, it was more about the cargo room. We still averaged 35 mpg and I'll take that to the bank all day long!"
By Tom on Thursday, July 24, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Mileage, cargo capacity and comfort"
Cons: "A little boxy driving feel"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"For the money, it is well worth it. I do get the incredible mileage (up to 70 mph) and the cargo capacity is outstanding. It holds four adults with comfort. For this price range, the technology is outstanding in the package "5" level. I definitely would buy another one. I have recommended this car to friends and those that bought one have been very pleased."
11 people out of 21 found this review helpful
By Ventadour on Tuesday, June 24, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fuel economy, handling, cargo space"
Cons: "Noise level, paint quality, Navigation System"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"PRIUS V: Excellent value with some quirks. PROS: Gas mileage (between 48 and 50 mph in the summer, between 32 an 36 in the winter).Lower battery efficiency in winter due to cold temperatures. Also constant running of heating system, forcing the gas engine to run more frequently. Road handling is excellent, the car feels very safe. Comfort is surprisingly good for such a car. Large cargo space (larger that my SUV). Interior: Good ergonomics at the console. Controls accessible and usually easy to manage with some exceptions. Three drink holders on front is helpful as well as two glove/storage compartments. Seats surprisingly comfortable. AV Interface and ergonomics mostly good with some exceptions: USB outlets are useful, BT syncing of any phone on AV system is good. Hands free phone is excellent. CONS: Noise level too high.To boost fuel economy, sacrifices were made in soundproofing. The car can be noisy, especially on rough surfaces. Paint quality: Because of weight control (that is my belief) the amount of paint applied to the car was reduced. On my Prius V, front of the car has paint scratches and dings due to small stones and other debris on the road.This should not be happening on a 10 month old car. According to Toyota, it is also due to the shape of the front bumper which sends back to the hood all of the junk collected ! Also tiniest shock on the car will immediately result in a small body scratch. Navigation system: I was warned. The GPS on the Prius is one of the worst. I agree: GPS is often getting confused, road algorithms are not efficient, reaction time is slow. For the price paid for such extra, one would expect a better GPS. No possibility to change voice as well and no real Text To Speech. GPS ergonomics not good with touch control on screen problematic and counter-intuitive. Radio controls: Standard radio is good. XM Satellite Radio is very good but too few XM/FM/AM presets available on radio. Radio controls are not always obvious. It take some time to get used to them, Another quirk on all Prius: It is very easy on newer Prius to leave the car on without noticing it. it has happened to me and to many others. I have to make sure to press the main control off prior to exiting the car. Taking the key with me will not disengage the On/Off switch. A friend's relative drove 100 miles to their house and they realized after arriving that they did not have their car key with them.... when trying to restart the car at a gas station. Tires: In order to save on fuel, Toyota chose middle of the road tires. Those Yokohama tires are a compromise between regular all-weather radials or specialized tires. Although the choice of those tires help with fuel efficiency, it becomes problematic during the winter as the car is not as good on snowing conditions as one would expect from a front wheel drive. All in all it is a good car. It is expensive but there are good deals to be made on new ones. It is almost impossible to find a used Prius, as owners don't want to part with them once they have one. The main point is, no one can beat 50 mpg..."
22 people out of 30 found this review helpful