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 DP on Friday, January 23, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "space for hauling stuff, 40+ mpg, easy to drive"
Cons: "keyless entry only on driver door, reverse dinging"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I really like my Prius V. This is my second Hybrid vehicle (I had a Hybrid Camry last time), and I have been very satisfied with the way the battery merges with the engine power. It has a special button for additional power when you feel you might need it--merging onto interstate highways or steep hills. The mileage has been consistently 42-45 mpg. I do wish the driver's seat was automatic in changing positions--my husband and I are very different heights. I switched to the Prius V because I needed a vehicle that would allow me to carry multiple boxes of books, plants for landscaping, bicycles for kids, and luggage. The Prius has worked very well for this purpose. We bought a dark gray one because that was what was available locally. This makes it harder to spot the vehicle in parking lots. There is sufficient headroom for my very tall husband and friends. A little more leg room for the back seat would be nice, but this is OK. I also really wanted a back-up camera, which is a big help in parking lots. I wish that the vehicle would sit higher off the ground, thus minimizing scraping the carriage on bumper blocks. The basic sound system is adequate. It does have Blu-tooth capability, which my husband uses. We had a tire blow-out on the highway while I was driving. I was able to fully control the vehicle and take the next exit. I like having the dashboard read out in the center, rather than right in front of the steering wheel. I also like the key-less ignition. Adjusting to pushing a button (rather than turning a key) takes a little getting used to. The car is nearly silent when it is in eco mode, so you have to be mindful that pedestrians cannot hear you coming. There are plenty of cup holders. In stop and go traffic, it works well, stopping quickly when necessary. The cruise control also works really well. The constant dinging sound when you are in reverse can get on your nerves. The interior feels much more spacious than the earlier Prius models. The ride is not as smooth as my Camry, but is is comfortable most of the time. There are fewer blind spots than there were in the Camry."
By Edd on Monday, December 22, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 345overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "gas mileage,smooth ride,manufacturer reliabilty"
Cons: "Some road noise...but insulation is weight."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Recently bought a new '14 V three to replace my rattle-trap '12 Subaru Forester (...first and LAST new Subaru purchase for me, by the way). Considered waiting for the '15, but discovered only minimal improvements (same battery pack) and an elongated front-end snout--you either like it or hate it. The Prius is far more quieter than the Subaru, has more room... and the electronics are simply in a different league. And, as we all know, the gas mileage is spectacular for a vehicle that rivals compact SUV space. Some ratings criticize initial purchase cost of the Prius V, but in my case my new '14 v Three was around 22,400 plus tax. A year-end bargain, in my book. I really like the illuminated auto-open door when you approach the car with the fob in you pocket."
12 people out of 21 found this review helpful
By Paul C on Wednesday, December 10, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Excellent fuel economy, lots of space"
Cons: "A few rattles"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Toyota did a great job of combining fuel economy with practicality in the Prius V. Interior space is plentiful, flexible, and functional. We actually moved from Virginia to California - the Prius V stuffed with loads of our junk and our two dogs. We averaged about 42 MPG for the trip. She's not the prettiest car to look at but really gets us around. A few rattles have developed which is annoying, but overall we're pleased with this choice."
11 people out of 16 found this review helpful
By abc on Friday, November 14, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great mileage"
Cons: "Expensive to buy"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"I use regular gas. Toyota specifies synthetic oil 0 w 20 w. Oil change cost about $60.00. Change oil every 10,000 miles. Great design. Material some sub par. Noisy on acceleration. Reliable. Big amount of space. I own the Prius V model 3. Hard to justify the cost of a hybrid. You pay more to buy it and save on gas."
9 people out of 12 found this review helpful
By Rich on Monday, October 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Gas mileage, good handling"
Cons: "Has small car ride."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Purchased new from dealer. Excellent reliability. Mileage almost always 40+. Lots of room for traveling and can hold full-sized golf bag easily. Power is more than adequate for interstate as well as rural mountainous driving. Only change I would make next time is getting the package that unlocks all doors with touch of drivers door (present car only unlocks drivers door) and built in navigation system."
12 people out of 18 found this review helpful
By Phyllis on Sunday, October 12, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,500overall rating 2 of 10rating details
Pros: "comfortable ride and good on gas"
Cons: "too delicate for city driving. Repairs are insane"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I have had the car for 2 months. Although it is great on gas and comfortable to drive, I discovered that if I go over a bump, pothole, speed bump, uneven surface, it can cause irreparable damage to the solid axle making it impossible to align the tires. I discovered this after going over a small bump. The tire deflated instantly and allegedly led to a minor bend in the solid axle which is not covered by a warranty. This needs to be replaced at a cost of over $2,000. This was a minor bump!!!!! I was told that this can happen driving in the snow also. Great car on a smooth surface--not so good in the city. So, I saved about $200 in gas but have a $2000 repair."
22 people out of 35 found this review helpful