By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.6
The 2013 Prius V is the big papa in Toyota's growing Prius family. The Prius V uses the same powertrain and has similar looks as the regular Prius 4-door hatchback, but offers a larger cargo hull that Toyota boasts is roomier than that of many small SUVs. The "V" in this 5-passenger hybrid stands for "versatility," and it aims to offer just that for families or those who need room to haul their stuff but cringe at the notion of doing it in a thirsty SUV. The Prius V is a tad slower than the traditional Prius but offers a smoother highway ride and innovative rear seats that slide, fold and recline. Above all, the Prius V is fuel-efficient, with a 42-mpg combined city/highway rating. Did we like it? We did – we were impressed enough to name this Prius one of the 10 Best Family Cars of 2013.
Prius V is a great choice for those who want a vehicle that offers lots of room and super fuel economy. Those new to hybrids should find assurance in Toyota's decade-plus history of successfully making these gasoline-electric powertrains.
The 2013 Prius V's price premium can complicate its long-term value equation compared with equally roomy alternatives. Meanwhile, the new Ford C-Max is a tempting rival with even higher fuel economy. If you need towing ability, look to a small SUV or a stouter wagon such as the Volvo XC70.
Changes for 2013 are minimal since the Prius V debuted just last year. A new exterior color called Seaglass Pearl is available, and top-trim Prius V Five models receive a SofTex-trimmed steering wheel.
Driving Impressions Because it uses the same powertrain and is built on the same platform as the standard Prius, there's little surprise that the Prius V feels similar to its slightly smaller...... sibling. Because the Prius V is larger and heavier, it's a tad slower, but quick acceleration and the ability to carve mountain roads have never been the Prius hybrid's forte, nor something its drivers expect. But don't sweat: Getting up to speed on freeways is no problem, especially when the 2013 Prius V is in Power mode. The hybrid's transitions between electric motor and gasoline engine remain refined, as does the Prius V's regenerative braking system. Both take some time getting used to, but the adjustment period is short and well worth the fuel savings reaped.
VERSATILE INTERIOR SPACE
Versatility is the name of the game for the Prius V's interior. The rear seats slide to create legroom for passengers or space in the cargo bay for your gear. In addition to folding in a 60/40 split, the rear seats recline. Need to carry a long item like a surfboard? The front passenger seat folds flat, too.
With this high-tech system, you can connect a smartphone via Bluetooth or a cable and then perform tasks such as ordering movie tickets or listening to Internet radio using your voice or the vehicle's controls.
Open the door of the Prius V and you'll find more room than expected. The sliding rear seat offers better legroom than some luxury sedans, and the cargo area can swallow more stuff than a Chevy Equinox SUV. Storage space is not just available – it's ingenious. Nooks are abundant. The front seat folds flat to accommodate long items. There's even space under the rear seats for umbrellas. The front of the Prius V's cabin feels roomier than that of the traditional Prius thanks to an open center stack. The available SofTex interior material is easy to clean and made to resist spills.Exterior
The 2013 Toyota Prius V is instantly recognizable as a Prius, even though it doesn't share any sheet metal with the standard version of the hybrid. What most sets the Prius V apart is its rear, which trades a sloping hatch design for a more bulbous back. The Prius V probably won't win any automotive swimsuit contests, as function takes priority over form here. At least the rear spoiler imparts some zest. Prius V Two and Three models ride on 16-inch alloy wheels, while the top-line Prius V Five comes with 17-inch versions (there are no "One" or "Four" trims).
The 2013 Prius V comes in three trims: Two, Three and Five. A base model Two is well equipped with automatic climate control, 6-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system with auxiliary input and 6.1-inch touch screen, backup camera, remote keyless entry, and five cup holders. Safety components include stability control, traction control, and anti-lock brakes. Prius V Five models up the ante with the Entune infotainment system with navigation, heated front seats, LED headlights, and integrated fog lights.
Major options for the 2013 Prius V come in the Advanced Technology Package, only available on the top-line Prius V. The package includes panoramic (but non-opening) moonroof, premium JBL audio system, dynamic radar cruise control, 7-inch touch-screen display, and a system to help with parallel parking.
The 2013 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 automatic transmission (CVT). Except for a slightly revised CVT to accommodate the added mass, the Prius V's powertrain is the same that powers the Prius.
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
The 2013 Toyota Prius V has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $27,410. A top-trim version reaches over $36,000 with the tech package. The Prius V's base price is higher than that of the slightly smaller but more fuel-efficient Ford C-Max hybrid. The Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI, meanwhile, can attain up to 42 mpg on diesel fuel and also has slightly lower starting price, albeit with a manual transmission. Be sure to check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are actually paying for the 2013 Prius V. We expect the Prius V's resale value to hold up quite well over the years.
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."
2 people out of 4 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..."
14 people out of 20 found this review helpful
By Old Man on Saturday, June 14, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 59,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "good little road car - packs up and performs nice."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Bought this as our primary vehicle after driving vans for many years. It has done everything we expected including saving us about $250.00 monthly on gas. We have been all over the U.S. and 3 Canadian provinces (58,000 miles in 13 months) and have no complaints. will probably buy another one next year."
11 people out of 17 found this review helpful