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
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."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
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