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 R (NY) on Monday, December 02, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Ride, Fuel economy"
Cons: "NO DRL no customer support"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"Great ride and fuel economy. You must check before you buy if you want the Daytime Running Lights. Toyota does not place these in all models. A major safety flaw."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By TDMAC (MN) on Saturday, November 23, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "MPG, Comfort, Storage, Technology"
Cons: "Not a jack rabbit"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Purchased new in mid-2012, I now have 35,000 miles on this great vehicle. Overall I average 43.5 MPG with a high of 51. I'm not a lead foot, but I'm also not driving Miss Daisy. I also love the significant rear storage room. At 6'3 250 I fit comfortably behind the wheel and find this vehicle extremely comfortable and quite on the open road. With multiple passengers, my 6'2 son fits comfortably in the rear seat due to the seat adjustment forward and tilt. The Nav system, blue tooth etc., is awesome. Because I drive a Prius V, I continue to take some ribbing from my friends who get 12-14 MPG from their big trucks and SUV's...but at the end the day, I am saving hundreds of dollars each month at the gas pump! Prius V...great vehicle all-around."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By Lynn (Canada) on Tuesday, November 19, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Gas mileage, comfort, storage, versatility"
Cons: "One dial controls fan, mode, temperature"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"My family of 5 downsized from a mini-van. The Prius v is perfect for us. One family member who is 6'1" actually prefers to sit in the back seat as there is plenty of leg room and the rear seats recline. We've taken this car on vacations with our dog kennel and can fit all our luggage just fine. I laugh every time I fill up because I'm saving hundreds of dollars on fuel compared to our mini-van. As far as the rear back up beeping, you can ask the dealer to shut that off so it only beeps once, then stops. Field of vision in this car is great, no bad blind spots. We got the base model and it still has great features including bluetooth. It takes no time at all to get used to the features of a hybrid. I've owned this car for six months and I love it. I think everyone should drive a Prius v!"
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By chow (CA) on Wednesday, September 25, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "nth to say when compare with the same money RAV4"
Cons: "more space can be had in this size"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"I have own hilux, toyota light truck ,caldina and many generation of toyota corolla since 80s 90 ,97 , to 2007 corolla matrix. But for the prius I wish I had rather buy 2013 RAV 4. Before I bought the prius ,I had 2010 honda insight which is 42 mpg easy acheive and fun to drive .As i am toyota customer, i thought it would be much better than honda .So i bought prius V with panoramic roof.But after eagar to test my mpg i full the tank up to the top and reset the trip meter to zero. the mpg i get when i divide the mileage by gallan was only around 37.4 mpg from LA to San Diego (72 mph average) .In the city the active mpg changing dramatically down and up to around 30 to 99 (may be electric motor only working for 99Mpg)no matter how gently u press the pedal with avg mpg showing 39.8(in the city)which should get more for hybrid in city. need to turn off eco to keep with the traffic flow in the city and take so long to get to 30mph unlike honda insight with eco turn on all time. In the freeway with cruse the car used power bar to highest everytime encounter small upland and the active mpg is unstable even in the flat freeway 35mpg to 40+ changing all time which my honda never happen . it is hard to keep with 70 mph traffic as the mpg keep falling down and very slow, with avg mpg 37 heavily maintain not easy acheive .But i notice sth if i drive around (on the way to Las Vegas) 81 to 82 mph with the cruse ,the change in power struggle when encountering a small high land is unnoticeable the mpg i get was 40+.I thought this may be because of high temperature or 80mph is the critical point of the engine where power is readily available so no need to struggle for gas. In the morning when coming out of drive way i heard screeching sound ( some metal is rubbing against metal)come out from motor in EV mode as tire rotate round by round 2mph with no gas paddle press. And My car stop showing EV mode(the word EV inscribe in the car icon ) in instrumental penal and eco light stop lighting for ever. SO i am surprise when people said the mpg is higher the Posted EPA figure on the review. the worst toyota i ever had but i dont regret getting toyota since it will last upto 300k miles but i regret i dont choose RAV4 since prius has no power (even smaller engine honda is more agile then more hp and torque prius ) this prius stop me from buying a toyota hybrid (camry) again and made me wait for coming soon accord hybrid. the mpg never come to 38 when keeping with traffic flow on freeway"
5 people out of 15 found this review helpful
By Kevin (CA) on Sunday, September 08, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "small suv,good value & space,reliable,comfortable"
Cons: "backup alarm"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I owned a 4Runner for 10 years (and 260,000+ miles) before buying my Prius V. I needed the storage space but did not want the price tag or gas mileage of a typical SUV. The Prius V offered many of the SUV features that I enjoyed over the years. My Prius V has taken the family camping to many places over the past 1 1/2 years, including a couple that were over 6 hours away. I added a hitch and bike rack for added flexibility. Even fully loaded with gear for a trip I can get about 40MPG out of it. I never got that out of my 4Runner. The only thing I lost from going to the Prius V from my 4Runner was a little space in the back, mostly in height. I gained much more leg room in the back seat, over 2X better gas mileage, better leg room for driver, and it can even climb hills with when fully loaded. I miss the daytime running lights that my 4Runner had but I just leave the lights on all the time and they auto shut off after 30 seconds so I treat it like daytime running lights. Overall, the car has great gas mileage, the reliable Toyota quality, ample space and is a fantastic value for a small SUV. After 32K+ miles I am still happy with my decision to replace my 4Runner with the Prius V rather than a RAV4."
12 people out of 14 found this review helpful
By MaggieMae (NC) on Friday, August 23, 2013
I owned and sold this car
Reason: MPG didn't compensate for undesirable features - My approximate mileage is 11,800
Pros: "drives well, good back seat leg room"
Cons: "GPS, seat leather, backup alarm, seats 4 not 5"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"side mirrors reflect air vents and dashboard thus obstructing view in heaving traffic, depending on the light (sun) you cannot read the GPS, car seats four not five adults, no sliding in/out on this leather, radio is difficult to use, no auto on headlights during daylight driving, front seats are difficult if not impossible to adjust to a comfortable setting backup alarm stays on when car is in reverse and does not change as you get close to another car or object..."
10 people out of 14 found this review helpful