By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.5
The 2014 Toyota Prius V offers the fuel efficiency of a hybrid with the interior space of a compact SUV. Using the same powertrain as the Prius 4-door hatchback, and with the "V" standing for "versatility," the 5-passenger Prius V can haul lots of family gear without burning lots of gas while doing it. Compared to the "regular" Prius, the V is less sprightly but has a smoother ride, and the cleverly useful rear seats will slide fore and aft, fold over for hauling large items or recline for more comfort. Likely competitors might include the Ford C-Max and the Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI. If fuel economy is paramount the Prius V delivers, with EPA numbers of 44 mpg city, 40 mpg highway and 42 mpg combined.
This is simple: Want great fuel economy and the cargo space of something more like a compact SUV? See your local Toyota dealer and check out the 2014 Prius V.
Hybrids are not inexpensive so you have to carefully figure the long-term benefits compared to something else that doesn't offer the superb fuel economy but costs less to buy. And if you need to tow even a fairly small trailer, consider a compact or mid-size SUV.
Changes to the 2014 Prius V are minimal. All trim levels are equipped with standard Daytime Running Lights, and the Panoramic View Moonroof will be offered as a stand-alone option on the Prius V Three.
Driving Impressions It's unlikely that many people buy a hybrid for the enthusiastic driving experience but, still, the 2014 Prius V deals more than just competently with city traffic and merges easily...with freeways. If a little more is needed, there's the Power mode. The ride and handling qualify as comfortable, stable and predictable, but it's certainly not a corner-carver. If that's your goal, you obviously should be looking somewhere else. Hybrids have come a long way and the Prius V delivers a refined progression down the road, with the transitions between the electric motor and gasoline engine developed to a point of being near-seamless and, at least, not at all bothersome. If this is your first hybrid, there will be a slight adjustment period, but it's short and easy and absolutely worth the tremendous savings in fuel costs.
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 gear. In addition to folding in a 60/40 split, the rear seats recline. Need to carry a surfboard? The front-passenger seat folds flat, too.
OUTSTANDING FUEL ECONOMY
If drastically reducing your fuel costs isn't the biggest reason for purchasing a hybrid, then what is? The Prius V certainly delivers, with EPA ratings of 44 mpg city, 40 highway and 42 combined. Toyota has been at this a long time, so the expected reliability should deliver lots of peace of mind.
The 2014 Toyota Prius V offers generous interior room and useful versatility for carrying people or hauling cargo with ease. The rear seat can slide fore and aft to increase legroom or cargo space behind the seat, and it also folds over for more cargo space or will recline to enhance comfort. In addition, the front-passenger seat folds flat for hauling long items. There are storage spots throughout the interior, including space under the rear seats for such as umbrellas. And, in front, the open center stack gives a feeling of expansion and roominess. The "V" for "versatility" is entirely appropriate.Exterior
There is no doubt the 2014 Toyota Prius V is a Prius, with the strong family resemblance from front to rear. One difference in the shape is that the rear of the Prius V is larger than that of the regular Prius, without the sloping hatch configuration, for the added cargo space. Clearly, this design is based on the combined functions of generous interior room and reduced aerodynamic drag for good fuel economy. Prius V Two and Three models have 16-inch alloy wheels and the upper-end Prius V Five has 17-inchers. There is no "One" or "Five" trim level.
The 2014 Prius V is offered in three trim levels: Two, Three and Five. A base model Two includes automatic climate control, a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system with auxiliary input and 6.1-inch touch screen, rearview camera, remote keyless entry and five cup holders. Prius V Five models add the Entune infotainment system with navigation, heated front seats, LED headlights and integrated fog lights. For 2014 all models are equipped with Daytime Running Lights, electronic stability controls and driving aids as standard, and there is a comprehensive array of occupant-protection features.
The major option for the 2014 Prius V is the Advanced Technology Package, available only on the top-line Prius V Five. The package includes a Panoramic View Moonroof, premium JBL audio system, dynamic radar cruise control, 7-inch touch-screen display and a system to help with parallel parking. The Panoramic View Moonroof is available as a stand-alone option on the Prius V Three.
The 2014 Toyota Prius V 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 of the Prius. The drivetrain is certainly not a tire-scorcher but it delivers reliable power for dealing with urban conditions or merging with freeway traffic. And Toyota has years of hybrid experience, so Prius V owners can do their motoring with the peace of mind that comes with proven reliability.
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 2014 Toyota Prius V has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting around $27,500. A top-trim version reaches over $36,000 with the Advanced Technology package. The Prius V's base price is higher than that of the slightly smaller Ford C-Max hybrid. The Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI, meanwhile, can attain up to 42 mpg on diesel fuel and has a slightly lower starting price, although it also has 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 2014 Prius V. We expect the Prius V's resale value to hold up quite well over the years, roughly on par with both the Ford C-Max and VW Jetta SportWagen TDI.
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."
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."
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!"
1 person out of 1 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."
11 people out of 13 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