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 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