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2012 Toyota Prius v

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2012 Toyota Prius v Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.7

The powertrain is the same, the face is familiar, but a unique interior helps define the 2012 Toyota Prius V as something different than a Prius wagon. It’s a tad slower than the Prius and a little smoother on the highway, but the driving experience is mostly similar. A sliding and reclining back seat provides luxury-size rear accommodations, and the cargo area is larger than that of the Chevy Equinox. While the Prius V’s combined fuel economy rating of 42 mpg isn’t as sexy as the Prius’ 50 mpg, it handily out-economizes anything with similar interior volume.

You'll Like This Car If...

Roomier than anything as efficient, and more efficient than anything as roomy, the Prius V is an unbeatable option for buyers seeking the ultimate balance of fuel economy and cargo capacity.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The 2012 Toyota Prius V’s sophisticated gas-electric hybrid powertrain requires a price premium that can complicate the car’s long-term value equation compared with many of the equally roomy alternatives. If cargo capacity is your key concern, there are more affordable, more powerful options.

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Toyota Prius V was the first extension in what’s to become a 4-car Prius family in 2012. This plus-size Prius puts world-beating fuel economy in the hands of those with armfuls of cargo.

Driving the Prius v
Driving Impressions

Built on the same platform and using the same powertrain, it’s no surprise the Prius V drives a lot like the Prius classic. Larger and a just tad slower, the...

... 2012 Toyota Prius V nevertheless offers plenty of merging power. Its high-speed passing abilities are another matter, but overtaking is the kind of fuel-intensive maneuver that Prius V drivers might be happier to avoid. Heavier than other cars its size, the Prius V is perfectly comfortable on the highway, while responsive steering helps impart a lively feeling around town. The electric-to-gas power transitions and regenerative braking action are smoother and more refined than most hybrids, and while there may be a short adjustment period, it’s hardly a compromise. Overall, the 2012 Toyota Prius V simply drives like the well-built, modestly powered car it is.

Entune
Connect a phone via Bluetooth wireless or USB cable, and Toyota’s Entune system lets you use the vehicle’s controls or even your voice to access features like iHeartRadio and Pandora internet radio, buy movie tickets, make a restaurant reservation, or get stock quotes, sports scores, traffic or weather info. You can even use it to find the cheapest gas in the area.

Sliding Rear Seat
The 2012 Toyota Prius V treats backseat drivers and passengers alike to more legroom – and headroom – than plenty of high-dollar luxury cars. Slide the seats forward and the Prius V makes room for an additional six cubic feet of cargo.

2012 Toyota Prius v Details
2012 Toyota Prius v photo Interior

When the Prius V was unveiled, we weren’t sure it was big enough to make a difference. But when we finally had the opportunity to open the door and sit inside, we got it. The sliding rear seat delivers more legroom than some luxury sedans, and the cargo area is bigger than that of a Chevy Equinox. The Prius V even feels roomier than the Prius up front, thanks to an open center stack design in place of the cockpit-like layout of the Prius. We also appreciate the Prius V’s abundance of storage nooks.

Exterior
2012 Toyota Prius v photo

The 2012 Toyota Prius V is instantly recognizable as a Prius relative, although the two don’t share any sheet metal. The Prius V Two and Prius V Three ride on 16-inch covered steel wheels, while the Prius V Five rides on 17-inch alloy wheels (there are no "One" or "Four" trim levels in the Prius V lineup). The Prius V Five also features LED headlights and integrated fog lights, and is the only trim to offer the panoramic moonroof, which covers both rows but doesn’t open.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

At its starting sticker price of $27,160, the 2012 Toyota Prius V includes a robust, 6.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system with backup camera, USB/iPod connectivity and Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity. Other standard-equipment highlights include auto climate control, a sliding and reclining rear seat, plus keyless entry and start.

Optional Equipment

A fully loaded Prius V can top $37,000 with leather-like SofTex seating, panoramic moonroof, dynamic cruise control and an upgraded infotainment system featuring a 7-inch, high-resolution touchscreen, navigation, JBL audio, and Toyota’s new Entune system. With Entune you can buy movie tickets, reserve a table, listen to Internet radio and find the cheapest gas in the area. A loaded Prius V can also parallel park itself (while the driver mans the brakes).

Under the Hood

The 2012 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 transmission (CVT). But for a slightly revised CVT to accommodate the added mass, the Prius V’s powertrain is the same that powers the Prius. And in terms of efficiency and refinement, it’s the best hybrid powertrain on the planet. Toyota says compared to the smaller Prius, the Prius V loses five mpg from aerodynamics, three mpg from weight and one mpg from the slightly revised CVT.

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

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2012 Toyota Prius v Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 44 Ratings for the 2012 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.6/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.6/10
    Performance
    8.1/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.2/10

This is/was a great car for my purposes.

By on Friday, April 22, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Loved to drive it"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car was always ready to go. Easy to ride in or drive on long trips. Comfortable seats and very good vision. Like the Bluetooth feature."

My 2012 Toyota Prius V - Five

By on Friday, April 01, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Comfortable; Roomy. A nice, pretty vehicle."

Cons: "Absolutely no cons at all."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Such a beautiful car in every way; has not needed any repairs except for regular maintenance. Ride is much more comfortable (extra weight) than my previous Prius vehicle and the gas mileage is nice, averaging above 41 mpg. There are not a lot of these styles on the street and it actually captures attention at times, partly due to the elegant Blizzard Pearl paint color. I love the hybrids and will only drive another one. Thanks Toyota"

It's a Love Hate Relationship

By on Monday, March 21, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,100

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
4/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "Great Fuel Economy"

Cons: "Horrible Turning ratio, bad quality"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"Love: I love filling up at the pump. Usually around $ 20 bucks to go 400 miles. Feels like your driving a space ship pretty quiet. Getting approximately 40 MPG. Spacious, has the same room inside as my Jeep Grand Cherokee. Hate: Turning ratio; this car is the same length as my Jeep Grand Cherokee. I can do donuts in the street with the Jeep, but only have about 60% of the same turning ratio in this car. It gets very frustrating parking. Space ship is quiet till you get on the freeway. At freeway speeds you really have to turn up the radio to drown the road noise. Powerless for getting on freeway. In So Cal you have to get going fast or you get run over. This car will get you run over. Sounds like a lawn mower on steroids, but its moving in slow motion. Yeh, I know it wasn't built for speed, but then again I am not speed racer. Paint on car: I have never had a car that a grocery cart barely touched and scratched the paint. It was almost like wet paint. Couldn't believe it. It looks like it was keyed. A auto body mechanic told me they use such cheap light weight metal that the paint has trouble adhering. I got the V with everything but the panoramic sunroof. It seemed great right off, but it is not what it seemed. I will not own this car very much longer. I am very disappointed with the quality of this car."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

This car has more cargo space than I expected

By on Saturday, January 02, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 200

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Space, versatility, fuel efficiency, low polluting"

Cons: "Power"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"The 2016 Prius v has more cargo space than I expected (67 CU ft) to find in even a comparably priced SUV, and of course fuel efficiency that can't be matched by any SUV. What you give up in power is a minor inconvenience compared to the benefits of driving a hybrid. This is my first (I was driving a fuel-efficient Yaris with a manual transmission before) and the cargo space in this baby made it an easy choice."

6 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Great second car

By on Wednesday, December 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 61,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Good price and great MPG. Plenty of room"

Cons: "Could be a more comfortable ride"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"This has been a terrific car..Never any problems and great gas mileage 45 mpg and probably could do better with more city driving. Its not as comfortable as the mid size SUV's but hey its got plenty of room front and back. Drives OK and decent in the snow. I could go on and on with Pro's and Con's but for the money this is a great car."

26 people out of 34 found this review helpful

Excellent buy for discerning buyer.

By on Sunday, November 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great mileage w/ tons of room for family."

Cons: "Minor scratches on front & rear bumpers."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Added black leather interior, cargo mat and cargo net. All floor mats. Exterior has a few scratches on front and rear bumpers, otherwise, immaculate. Vehicle has always been serviced only by authorized Toyota Dealers and fueled with recommended gas product primarily Chevron and Shell."

3 people out of 7 found this review helpful

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