It is an extremely fuel efficient CUV/Wagon meant for the family. [fimg=right]http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/501/2012_Toyota_Prius_v.jpg[/fimg]Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG - Nov. 4, 2011 2012 Prius v - $27,200 Canadian to start and 51.1 mpgUS combined rating on the TCI (old EPA). That is 42 mpgUS on the tougher 08 EPA. Like the US, the Prius family in Canada doubled overnight with the newest entrant in the growing Prius family of hybrid vehicles. The Prius v delivers versatility and fuel efficiency in a comfortable, mid-size package like no other vehicle before it. CleanMPG Previews the 2012 Prius v The new Prius v is all but guaranteed to fit a growing family’s size, budget and lifestyle. Given it has 58% larger cargo volume and gone is the annoying spit window through the rear, this is a Prius for a whole new generation of Toyota owners. Despite the spaciousness of a family friendly midsize vehicle, the Prius v will deliver 54.7 mpgUS city, 49 mpgUS highway and 51.1 mpgUS combined per the Transport Canada ratings. 44/40/42 mpgUS here which simply leaves most vehicles in the segment on a total cost of ownership basis back in the dark ages. Rear Seats and Cargo A comfortable interior space and good visibility have been assisted by a high seating position, ample head room, and an impressive 38-inch couple distance, providing generous rear legroom. A low, wide-opening rear hatch reveals 34.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, making it the most spacious dedicated hybrid vehicle on the market. Sliding second row seats allow for easier ingress and egress and rear-storage flexibility, with a 45-degree recline for greater comfort. The 60/40 split, folding rear seats present four different seat arrangements that provide excellent usability for passengers and luggage, while a fold-flat front-passenger seat allows for extremely long cargo. The driver’s instrument cluster is exceptionally user-friendly. As with other Prius models, the driving controls including Push Button Start, parking switch, drive-by-wire shift toggle, and driving mode buttons are immediately at hand. Each of these driving control features are distinguished by silver trim. Instrument-panel controls, including a single dial automatic climate control, provide an advanced look and user-friendly command. The center console is accessible from both the driver side and rear seats. The console is big enough to hold 23 CD cases. A wide variety of engineered storage spaces are located throughout the cabin. These include dual glove boxes, a center console utility tray and five cup holders in large and medium sizes. Bottle holders are built into the front and rear door pockets, while all models will feature an overhead storage space suitable for sunglasses. In addition to the larger main luggage compartment, there are storage units built into the sides and under the cargo platform for storing equipment such as car wash items or gloves. Even a special space for umbrellas is located under the second row of seats. Rear seats fold, slide and recline to configure for any mix of passengers and cargo, and operation switches are located conveniently close to the occupants. New for Toyota, an available seat material called SofTex is designed for easy cleaning, resisting spills and wear in a family vehicle that could see heavy use on a daily basis. Soft to the touch, SofTex’s attributes as compared to leather and other traditional leatherette-type materials include a weight reduction of 50 per cent, a manufacturing process with approximately 99 percent fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs) than conventional synthetic leather, and it’s water and stain resistant. It also does not include any animal-based material. Infotainment but not Entune The Prius v enhanced connectivity features include a standard Bluetooth hands free and USB port that allows playing of music and video from portable audio devices, using the vehicle sound system and in-dash display screen, including full iPod integration. The standard audio system has a 6.1-inch screen and six speakers. The screen also displays the energy monitor and fuel consumption data, and functions as the monitor for the integrated back-up camera and the Display Audio System. The screen also offers a new value-driven navigation system and serves as a portal for the Toyota Multimedia system. The system will also include SiriusXM Satellite Radio. The top-of-the-line audio is equipped with a new seven-inch Premium HDD Navigation system with Multimedia system and JBL. This system offers a new split-screen feature that allows for simultaneously displaying navigation and audio information and full iPod video integration. The premium system adds a new JBL GreenEdge audio system that combines an eight-channel amplifier and door-mounted “acoustic lens” speakers, to provide a high-quality sound. The GreenEdge amplifier achieves a 66-percent reduction in overall mass and a 50-percent enhancement in sound efficiency. Exterior It’s a Prius so aero qualities abound. The Prius v has a low 0.29 coefficient of drag with a shape that evolved from Prius rather than being an elongated Prius. Keeping air resistance low is the familiar triangular Prius silhouette, adapted to a larger size. A flush surface from the front of the vehicle through the front pillar works with side “aerocorners” for exceptionally clean airflow. The smooth front sheetmetal blends into a carefully designed roof and cabin, leading to an optimized cabin-end shape that acts to converge side and roof airflow. Wheels and wheel caps are designed with aerodynamic effects in mind. These measures and others also have the beneficial effect of suppressing wind noise. Available LED headlamps work to improve visibility while reducing current draw. They use projector lenses to offer long-range visibility and are designed to be virtually maintenance free for the expected life of the vehicle. Prius v features a climate control system with enhanced cooling capability to cope with a larger cabin. The system uses an electric compressor, so the air conditioning can run without depending on the engine, and improved component design for better maximum-demand cooling performance. HSD The Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD) in the Prius v is essentially the same as the current third-generation Prius. The system uses two high-output motors, MG2 at 80 HP with a touch over half of that available from the NiMH battery pack. MG2 works to power the car down the road when needed plus another smaller MG1 motor that mainly works for electric charging of the battery. Maximum motor drive voltage is 650 volts DC. HSD is built around the atkinsonized 98 HP 1.8L I4 which together provide a total system output of 134 HP, the same as its namesake. Key components helping to improve overall efficiency include an electric water pump that requires no belts and an exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system that helps warm the engine quickly, reducing fuel consumption when the engine is cold. Sophisticated valve control, injector design, and other technologies reduce emissions to allow the Prius v to qualify for SULEV and Tier2 Bin3 emissions standards. Driving Modes In addition to the standard driving mode, Prius v drive system also includes an Eco driving mode, an EV driving mode, and a Power mode. In Power mode, enhanced mid-range response enables easier coping with slopes and mountainous terrain. In EV mode, the Prius v can run on battery power alone for short distances and lower speeds, up to about a mile. In Eco driving mode, the engine management system prioritizes fuel economy, managing throttle response and limiting power consumption from the air conditioning. New Pitch and Bounce Control Pitch and Bounce Control works with suspension enhancements to improve ride comfort and control. Because the Prius v is a larger vehicle more likely to carry loads and passengers, front and rear suspension components have been redesigned to improve handling and ride quality. Front coil-over spring and damper capacities have been significantly increased and a new upper support has been designed. The steering gear has been attached to the front suspension member, and the stabilizer bar repositioned for more responsive steering feel and enhanced ride comfort. In the rear, a torsion-beam suspension design has been fitted with appropriately tuned springs and dampers. The new rear-suspension system is designed to help ensure stability and ride comfort, and it has a lower mounting point to improve luggage space. Pitch and Bounce Control uses the torque of the hybrid motor to enhance ride comfort and control. The system, working with wheel-speed sensors and in tune with the suspension, helps suppress bounce and toss motions to improve comfort for occupants. Because it helps control the balance and posture of the vehicle as a whole, it also functions to improve handling response. Safety The all-new Prius v is designed with a force-absorbing body structure. Increased use of high-strength steel, notably in the front frame members, is a key part of providing a strong body structure without increasing weight. Helping to protect the cabin from side and rear intrusions are similarly engineered reinforcements using high tensile steels, all designed to disperse energy strategically throughout the vehicle to help protect passengers. Like all Toyota models, the Prius v will feature Toyota’s Star Safety System standard, which includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist. It also features the standard Smart Stop Technology brake-override system. An electronic tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) is standard equipment, and there are seven airbags strategically located about the cabin, including a knee airbag for the driver. New driver and front-passenger seat design helps lessen the possibility of whiplash injury during certain types of collisions while minimizing weight. A new Vehicle Proximity Notification System helps alert pedestrians and cyclists of an oncoming vehicle under certain conditions by emitting a small warning sound. An available Pre-Collision System (PCS) retracts seatbelts and applies the brakes in certain conditions when a frontal crash is unavoidable. It is paired with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. A personal favorite of mine right now and I am sure you will find the same in your test drive of the all-new 2012 Prius v. The v is now at local area Toyota dealerships Province wide.