What is that in the drive, a Prius v-5?

Discussion in 'Toyota Prius Family' started by xcel, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    [​IMG] The family oriented Prius that is truly meant for the family.

    [​IMG]Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG - April 20, 2012

    2012 Toyota Prius v - $26,400 to start is a reasonable price for a versatile small crossover/wagon and its 42 mpgUS combined rating is great no matter what segment you are shopping. Read down to the resale side of the coin to find out how the Prius family provides the lowest total cost of ownership thanks to a reasonable upfront cost, low cost to fuel, little to nothing to maintain and a resale that is topples anything else you can buy today.

    We have previously given the v a reasonable going over within the CleanMPG Preview of the Prius v, the v’s specifications have been disseminated and we have even driven it over the Cascades between Seattle and Yakima during the Want 86_mpg From Your Prius Hybrid? We Have an “Answer” For That! event at the Toyota of Yakima dealership. What we have not done is take a few days to drive with the sole purpose to discover more about its many strengths and point out the few weaknesses without a tight schedule precluding that task.

    Currently the sub-compact Prius c is the hottest selling vehicle in the country and with fuel prices still over $4.00 per in many urban centers across the country, its limited supply has seen Toyota dealerships add the all too familiar Market Value Adjustment pure profit over MSRP. Unfortunately the Prius v falls into similar category with far to limited supply and those that are available are sometimes already spoken for before they have been off-loaded from the incoming new inventory car haulers.

    They are out there but closer to MSRP vs. invoice are more the norm and selection is limited. At least that is my experience as I shopped the v vs. fuel economy based competitors for over a week through a number of local dealerships.

    The Prius v combines small crossover versatility with Prius like fuel economy within the most comfortable Prius vehicle available ever.

    Equipped with the same atkinsonized 1.8L and Hybrid Synergy Drive as the current Prius hatch, its performance was found to adequate and its fuel economy exemplary.

    Where the v differs - Interior

    The v’s usable cargo volume (34.3 cu. ft. in the standard position, 40 cu. ft with the seats moved forward, and 67.3 cu. ft. with the seats laid down), more than generous rear seat legroom, high seating positions and normal rear view make it not just a family mover but a comfortable family mover while still being able to perform your daily commute without breaking the bank at the next fuel stop.

    2012 Toyota Prius v rear interior cargo area and configuration

    Its cargo carrying capacity matches most compact crossovers but no other compact crossover has a 42 mpgUS combined fuel economy rating ;)

    As covered in the preview, the sliding second row 60/40 split rear seats with the ability to recline 45-degrees for personal use and the ability to lay flat for up to 6’ of cargo length without considering the flat fold passenger front seat allowing an 11’ length odd item to be stored within the confines of the vehicle is new for the high fuel efficiency vehicles available today.

    Sliding and reclining 60/40 split fold down rear seats.​

    The v-5 uses leather like seat covering Toyota calls SofTex that is as soft as it is upscale looking. The front seats are also heated. All trims arrive with a six-way adjustable driver seat including a power lumbar support adjustment. In addition, the front passenger seat within the v-2 and v-3 folds flat to provide the 11 foot of total cargo length discussed above.

    All v’s arrive with (2) 12V outlets but only one is located up front under the central dash display. The second is located just behind the passenger rear seat which seems like an odd place for a socket.


    It’s a taller Prius up front mated to a compact crossover in the rear. From a measurement standpoint, it is 6 in longer, 1 in wider and 3 in taller than the Prius hatch that many of us have grown accustomed too.

    The v is designed with clean lines and as described in the preview a number of aerodynamic enhancements keep the Cd down to a very respectable 0.29.

    Standard with the v-5 are LED headlamps behind projector lenses providing a minimal power draw that is said to be 17% less than HID’s and as much as half the power draw of the v-2 and v-3 halogens. The LEDs create a more natural white light vs. slightly yellowish hue of the standard Halogens.

    The v-5 when equipped with the advanced technology package includes a lightweight resin, non-opening panoramic moonroof with power retractable sun shades. The sun shades operation is both smooth and jam free.

    And finally 17” alloy wheels and tires are mated to the v-5 that unfortunately cause an increase in turning diameter to 38.1 ft. from 36.1 feet with the standard 16” alloys and tires shod on the v-2 and v-3.

    Prius v Review

    Two for the road along Lake Michigan.​


    Like the Prius hatch, driving begins by pushing the Start button while holding down the brake pedal and waiting just a second for the “Ready Light” to appear in the driver display. From that point, shift to R or D and away you go. New to the family is not only the location of the small shifter but a single automatic climate control dial that is easy to use.

    The standard display includes a Charging, EV to ICE-On threshold and PWR area bar to the left as a direct replacement to the Prius hatch Hybrid System indicator, a shift position indicator, fuel gauge and battery SoC meter in the center and an alphanumeric iFCD, aFCD and Range that can only be displayed one at a time plus a clock to the right.

    New to the Prius family is an EV icon just to the right of the new HIS and after over 500-miles behind the wheel of the Prius v, I have yet to see it fail yet unlike the HSI in the third generation Prius hatch. It is the little things like this small icon (it is also now incorporated in the 2012 Prius hatch and c) that make driving a Prius that much more confidence inspiring. For those of us that push the envelope anyway ;)

    A solution to the iFCD and aFCD single display conundrum is to bring up the consumption display within the 6.1 or 7” Display Audi system with the 1-minute fuel consumption bars. To the right you will see an active iFCD bar graph and you can leave the aFCD up in the driver display area.

    Interior shot of the fully loaded v-5 with the 7" HD based NAVI screen and JBL Greenedge Audio system.​


    All Prius v’s including the base v-2 contain a Bluetooth hands free system for cell phone calls on the go and a 6.1-inch display audio system with six speakers standard. The v-3 and v-5 adds software navigation, back-up camera and Entune.

    v-5 owners can order the advanced technology package with a hard drive based Navigation system, a 7 inch display screen, JBL GreenEdge audio system and a number of XM satellite based Apps (Traffic, Weather, Fuel Prices, Sports & Stocks).


    It’s the Prius’ 134 total HP output 1.8L and HSD together with a few twists.

    Dual cooling circuits have been added to cool both MG1 and MG2 and the Exhaust Heat Recirculation system has been redesigned and is now even more efficient allowing a warm-up time to occur up to a minute faster than the current third generation Prius. While I have not yet connected an SG-II up to the Prius v, in 40 to 50 degree temps, S4 (the final warm up stage) can be reached within 2-minutes. The faster warm-up time allows all the hybrid functionality to occur sooner within a normal drive cycle providing better overall fuel economy than could have been previously achieved.

    The v’s final drive ratio has been increased to 3.703 from the standard Prius hatches 3.268 to help move the almost 10% heavier Prius v in a fashion most are comfortable with. While I have found the lower ratios do not harm the v’s fuel economy around town other than the extra weight, out on the highway it revs a bit higher at speed. We will have more on this as our week with the v progresses.

    2012 Prius v Competitive Comparison

    YearMakeModelPricePassenger Volume (cu. ft.)Cargo Volume (cu. ft.)Fuel Economy (city/highway/combined - mpgUS)
    2012ToyotaPrius v$26,400 to $29,99097.234.344/40/42

    2012ChevroletEquinox$23,530 - $30,97099.731.422/32/26 (at best)
    2012DodgeJourney$18,995 - $29,99599.539.619/26/22 (at best)
    2013FordEscape$22,470 - $31,19598.134.322/33/26 (at best)
    2012HondaCR-V$22,495 - $29,995104.137.223/31/26 (at best)
    2013HyundaiTucson$19,145 - $27,320101.925.723/31/26 (at best)
    2012MazdaCX-5$20,695 - $28,295103.834.126/32/29

    2011VWJetta Sportwagen TDI$25,540 - $29,22091.732.829/39/33

    Ride and Handling

    The v’s Pitch and Bounce Control as described in the preview does appear to settle the taller v down over larger bumps you may encounter but it is so seamless that you would have to drive a v with the control disabled to know the difference. The system cannot be disabled by the driver.

    Overall the v has a much smoother ride than most compacts and crossovers. While most manufacturers are racing to install “sport tuned suspensions” or provide better road feel, the v provides what Toyota customers have long been accustomed too. That is a very compliant ride that you do not have to concern yourself with after 10 + hours behind the wheel while on a road trip.


    The Prius v includes Toyota’s Star Safety System with a number of active safety systems including Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA) and Smart Stop Technology (SST) brake-override system.

    A new Vehicle Proximity Notification System helps alert pedestrians of an oncoming vehicle under low speed certain conditions by emitting a small warning sound.

    If a crash does occur, the passive safety systems take over and the Prius v has you covered. With seven airbags including front, side and side curtain plus a driver’s knee airbag and both front seats incorporating an anti-whiplash design, there is not much more that can be added to keep you alive under a worst case scenario. The only passive safety items missing are rear passenger outward seating side airbags.

    TPMS is also standard equipment.

    The Prius v-5 can be equipped with a Pre-Collision System (PCS) that retracts the seatbelts and applies the brakes in when a frontal crash is unavoidable. Another Prius v-5 with the technology package addition is Safety Connect that can access a call center with a live operator who can dispatch police and emergency vehicles. The system combines automatic collision notification and a stolen vehicle locator feature, which can track the location of the stolen vehicle via GPS and help guide police to recover it. This is right out of the manual.

    The results? The NHTSA has yet to test the 2012 Prius v but the IIHS gave it a perfect score across the baortd. From Fonrtal, side and roof crush strength testing to a perfect scorre on the seat geometry, there is no better to date.

    2012 Prius v – IIHS Crash Test Results


    2012 Prius v impressions

    It sure is roomy inside. More shoulder, hip and head room, more cargo room and when driven as it should be driven, the v provides within 5% of what the smaller Prius hatch provides regardless of the lower EPA fuel economy rating.

    Even with my mom driving her 2012 Prius v-3 on the same route as her just traded in 2010 Prius hatch, the v offered 47 mpg vs. the hatch at 54 or 14% less by comparison to the 19% predicted by the EPA.

    The Prius v also arrives with Toyota Care, with 24-hour roadside assistance and all general maintenance performed for the first two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first at no extra charge. My parents were very happy about this one thanks to 10,000 mile oil change intervals and half that for tire rotations, they will pay little to nothing before purchasing whatever is next 3 years from now.

    And about that pricing… Let us just say that if the v follows the Prius hatches lead, you will be a happy camper at trade in time. In May of 2010, the first 2010 Prius-III was purchased in Wisconsin for a price of $22,800 USD. That same Prius after 35 months and 18,900 miles was traded in for a whopping $21,000 USD! If the v follows a similar depreciation schedule, considering ANYTHING ELSE is foolhardy on a total cost of ownership basis. And I mean absolutely any vehicle comparable to the all-new and now mighty v.

    We will have more fuel economy results, maybe a vid or two, a lot more pics to be added to this Review and some more details yet to be disclosed as our week with the v continues.

    With all of the above, look what just showed up in the drive :)

    2012 Toyota Prius v

    STI’s Scott Marzec delivered the absolutely loaded v-5 just minutes ago.​

    Given the v-5 trim, we’ll have to see if the Dynamic Radar CC and Advanced Parking Guidance System work better than our previous experiences with them in the Prius Hatch with the same. And a whole bunch of other things too ;)

  2. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

  3. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    It's like your car's big-big-big brother! :p Here's a quick photoshop comparison. They are to scale, based on published wheelbase.

    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
  4. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Nice!!! Gotta show that to the wife since she's been bugging me to replace the FFH with a Prius V because she "needs" more space.
  5. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    Here you go:
  6. RichXKU

    RichXKU Well-Known Member

    Looking forward to this!
  7. EVuser

    EVuser Well-Known Member

    Nice graphics. Any chance of a top view:)

  8. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    Very nice photoshop work.. what is that black car?
  9. seftonm

    seftonm Veteran Staff Member

    Fusion Hybrid
  10. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    Overhead is unlikely, unless you can google the images. That's all I did, picking the first good profile shot. You'd be amazed how many three-quarter views they have out there.
  11. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Andrew:

    Excellent comparison graphics!

    And the reason the v exists :)

    2012 Toyota Prius v

    Its cargo carrying capacity matches most compact crossovers but no other compact crossover has a 42 mpgUS combined fuel economy rating ;)

    Dog and cargo friendly as my Golden pup -- she's a bit too big to be called a pup nowadays -- explores the rear interior of the all-new v.

    Sean, I placed a 36” Camping and accessory bag in the second photo to simulate a hockey bag. Hockey bags are IIRC another foot longer right? There was about 2” left with the seats moved to the back of their tracks and over a foot of space when the rear seat is moved forward to its stops.

    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
  12. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    ohh Pups is getting big.. what is her/his name?.. and keep an eye on Obama!
  13. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    A few more shots before I take it out and get it washed!

    With over 8,400 miles on its odo, it has had some tough miles placed on it. Given the condition of the interior plastics (IP), it has seen a lot family use including probably some camping which is exactly what it should be used for :)

    2012 Toyota Prius v Review

    As it sits in the drive.

    Interior shot of the fully loaded v-5 with the 7" HD based NAVI screen and JBL Greenedge Audio system.​

    The Panoramic roof has a dual sliding sun shade that is ingenious as all get out but it is not a sun roof in the traditional sense since it does not open.

    I will have to do some vids to show everyone why I like the HVAC controls as it is a single controller on a gimbal that is a work of engineering genius.

  14. FSUspectra

    FSUspectra Practicing true conservatism!

    That dashboard still kills me. :( And man, is that pup big, Wayne! :eek:

    Looking forward to the drive! :)
  15. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    To quantify cargo capacity as measured in Brooklyn, NY...
    "You can fit 'tree' bodies in d'ere"
  16. RichXKU

    RichXKU Well-Known Member

    Or Ciminillos as measured in Chicago:

  17. WriConsult

    WriConsult Super Moderator

    Can't wait for the full report. I know you got a good chance to familiarize yourself with the v last weekend, so this should be a really great test.

    Other than the fact that there is FINALLY a family hauler hybrid available, the greatest single thing about this car IMO is the sliding rear seats. A feature which, curiously, it shares with the tiny Scion xD. I would love to eventually see ALL hatchbacks and wagons equipped with these.
  18. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Great comparison pictures, guys! Thanks much -- I'll pass them along.
  19. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    First drive to the car wash and back, 4.6 miles was 71.3 mpg after sitting in the drive for over 3-hours in low 40 degree temps. Some of that was battery however so we'll see how she does throughout the rest of the week.

  20. WriConsult

    WriConsult Super Moderator

    Oh, BTW these have been available long enough now to see occasional discounts. Locally, Broadway Toyota is advertising a Prius V Two for $25,200. That's a lot of hybrid for the money.

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