First drive of the Prius V (but you’ll have to wait until the fall to get one)

7/3/11 – Update – Pricing of the Prius v is expected to range from $24,000 to $30,000 depending on trim level.   Here’s another test drive review from USA today.

 

If you like the Prius but find it a little too small for you and your family, then for sure you’re going to be interested in the Prius V (the V stands for Versatility, according to Toyota).  

Prius V
Prius V
Marketed towards Americans, who buy, as noted by Hiroshi Kayukawa, Chief Engineer for Toyota, more “big stuff” than the Japanese people, the  Prius V hybrid wagon is set to deliver about 50 percent more cargo space than the standard Prius – its about 6 inches longer, 1 inch wider and 3 inches taller.

On the downside, with the bigger cargo space comes a drop in fuel economy compared to the regular Prius – the Prius V will get an EPA 44 mpg city and 40 mpg highway rating.   But you get more passenger room with rear seats that slide forward and back and also recline. More up front room too.

The CNet folks got hold of a Prius V to test and it seems they really like it.   It drives pretty much like a regular Prius, with the same “seamless” addition of the gas engine when accelerating,  and even though it is heavier and bigger, it still had plenty of pep, since the hybrid system has been tuned for greater torque.

While pricing hasn’t yet been announced,  Toyota says that it will be priced just a little bit more than the current Prius model.   Current plans are to have the Prius V hit the US showrooms in the fall of this year.

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