Toyota Prius V wagon starts production in Japan

Toyota Prius V – Click above for high-res image gallery

Over the last 11 years, more than a million Prius hybrids have been sold in the U.S. With that level of success it is, in Toyota's estimation, a perfect time for the Prius brand to expand into the crossover MPV segment. To that end, the wagon-like Toyota Prius V has officially entered production and will make its global sales debut in April over in Japan.

The 2012 Prius V comes packing most of the hybrid hardware found in the standard Prius. The MPV has 34.3 cubic feet of interior space, 38 inches of rear leg room and five inches of additional length over the standard Prius. Even with the extra girth, the Prius V boasts a fuel economy rating that most vehicles in its class simply can't match. How high? The spacious MPV nets 42 miles per gallon in the city and a lofty 38 mpg on the highway.

With production of the Prius V underway and its U.S. launch scheduled for early 2012, it'll be interesting to see how sales of all of Toyota's hybrids – which recently eclipsed the three-million mark – are boosted after the plus-sized Prius hits the market.

2012 Toyota Prius V
2012 Toyota Prius V
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[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]

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