2017 Prius v New Car Test Drive
The Toyota Prius v is a wagon, and the biggest and most spacious member of Toyota's compact hybrid-powertrain group. It's also the oldest. Introduced for the 2012 model year, it is now in its sixth season.
2017 Prius v models come with upgraded Entune audio with voice recognition, and Siri Eyes-Free functionality. Little has changed for the 2017 model year.
The popular Prius liftback was redesigned for 2016, but the 2017 Prius v retains the same powertrain used in the prior generation: a 98-horsepower, 1.8-liter gasoline engine that works with two electric motors and a nickel metal hydride battery pack. The primary (60 kW) electric motor propels the vehicle, while the smaller one mainly provides electric power. Total system output is 134 horsepower, sent to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and front-wheel drive.
Because the Prius v is comparatively heavy and bulky, performance trails that of other Prius models. So does fuel economy, which is EPA-rated at 41 mpg Combined city and highway, versus 52 mpg Combined for the latest Prius liftback.
Toyota promotes the tall wagon's SUV-like space and versatility, and the interior does qualify as spacious and flexible. Occupants sit a bit higher than in a regular sedan or hatchback, promising good views. Still, despite a more boxy profile than a regular Prius, it's by no means a crossover vehicle. All-wheel drive is not available, and Prius v ground clearance is similar to that of a conventional sedan.
Unlike the familiar liftback model with its split-pane back window, the rear window in the Prius v consists of a single element of vertical glass. As a result, rearward vision is significantly better.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety designated the Prius v a Top Safety Pick Plus, but only when equipped with an optional Advanced Technology Package. The Prius v earned top Good ratings on all tests. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not crash-tested the Prius v in its current structural form.
A rearview camera is standard on all four trim levels. An Advanced Technology Package bundles together a panoramic moonroof with power sunshades, radar-based dynamic cruise control, JBL Premium Audio, and a hard-drive navigation system. Also included are a pre-collision warning, lane-departure alert, and automatic high beams. The pre-collision system can apply brakes and retract seatbelts if it senses that a frontal collision is imminent.
The 2017 Toyota Prius v comes in four trim levels, numbered Two through Five. (Prices are MSRP and do not include $865 destination charge.)
Prius v Two ($26,675) comes with keyless entry, automatic climate control, fabric seat upholstery, and 16-inch alloy wheels. Toyota's Entune cloud-based media and connectivity system also is standard. Prius v Three ($28,060) includes steering wheel-mounted audio and climate controls, Bluetooth, and power lumbar support. A navigation system with voice control displays on the 6.1-inch touchscreen. A separate 4.2-inch color screen sits within the instrument panel.
Prius v Four ($29,695) adds heated front seats, an auto-dimming mirror, and an eight-way power driver's seat. SofTex upholstery is said to resist spills and be easy to clean. Prius v Five ($30,935), which tops the Prius v range, includes 10-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels, foglamps, and LED headlights.
Seven airbags are standard, as is a rearview camera.