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Autofocus: 2013 Toyota Prius V delivers MPG, surprising utility

By John Clayton, Staff Reporter
Published on Thursday, December 27, 2012

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The 2013 Prius V offers the gas mileage – 48 mpg highway, 51 mpg city and 50 mpg combined.

The 2013 Prius V offers the gas mileage – 48 mpg highway, 51 mpg city and 50 mpg combined.



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The 1.8-liter engine coupled with the hybrid powertrain, produces an occasionally underwhelming 98 horsepower, but no one is looking at a Prius for horses under the hood.

The 1.8-liter engine coupled with the hybrid powertrain, produces an occasionally underwhelming 98 horsepower, but no one is looking at a Prius for horses under the hood.



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This is a look at the interior. The 34.2 cubic-feet of cargo space grows to as much as 67.3 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down.

This is a look at the interior. The 34.2 cubic-feet of cargo space grows to as much as 67.3 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down.



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A look at the Prius V console.
 

A look at the Prius V console.

 



When people think about the Toyota Prius they think two things: First and foremost, gas mileage. Second, what exactly is the plural of Prius? Priuses? Prii?

The 2013 Prius V offers the gas mileage – 48 mpg highway, 51 mpg city and 50 mpg combined. But it also offers copious amounts of interior space and more utility than any of its Prius predecessors.

Toyota expanded its Prius lineup for 2012 and the Prius V became an entry into the crossover market – call it a wagon or crossover. It’s taller and offers the aforementioned utility with a rear lift gate, starting in the $30,000 range.

It’s difficult to call the Prius V a true crossover because no all-wheel-drive options are offered. It’s front-wheel-drive only.

While the V shares no body panels with any other members of the Prius lineup, it does share the Hybrid Synergy Powertrain with its siblings. While it may be the bigger brother, it is not the hulking, stronger, faster, bigger brother.

The 1.8-liter engine coupled with the hybrid powertrain, produces an occasionally underwhelming 98 horsepower, but no one is looking at a Prius for horses under the hood.

The Prius is about fuel economy and the Prius V delivers as its siblings do. It also has little competition in the market with Ford's new C-Max as the only comparable hybrid at dealerships.

The tested model was somewhat redundantly named the Prius V Five (for comparison, there are also Prius Two and Prius Three trim packages).

The V Five package includes 17-inch, 5-spoke alloy wheels, fog lamps and an adjustable, heated driver's seat with lumbar support.

The V's base price is at just under $30,000, but the entire V package and amenities upped the cost of the test vehicle to $36,051.

PRIUS PLUSSES

Fuel economy (I drove forever on a half tank)

34.2 cubic-feet of cargo space that grows to as much as 67.3 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down.

PRIUS MINUSES

No real steering feel.

Can be sluggish, even when you expect 98 horsepower.

THE COMPETITION: Ford C-Max

2013 Prius V Five Base Price: $29,805

Five Package Option: $4,320

Total price (with added options, fees): $36,060.98

EPA Fuel Economy: 51 mpg city, 48 mpg highway and 50 mpg combined.

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