Flash Drive — 2012 Toyota Prius V

By Bruce Caldwell

Model Tested: Toyota Prius V 5-Door Wagon

Engine: 1.8-liter 98 horsepower gas engine and 36-horsepower battery-powered electric motor, total system horsepower 134

Transmission: CVT automatic, front wheel drive

EPA Ratings:
44-mpg city/40-mpg highway

Base Price: $27,165

As Tested:
$28,489

Performance:
Incredible fuel economy
Four driving modes including Power
Seamless transition between modes
Competent handling

Comfort:
Comfy, supportive seats; driver lumbar adjustment
Stretch-out front legroom
Sliding, reclining second row seats
Big door openings
Totally flat floor

Utility:
Fold-flat front passenger seat for long cargo
Flat floor
Back seats fold almost flat
Big hatch opening
Extra storage under floor
Ample interior storage bins

Wow Factors:
Averaged 48.3 mpg in mixed driving
High-tech, multi-system info/entertainment system compatibility/connectivity
8-year/100,000 mile warranty on hybrid-related components
Backup camera
Near cavernous cargo capacity

Whines:
Odd, central speedometer
Unusual shifter takes getting used to
Boxy styling
Leisurely acceleration

Bottom Line: Extreme efficiency precisely describes the 2012 Toyota Prius V. The spacious, affordable, ultra-economical Prius V is a master of transporting people and cargo in an ecologically friendly manner.