Reviews

2017 Toyota Prius v Introduction

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.

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