First Drive 2012 Toyota Prius v TheDetroitBureau com

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Toyota Prius Electric Cars

First Drive: 2012 Prius v

The 2012 Toyota v is the first in an expanding family of hybrids.

There was a sense of vu as we walked up to the new hybrid parked the Eagle Crest Conference But no wonder.  All similarities are purely when it comes to the new 2012 Prius v, the first addition to is soon to become an extended of Prius-badged hybrids.

It’s 11 years since the original made its debut, promising an revolution that seems timely today with prices nudging upwards record levels.  Surprisingly, that revolution never seems to take off.  $4-a-gallon gas, hybrids account for barely 3% of the total market and, all told, if you them all up their collective didn’t match the May numbers for three most popular cars, the Ford Mustang, Camaro and Dodge Challenger.

The Story!

Okay, maybe May a great example, as Japanese like Toyota were struggling with production caused by the March 11 earthquake and in Japan.  Sales of the Prius were off as much as 40%, officials lament, due to supply Indeed, for the moment, there’s a 4-day supply of the original in U.S. showrooms.  The fact is, American motorists have yet to hybrids, on the whole, they’re in with the distinctive little which now accounts for about 50% of the models sold in the U.S. more, Click Here .)

So, is it any surprise that when decided to roll out an assortment of new hybrid models, like the new v, that they would the familiar and popular badge – and a very familial appearance?

The v opts for a larger, more layout but shares the underlying platform.

Toyota is planning to out at least 10 new hybrids in the next two but only a select group share the Prius badge, with the Prius v.  Look for it to dealer showrooms around about two months later originally planned, explains chief Ed LaRoque, due to the impact of the The v will be followed soon by a plug-in version of the “classic” Toyota’s first model to use batteries.  Early next keep an eye out for the Prius C, a compact and hybrid targeting entry-level who’d like to go green.

The shape of the 2012 Toyota v echoes that of the classic with a gentle curve up off the nose and racing back a new, roof-mounted spoiler.  aerodynamics were critical to the new much as they were the explains Kirk Forsht, of the of Toyota.

The emphasis is on space the 2012 Prius v.

The current classic has an impressive 0.25 coefficient.  Despite its added and width, as well as the new wagon-like end, the Prius v still has a Cd, about as good as it gets for this size.  Along the rear spoiler, Toyota incorporate new “aero corners” on the of the v, as well as fins on the headlamps to airflow.

Though based off the same platform, there’s not a single body panel between the and Prius v.  That includes the new large Panoramic sunroof – also reveals the development focus on reducing weight, a enemy of fuel efficiency.  The relies on a new, clear that is significantly lighter a traditional glass design.  the SofTex seat fabric on the up-market v variant was chosen it was lighter than leather.

The seats have a 60/40 but also recline and slide. opted against a 3-row for the American market.

For many the big selling point for the 2012 Prius v will be its fuel of 44 mpg City, 40 Highway and 42 Combined City number coming in 2 mpg the maker’s initial estimate.  still short of the 51/48 rating for the standard hybrid – but on the side there’s a lot more

The new model is about 3 inches with a 6-inch longer It’s an inch taller and and offers significantly more hip and shoulder room for all five (And unlike other markets, American buyers only be offered a two-row, version of the Prius v.)

Aerodynamics a big difference, even subtle tweaks, like the headlight

There’s 97.2 cubic of space in the passenger compartment, 3.5 cf more than the classic And there’s 58% more cargo at 33.4 cubic feet – so that you’ll find room for your “stuff” in the compartment with 5 people than you would in the regular with the rear seats down.

Toyota also aimed to a more “refined and substantial” as analyst Aaron Bragman There’s a rice paper-like to the soft-touch materials on door and panel and a bit more elegant look and feel.

That we still sense some of the that has plagued Toyota in years.  For something in this range we’d expect a bit elegance and attention to detail.  To our the center-mounted gauge cluster is a negative, though it’s out better than those on competitors like the Honda and Mini.

  The quirky Prius carried over from the model, also takes to get used to.

The 2012 Prius v be the first Toyota model to the maker s new entune system.

The seats are reasonably comfortable not overly supportive.  Our co-driver that he felt like was jabbing him in his lower back, The rear seats offer leg room even for large and they not only offer a split/fold feature but can slide and

Out of sight is the Hybrid Synergy system largely borrowed from the Prius classic.  based around a 1.8-liter mated to an electric motor can either supplement the gas engine or drive the vehicle for short at low speeds solely on battery Energy collected during and coasting is stored in the Prius v hydride battery pack.

A few modest changes were to the driveline, in part to help it its cool, but also to draw a bit power out, with a final drive ratio, the added mass of the larger v.

The Prius v handles surprisingly

Heading out for a jaunt through farm country we found the v to be reasonably peppy, if not exactly But for those who expect hybrids to be the equivalent of those ‘80s-era stone ponies, the Prius deliver a pleasant surprise.  As the original model – and as with any vehicle using a CVT transmission – it time to get used to the “rubber-banding” where engine speed to disconnect from the actual of the vehicle.

Toyota Prius Electric Cars

Contrary to conventional there are some sharp and even a few hills in Southeast and we charged into every one we upon.  To its credit, the suspension on the Toyota Prius v proved stable, with pleasantly body roll.

To save the Panorama roof uses a resin rather than glass.

One of the more interesting of the new model is the introduction of pitch-and-balance a system that subtly wheel speed in order to out a rolling road surface – you’re more likely to in places like Southern

The new technology is just one of several Toyota will offer on the Prius V.  The hybrid wagon also get seven airbags, active cruise control and technology – and Toyota’s new entune.

The infotainment system was developed as an to Ford’s popular sync and likewise give a motorist control over a variety of such as setting a destination for the system.  More significantly, it introduce a n expanded link the car and a smartphone, allowing a motorist to such apps as the Pandora network and Open Table, a reservation service.  As with consumer electronics, Toyota an owner will be able to entune online rather having to wait to trade in the

By this time next the Prius badge will be onto at least four hybrid models.

The base v will come with a LCD screen.  Navigation can be added by up your model choice.  The v will get a 7-inch high-res The upgraded audio system, is the new JBL GreenEdge.

Its high-efficiency speakers are not lighter but require less to produce a given level of meaning a lower draw on the v battery.

Toyota won’t set on the 2012 Prius v until to the autumn launch, though hints it will be “a little than the current Prius transaction price.”  Considering have been paying as as $3,000 more for the Prius, in months, due to the shortages, we’re not precisely what that into, but something in the high-$20,000 for the 2012 Toyota Prius v likely.

Toyota is betting its Prius models will outsell the best-selling Camry.

Is it worth it?  There are of vehicles now getting 40 mpg on the highway, few come close to the new hybrid’s 44 numbers, so for those who spend a lot of stuck in traffic, it could be a And it is a fair bit bigger than of the higher mileage models now to market, such as the Ford Chevrolet Cruze Eco and Hyundai

American buyers routinely say look at hybrids when in the market, then wind up something more conventional.  The is the Prius.  And Toyota is betting by spreading that name some of its newer models it give them a leg up on the rest of the gas-electric offerings.

  We’ll to wait until later year to see if that strategy

This entry was posted on June 22nd, 2011 at and is under Automobiles. You can follow any to this entry through the RSS 2.0 Both comments and pings are closed.

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