Test Drive New Prius v Family Car CBS News

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Test Drive: New Prius v Car

Last Updated Jun 16, 2011 PM EDT

When it comes to gas-electric Prius is the single best-known Now Toyota is introducing a bigger family vehicle called the v, as part of a planned family of in the Prius line. The Prius hybrid and the smaller Prius c appear next year.

writers got a chance to drive the v for the first time this at an event in New York’s Westchester Toyota executives say the v stands for — though they have much of an explanation for the designation that makes me go ( So I am going to use an upper-case V henceforth.)

it has the same gas-electric power as the traditional hatchback Prius, the V has as much cargo space as small SUVs. Many have told us that they love everything their Prius, the need a with more space, Rick LoFaso, Toyota’s marketing manager for cars and He projected that perhaps of future Prius sales go to the family-size V.

Here’s a quick rundown on the new

It’s (almost) all about the gas Following in the mileage-champ tire of the traditional Prius (rated at 51 mpg in the 48 highway), the heavier Prius V is at 44 mpg city, 40 highway. If mileage cargo capacity is your this unusually styled will be the runaway mpg winner crossover SUVs with cargo space.

It’s about being green. the first, the Prius has appealed to who wanted to be environmentally responsible and to sure their neighbors it. The V retains the signature aerodynamic

In addition to emitting fewer gas emissions (which happens by when you burn less the company wants you to know the V has 66% lower emissions of smog-forming than the average new car.

You can stuff. From several suitcases to multiple Costco-size of paper goods, it all fits in the V, has 58% more cargo space the standard Prius. (That’s cubic feet, with the seats up.) Fold seats down and that to 67 cubic feet — more than the 66.4 feet in a Ford Escape, is the one hybrid in the small-SUV category.


It cost more. Toyota has not yet pricing for the V, which goes on this fall. But it said the V be a few thousand dollars more the original Prius at each and price level. For instance, the Three level of the current has a list price of $24,520.

If the V came in $3,000 above it would cost around That still would be a price advantage over the hybrid, at $32,585, and a bit less the Ford Fusion hybrid, a with less carrying that lists for $28,600.

getting the details on the features of the V, I got a to drive it through the hilly, roads that pass the real estate of Bedford, and adjacent Greenwich, Conn. are some impressions.

Power . As the regular Prius, that gas mileage in the V comes with a of sluggish acceleration (0 to 60 mph in 10.4 But Toyota has given you some in the matter. You have buttons to set the for Power, Eco (maximum mileage) and EV power only up to 25 miles per in city driving).

Pushing the power button a notable boost over the setting or Eco. And you will the power setting to ease climbs, even small like those in Westchester. Although moving reasonably the gas engine when being hard is annoyingly noisy.

Toyota Prius Electric Cars

. As a bigger, heavier vehicle pounds), the V suffers more roll in curves. Apart that, though, a stiffened helps it navigate winding reasonably well. The steering, not particularly quick, is reasonably

Ride and Comfort . The comfortable, seats seem easy to into for a long trip. And the vehicle means additional for back-seat passengers.

Navigation and The V will be one of the first vehicles to Toyota’s new Entune system for local services or playing Entune works through smartphone after a download of the The Bing search will nearby stores; entering turned up two Starbucks locations a short drive even in bucolic, exurban neighborhood. it comes to entertainment, you can click on Internet radio. (See The Apps for Your Car .) To avoid you can select pre-existing Pandora while the car is moving but you cannot set up new use Bing search or perform any complicated maneuver. Entune doesn’t have voice for all functions, like the Ford system; only Hyundai and Kia have replicated that.

But it is intuitive and easy to use, on the road.

From the start, the styling has been a love-it-or-hate-it for most shoppers. I suspect the for the Prius V will be, as Toyota suggest, families who love Prius but need more At first look, the V seems up to job.

Photos courtesy of Toyota Sales U.S.A.

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