2013 Toyota Prius v Preview

Jeff Youngs | Mar 04, 2013
  • Midsize 4-door wagon
  • Second model year
  • Prius v Five model adds SofTex-wrapped steering wheel
  • New Seaglass Pearl exterior color
  • 58 percent cargo capacity than Prius liftback


The Prius v is the largest car in the Prius lineup, which Toyota has turned into a sub-brand. It shares its hybrid powertrain with the Prius liftback, but is not as fuel efficient due to its larger size and weight.

The Toyota Prius v competes most directly with the Ford C-Max Hybrid, but it also competes with vehicles such as the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Sportwagen, the standard Prius, and even compact crossovers, which offer about the same amount of space.

Exterior Features

The Prius v is 6 inches longer than the Prius liftback and it uses a wagon body style instead of the standard Prius' hatchback design. The coefficient of drag is 0.29, which is higher than both the Prius and Prius c, but more aerodynamic than most vehicles on the market. Standard exterior features include a rear defogger, an intermittent rear wiper, automatic-off headlights, a rear spoiler, and P205/60R16 tires on alloy wheels.

Interior Features

The Prius v seats 5 occupants with 2 rows of seats. With 58 percent more cargo capacity than the Prius liftback and 67.3 cubic feet of cargo space in total, it has as much room as most compact crossover utility vehicles. The Prius v comes standard with cloth upholstery, height-adjustable driver's seat with lumbar adjustment, automatic climate control, interior air filter, tilt/telescoping steering wheel with audio and climate controls, cruise control, fold-flat front passenger seat, adjustable split-folding rear seat, heated power mirrors, power windows, power door locks, remote keyless entry, keyless access and starting, AM/FM/CD stereo, auxiliary input jack, USB port, Bluetooth connectivity, trip computer, rearview camera, rear cargo cover, and a theft-deterrent system.

Optional Features

The Prius v is offered in three models, Two, Three and Five. To the base Two model, the  Prius v Three adds a navigation system with voice recognition, Toyota's Entune infotainment system, high-definition radio, and satellite radio. The Prius v Five gets SofTex vinyl upholstery, heated front seats, auto-dimming rearview mirror, universal garage door opener, automatic LED headlights with washers, fog lights, and P215/50R17 tires. An Advanced Technology Package adds a hard-drive-based navigation system with split-screen functionality and traffic information, a pre-collision system, Toyota's Safety Connect assistance system, adaptive cruise control, panoramic sunroof, hands-free parallel parking, power sunroof, JBL GreenEdge sound system, adaptive cruise control. Remote engine starting is also available.

Under the Hood

The Prius v shares the Prius liftback's Hybrid Synergy Drive system. It uses a 98-horsepower 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine aided by a two electric motors. A 42 kW (56 horsepower) motor (Motor Generator 1 or MG1) acts as a generator and the 60 kW MG2 (80 horsepower) supplies motive power. The Nickel-Metal-Hydride battery puts out a peak 36 horsepower. Toyota says total output is 134 horsepower. The power is sent through a continuously variable automatic transmission that features lower gearing ratios than in the Prius liftback to offset the Prius v's extra weight.

Fuel Economy

Fuel-economy estimates for the 2013 Toyota Prius v as rated by the EPA are:

Toyota Prius v: 44/40/42 mpg (city/highway/combined)


The 2013 Toyota Prius v comes standard with dual front air bags, front side air bags, curtain side air bags, driver knee air bag, traction control, electronic stability control, front-seat active head restraints, and antilock 4-wheel disc brakes with brake assist, electronic brake force distribution and brake override.

The Toyota Prius v received 4 stars (out of 5 stars) in frontal crash protection and rollover crash protection tests conducted by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in its New Car Assessment Program. It also received 5 stars in the side crash test, and was given a 5-star overall rating. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) testing, it received the highest rating, "Good," in the front overlap, side impact, roof strength, and rear crash protection tests, qualifying it as a Top Safety Pick. It was not subjected to the new small overlap front test, so it cannot be named a Top Safety Pick Plus.


The Prius v uses a parallel hybrid system, which means the car can run on the engine alone, electricity alone, or a combination of the two. It can run on electricity up to 25 mph for as long as one mile. This can be accomplished by pushing the EV mode button and using a light foot or just using a light foot. More aggressive throttle application starts the engine, even when in EV mode. The engine shuts off at stops to save fuel. The Prius v also has an ECO mode that dulls the throttle response and runs the air conditioning more efficiently.
The Prius v is offered with Toyota's Entune infotainment system. This multimedia system pairs with owners' smartphones to provide access to mobile apps, including music streaming through Pandora and iheartradio, Bing search with navigation, OpenTable dining reservations, and movietickets.com. It also includes access to XM data services, including information on stocks, sports scores, fuel pricing and locations, and live weather and traffic. All of these features are presented on the dashboard screen.

Toyota's Safety Connect system includes Emergency Assistance, Stolen Vehicle Locator, Roadside Assistance and Automatic Collision Notification. It comes with a 1-year trial subscription

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