Toyota Prius V
2017 Toyota Prius V Overview
Pros & Cons
- Admirable fuel economy
- Roomy back seats
- Spacious cargo hold
- Slow and droning acceleration
- Dull handling
- Cheap interior materials
Notable for 2017
- Infotainment system gets voice recognition and Siri Eyes Free
Toyota Prius V Rankings and Research
The 2017 Toyota Prius V ranking is based on its score within the Wagons category. Currently the Toyota Prius V has a score of 8.3 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 45 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.
2017 Toyota Prius V Pictures
2017 Toyota Prius V Review
The 2017 Toyota Prius v is an efficient wagon with enough space for five and all their gear. However, performance is not a strong suit, due to lifeless handling and lackluster acceleration. Inside, hard plastics abound, but the overall look maintains the Prius line's futuristic chic styling.
Is the Toyota Prius v a Good Wagon?
The 2017 Prius v makes a great wagon if gas mileage, passenger space, and cargo capacity are your top priorities. Although the standard Toyota Prius is more efficient, the Prius v offers more space. However, the Prius v's performance is anything but exciting, and the cabin is teeming with hard plastics.
Though it isn't as much of a fuel miser as either Prius, the Subaru Outback offers sharper handling and standard all-wheel drive, which isn't even an option with the front-wheel-drive Toyotas.
Should I Buy the Toyota Prius v?
For the Prius v's starting price of $26,675, you can find a better value elsewhere. The standard hatchback Prius has a lower starting price, better fuel economy, and more standard advanced safety features. The Outback starts about $1,000 lower, and it actually offers more space for passengers and cargo than the Prius v.
We Did the Research for You: 44 Pieces of Data Analyzed
We analyzed 44 data elements to give you the most comprehensive analysis of the Toyota Prius v, combining the opinions of automotive journalists with figures like fuel economy estimates, safety scores, and reliability ratings. We did the hard work so you don't have to.
Toyota hasn’t redesigned the Prius v since its debut for the 2012 model year, and it has seen limited changes. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2012 through 2017 model years.
Why You Can Trust Us
At U.S. News & World Report, we've been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs for almost a decade. Our team has 75 years of experience reporting on and working in the automotive industry. Our reviews are impartial; we do not accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers. Our advertising is handled by a third party and in no way endorses a particular brand.
How Much Does the Toyota Prius v Cost?
Starting at $26,675, the Prius v costs about $2,000 more than its smaller and recently redesigned sibling, the Toyota Prius. Some rival wagons offer lower starting prices, like the Subaru Outback ($25,645) and the Ford C-Max Hybrid ($24,120).
The Prius v comes in four trims: Two, Three, Four, and Five. (There is no One trim.) Stepping up from the base trim, the Three starts at $28,060 and adds connectivity and tech features. Next in line is the Four ($29,695), which mostly adds amenities that keep you feeling comfortable. The most well-equipped Prius v is the Five ($30,935), which adds exterior enhancements and offers a package that includes infotainment upgrades and numerous advanced safety features. A top-of-the-line fully loaded v will set you back $34,270.
Toyota Prius v Versus the Competition
Which Is Better: Toyota Prius v or Toyota Prius?
Unless rear-seat and cargo space are a top concern, you're better off going with the Toyota Prius; it will save you money at the dealership and the pump. Its starting price is $2,000 lower than the Prius v’s, and it also has better fuel economy. While the recently redesigned Prius has less rear-seat space and a smaller cargo hold than the Prius v, it has a fresher look and more high-quality materials. In comparison, the Prius v’s interior setup includes lots of hard plastics. The Prius also comes standard with features the Prius v doesn't, including adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, and lane keep assist.
Though the Prius v offers 134 horsepower (13 horsepower more than the Prius), it weighs an extra 265 pounds, which saps much of that extra oomph. However, if you're looking at hybrids, you're probably more concerned with fuel economy estimates than horsepower ratings. The Prius achieves 54 mpg in the city and 50 mpg on the highway, while its wagon counterpart returns 43 mpg in the city and 39 on the highway. While both of these estimates are far and away better than most vehicles on the market, going for the standard Prius instead of the Prius v will save you $200 over the course of a year. While both models prioritize ride comfort over handling agility, the Prius feels a bit lighter on its feet than the Prius v. The larger hybrid's steering is over-assisted and provides very little road feedback.
Which Is Better: Toyota Prius v or Subaru Outback?
You'll like the Subaru Outback better if you favor performance over fuel efficiency. The Outback comes standard with all-wheel drive, which gives you better inclement-weather traction than the front-wheel-drive Prius v. With approximately 9 inches of ground clearance, the Outback is also able to tackle tougher terrain. It is nimbler around turns, yet still offers a comfortable ride. By comparison, the Prius v is best left to driving on paved roads. You'll have more overall space in the Outback, including more front- and rear-seat legroom and a slightly larger cargo hold. The Outback also comes standard with a more powerful engine, and it offers an optional V6 for those who want even more power.
However, the Prius v is more fuel-efficient; it’ll save you about $400 a year compared to the Outback. The Outback costs about $1,000 less than the Prius v, but it doesn't come with some of the features that are standard in the Toyota. With the Outback, advanced safety features are available as packages in the lower trims, which isn't the case with the Prius v.
Which Is Better: Toyota Prius v or Ford C-Max Hybrid?
For those who think the Prius v is a bore to drive, the Ford C-Max Hybrid’s athletic handling and quick acceleration – for a hybrid – will provide the fun you’re looking for. The C-Max is also a more affordable alternative, as it has a lower starting price by about $2,500. In addition, it feels quicker off the line than the Prius v, thanks to an extra 54 horsepower. Few hybrids earn praise for sharp handling, but the C-Max is one of them. In contrast, the Prius v focuses primarily on ride quality.
However, the C-Max Hybrid's reliability rating is one of the worst possible, making it difficult to recommend. The C-Max Hybrid also falls short of the Prius v in terms of safety scores and the availability of advanced safety features.
The C-Max Hybrid has a spacious and upscale interior, with high-quality materials you don't get with the Prius v. The C-Max Hybrid has less cargo room but more head- and legroom in the front and rear seats. It also comes with more standard features than the Prius v, including blind spot monitoring and dual-zone climate control. You'll also get Ford's MyKey, which allows you to set volume and speed limits, among other functions.
Prius v Interior
How Many People Does the Prius v Seat?
The 2017 Toyota Prius v does not disappoint with passenger space. It has 97 cubic feet of passenger volume and comfortable seating for five people. There’s plenty of head- and legroom in both the front and the back. The rear seats also slide back to allow more legroom and recline for additional comfort.
For the driver, the Prius v’s elevated seating position helps with forward visibility. Rearward visibility is also good because the Prius v’s back windshield doesn’t have a rear spoiler. The standard Toyota Prius has this spoiler, and it creates a horizontal split that impacts visibility.
Prius v and Car Seats
The Prius v’s LATCH car-seat system includes lower anchors on both outboard rear seats and tether anchors on all three rear seats. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety hasn’t rated the 2017 model yet, but it gives the 2016 Prius v’s LATCH system a score of Marginal for ease of use. The tether anchors can be hard to find, the lower anchors are buried too deep in the seats, and both sets of equipment are difficult to operate. The standard Prius handles child seats well and receives a rating of Good+, meaning it meets the criteria for the highest Good rating and provides extra LATCH equipment for maximum flexibility.
Prius v Interior Quality
Gauges inside the Prius v are in the center of the dash, leaving nothing to look at behind the steering wheel. Some critics note this gives off an unfinished look. Hard plastics are everywhere, which further detracts from the interior's look and feel.
Prius v Cargo Space
The Prius v has 34.3 cubic feet of cargo space. The rear seats slide forward, expanding the cargo hold behind the seats to 40.2 cubic feet. If you fold the rear seats down, you’ll get 67.3 cubic feet of space. That's slightly less room than the Subaru Outback affords, but it's about 10 cubic feet more than what you get with the Ford C-Max Hybrid or the standard Prius. That difference is enough space for two large suitcases and two carry-on bags.
Interior storage in the Prius v is great as well. There are two glove boxes, a storage bin under the shifter, and a sizable armrest bin. There’s also a cup holder for each of the five seats.
Prius v Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation
There’s no shortage of standard features in the tech-rich Prius v. It comes with features that the Outback doesn't, like automatic climate control, a proximity key, and push-button start. There are also plenty of available safety features, like adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with automatic braking, lane departure warning, and automatic high beams. However, you’ll have to purchase the top-of-the-line Five trim and add the Advanced Technology package to get them. The Outback offers many of these advanced safety features as part of a package in its lower trims.
The Entune infotainment system in the Prius v works well. It allows you to connect your phone through either Bluetooth, an auxiliary jack, or a USB port. Pairing your phone or changing the audio settings can be frustrating, according to some reviewers. With the Prius v in the Three trim, you'll get an upgraded infotainment system that connects with more apps, like Yelp. Siri Eyes Free, which gives you access to voice recognition through your iPhone, comes standard.
With the C-Max Hybrid, you have the option of getting Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. These systems allow you to take things a step further and call up your phone's apps right on the screen. For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto? Then, see the Best Cars With Apple CarPlay and Best Cars With Android Auto.
Prius v Performance
Prius v Engine: Ho-Hum, but Smooth
Driving the 2017 Toyota Prius v is no thrill ride. It makes 134 horsepower from a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine coupled with an electric motor. The hybrid combo uses a continuously variable transmission (CVT), which functions like an automatic but does not shift. The transition between the gas and electric-only driving modes is seamless, without the harsh shudder felt in some other hybrids.
Driving around town is not a problem, but passing and merging on the highway can require forethought and flooring the gas pedal. For a hybrid with better acceleration, check out the Ford C-Max Hybrid.
Prius v Gas Mileage: Great Fuel Economy, but Not the Best
With 43 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway, it’s a little easier to forgive the Prius v for its shortcomings. The C-Max Hybrid falls short by 1 mpg both in the city and on the highway. The Toyota Prius reaches a higher 54/50 mpg city/highway.
Prius v Ride and Handling: Rides Better Than It Handles
Handling is dull in the Prius v, with steering that feels numb and over-assisted. Still, it remains secure and unruffled on twisting back roads. Other wagons, like the Subaru Outback and C-Max Hybrid, are more fun to drive because of their crisp handling. The Prius v rides well thanks to its wheelbase, which is longer than that of the standard Prius.
Like most hybrids, the Prius v uses regenerative brakes which capture kinetic energy to charge the lithium ion battery. Some test drivers say pedal feel is imprecise compared to nonhybrid cars. The brakes are easy to get used to after driving a bit, and the Prius v's work especially well.
Prius v Reliability
Is the Toyota Prius v Reliable?
In terms of reliability, the 2017 Prius v scores slightly above average with 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power and Associates. Most Toyotas score better, including the standard Toyota Prius, which earns a score of four out of five. The Ford C-Max Hybrid earns a 2.5 out of five, one of the lowest scores possible.
Toyota Prius v Warranty
The 2017 Toyota Prius v has a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. Hybrid components are covered by an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty. These are typical warranties compared to rivals.
Prius v Safety
Prius v Crash Test Results
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety names the 2017 Prius v a Top Safety Pick+. The Prius v earns the highest rating of Good in all five crash test categories. Both the Subaru Outback and the standard Toyota Prius also receive a Top Safety Pick+ designation. The Ford C-Max Hybrid earns a rating of Good in four test categories but gets a score of Acceptable in the small overlap front test, which measures how safe occupants will be if the front corner of the vehicle collides with an object like a telephone pole, a tree, or the corner of another vehicle.
Prius v Safety Features
A rearview camera comes standard in the 2017 Prius v. Advanced safety features include automatic high-beam headlights, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with automatic braking, and lane departure warning. However, you'll have to upgrade to the highest trim then tack on a package to get these features. That brings the price to $34,270, which is much higher than the base price.
Adaptive cruise control maintains your Prius v’s speed and the distance between you and the car in front of you. Forward collision warning with automatic braking notifies you of an imminent collision and applies the brakes to stop the car. Lane departure warning alerts you if you stray outside the lines without using your turn signal. For more information on these features, check out Today's High-Tech Car Safety Features and What They Do.
If you're looking for standard advanced safety features, check out the Toyota Prius. It comes with forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, lane keep assist, and adaptive cruise control. Other features are available in the upper trims.
Which Toyota Prius v Model Is Right for Me?
The 2017 Toyota Prius v comes in four trims: Two, Three, Four, and Five. (Note that there is no One model.) All come with a four-cylinder engine, an electric motor, a continuously variable automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive.
For most folks, the Prius v Three will be the best choice. It comes with all of the standard equipment from the base Two trim, plus additional infotainment features and a display that provides information about the hybrid system and overall efficiency. With a high-tech wagon like the Prius v, it doesn't make sense to skimp on these types of features – especially when the difference in price between the Three and the base trim is only $1,385.
Starting at $26,675, the Two comes standard with automatic climate control, heated sideview mirrors, push-button start, and a proximity key. There's also a six-speaker Entune audio system, which comes with a 6.1-inch touch screen, USB ports, voice recognition, Siri Eyes Free, Bluetooth, and a rearview camera.
For $28,060, the Prius v Three adds smartphone app connectivity, satellite radio, HD Radio, and a 4.2-inch multifunction display that shows fuel economy, hybrid system information, and other data normally found on a trip computer.
The Four expands that list of features to include leatherette seats and a leatherette steering wheel, heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, and a built in universal garage door opener. This model goes for $29,695.
The top-of-the-line Prius v Five, at $30,935, comes with all of the features of the previous trims, plus LED headlights, fog lights, and larger wheels. This model is available with the Advanced Technology package ($3,335), which includes a premium eight-speaker JBL audio system with a 6.1-inch touch-screen display, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with automatic braking, lane departure warning, automatic high beams, a panoramic sunroof, and Safety Connect. Safety Connect is a service that provides emergency assistance, roadside assistance, automatic collision notification, and a stolen vehicle locator. With this package, the Prius v tops out at $34,270.
The Final Call
While the Toyota Prius received a full redesign for 2016, the 2017 Toyota Prius v remains unchanged for another year. With its spacious cabin, roomy back-seat space, and large cargo hold, the Prius v stacks up well against other wagons. It gets 43 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway. Few hybrids this size are as fuel-efficient.
However, the Prius v’s engine and electric motor combine to produce 134 horsepower, which is a much smaller number than most wagons, including the Subaru Outback. That means you’ll have to give yourself plenty of room when passing or merging on the highway. Along with acceleration, the Prius v’s handling also disappoints. Considering the Prius v’s $26,000-plus price tag, its cheap interior materials might surprise you. If you want a sportier hybrid, check out the Ford C-Max Hybrid. For more efficiency and standard advanced safety features, go for the standard Prius.
Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.
- "The numbers don't lie, and they all strengthen the Prius v's case as an excellent alternative to a small crossover SUV: up to 43 mpg, over 67 cubic feet of cargo space with rear seats folded, and a starting price around $27,500. Like a small SUV, the Prius v has a roomy hatchback design and seating for five. It isn't the swiftest thing on the road and its styling probably won't dazzle the neighborhood kids, but in terms of economics, efficiency and practicality, it's hard to beat the Prius v." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "The 2016 Toyota Prius v wagon carries on, even though the regular Prius has been redesigned. Yet it still offers an appealing combination of hybrid car fuel economy and family-friendly cargo space." -- Edmunds (2016)
- "Toyota simply took what was already appealing about the normal Prius – excellent fuel economy, a comfortable ride, reasonable pricing – and elongated the car." -- Autotrader (2016)
Research Prices: 2017 Toyota Prius V
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