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2012 Toyota Prius V Review

The 2012 Toyota Prius v gets excellent fuel economy, and reviewers said it has plenty of passenger and cargo space.

Pros & Cons

  • Great fuel economy
  • Strong safety score
  • Slow acceleration




Critics' Rating: 8.6
Performance: 7.8
Interior: 8.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.2
Safety: 10.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2012 Toyota Prius V Overview

The 2012 Prius v is powered by a four-cylinder engine and two electric motors, and test drivers wrote that it accelerates slowly for the class, but they agreed that buyers will likely care more about the Prius v’s stellar fuel economy. The Prius v comes standard with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). According to the EPA, the 2012 Toyota Prius v gets 44/40 mpg city/highway, which is outstanding for a wagon. Critics said that the Prius v has controlled handling, and some appreciated its accurate steering. However, others wrote that the vague steering keeps the 2012 Prius v from being a fun car to drive. As with many hybrids, reviewers wrote that the Prius v’s brake pedal doesn’t provide very good feedback. Test drivers agreed that the Prius v feels very smooth and planted on the highway and rides comfortably over uneven road surfaces.

Critics wrote that the 2012 Toyota Prius v has an attractive interior that features a mixture of hard plastics and soft-touch surfaces. The front and rear seats are comfortable and spacious enough, according to most critics, and a few noted that large rear doors make entry and exit easy. The Toyota Prius v has a maximum of 67.3 cubic feet of cargo space, which is good for the class. Standard features include automatic climate control, proximity key, push-button start, a six-speaker stereo, Bluetooth phone and music streaming and a USB port. Available features include a panoramic sunroof, a rearview camera, a touch-screen audio system, adaptive cruise control, navigation and Toyota’s Entune system, which provides access to smartphone apps like Pandora and OpenTable through the Prius v’s touch screen. Entune earned praise from some reviewers for offering easy access to smartphone apps. However, others felt that Entune, as well as the centrally located gauges and infotainment screen, divert too much of the driver’s attention away from the road.

The 2012 Toyota Prius v has an impressive safety score for the class.

Other Wagons to Consider

The diesel-powered 2012 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen gets great fuel economy for a wagon, and reviewers agreed that it provides a sporty driving experience. Critics liked its top-notch interior materials and easy-to-use audio and climate controls.

The 2012 Subaru Outback has more cargo space than the Prius v and standard all-wheel drive. Test drivers appreciated its composed ride, roomy back seat and powerful available six-cylinder engine.

Compare the Prius v, Jetta SportWagen and Outback »

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