Behind The Wheel: 2012 Toyota Prius V Station Wagon (Video)

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2012 Toyota Prius V media drive event, May 2011 - screen grab from drive report video

2012 Toyota Prius V media drive event, May 2011 - screen grab from drive report video

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Sometimes we get nicely produced video, and sometimes we get our codriver to shoot it on the fly.

For the 2012 Toyota Prius V station wagon we drove last week, it was very much a case of the latter--complete with a mutli-tone "bong" interruption from the Toyota Entune system.

Our one-minute video, below, is a quick summary of the much lengthier review of the car we published earlier.

READ MORE: 2012 Toyota Prius V Station Wagon: First Drive Review

Overall, we found the 2012 Prius V remarkably similar to the Prius hatchback in driving behavior. It feels a little heavier (the difference is about 320 pounds), but the performance isn't notably different. (We didn't do any measured acceleration tests, however, so that assessment is purely subjective.)

As you'll see from the video, the Prius V station wagon has an open space between the two seats, with a conventional elbow-rest bin and a standard center stack on the dashboard. We think that's a much more sensible layout than the dramatic but functionally awkward "flying buttress" console of the standard Prius.

2012 Toyota Prius V launch press conference, 2011 Detroit Auto Show

2012 Toyota Prius V launch press conference, 2011 Detroit Auto Show

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We realized afterward that the video has a lot of engine roar in it. We were mostly going uphill at the time, so the engine was running in its higher range to power the car.

Actually, in our experience, roar from the low rolling-resistance tires was more noticeable on certain flat surfaces than the engine itself--unless we really stomped on it, in which case it squealed like a banshee. Which, of course, is bad for gas mileage.

Oh, yes, gas mileage. Here's the final verdict: The EPA rates the 2012 Toyota Prius V at 44 mpg city, 40 mpg highway, for a combined rating of 42 mpg.

As far as we could find, that's the best combined figure for any station wagon sold in the U.S.


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Comments (6)
  1. "That's only 6 miles per gallon down from the Prius five door hatchback."
    I would call it more like 8 MPG down from 50 mpg for the Prius down to 42 mpg on the Prius V.
    But John keeps telling my that MPG is a non-linear scale, so maybe he is right :)

  2. Linear or whatever, what I concern is how much money out of my pocket for fuel. I am driving 50000 miles a year on my 2010 Prius. With 50 mpg average(actually I got 60+ except winter), I am supposed to be consuming 1000 gallons of gasoline. If the mpg drops to 42, I would need 1190 gallons of gasoline per year. That 190 extra gallons will cost me $760 per year @$4.00 per gallon.
    I am planning to drive this car for at least 5 years. It seems to be highly possible because the tires are still original while my total mileage is almost 80000! In 5 years, driving a Prius V will cost me $3800 more fuel than driving a Prius hatchback. I would not pay that $3800 plus the price difference just for some more cargo space.

  3. @Frank,
    If you don't mind me asking, why is it that you find yourself driving 50,000 miles per year. Also, what is the origin of your last name? With a TS I was thinking asian, but the AY seems less so.

  4. @John,
    My wife works 5 days a week at a hospital 45 miles away from where we live. As a business owner, I have had the flexibility and privilege to have kept sending her to work and picking her up after work since we were young. This alone is almost 50k miles a year.
    I am a hybrid myself, a Chinese/Japanese/Dutch who was born in Taiwan with a Chinese last name. Most people with the same last name spelled AI. You do know Chinese names. Hehe.

  5. My previous car was an Infiniti M35X. Throughout its life, which was much shortened by a flood, I got the average mpg of 19.7 only. Now, with my 2010 Prius, I got 60+ mpg, topping 67.7 after 90+ miles of a round trip from home to work. I am saving 1700+ gallons of gasoline, or $6800 a year! Can't be happier!

  6. @Frank,
    Very interesting traveling.
    I working in academia with a lot of Chinese and have not run across Tsay. Of course, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and mainland all translate the spelling differently from the Chinese characters.

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