2012 Toyota Prius V media drive event, May 2011 - screen grab from drive report videoEnlarge Photo
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.
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 ShowEnlarge Photo
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.