Toyota has announced the new Prius v at the 2011 Detroit North American International Auto Show, an MPV powered by the same hybrid technology as the Prius hatchback.
With its Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive combining petrol and electric power, the Prius v is set to become one of the most efficient MPVs in the world, while offering 50% more interior space than the regular Prius.
Toyota hasn’t confirmed when the Prius v will be available in the UK, but we expect it to feature at the Geneva Motor Show in March.
Toyota Prius v hybrid: MPV versatility
The v in Prius v stands for versatility. The new model is based on the same platform as the hatchback, but with its five-seater MPV design offers increased space and flexibility.
While the influence of the Prius hatchback is clear, the Prius v has been penned afresh, and does not simply represent an elongated version of the standard car. And, despite the extended roofline, it achieves an impressive 0.29 coefficient of drag, aerodynamic efficiency that contributes significantly to the overall environmental performance of the vehicle.
Although the styling is sharp, every element is functional – from the enlarged lower air intakes to the spoiler on the roof and the aerodynamic door mirrors. Toyota has also developed a special panoramic sunroof made from resin, which saves 18kg in weight compared with conventional glass, and provides excellent heat insulation, according to the manufacturer.
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Toyota Prius v hybrid: spacious interior
On the inside the seating position is high for good visibility, and the layout promises plenty of passenger space.
The second row seats not only slide, they also tilt through 45 degrees for added comfort. Split-folding rear seats and an optional fold-flat front passenger seat should take care of larger loads – but you might not need to use these features too often because there is up to 970 litres of bootspace with the rear seats still in place. That’s a lot of luggage.
Like the regular Prius, the Prius v will offer Normal, Power, Eco and EV driving modes, push button starter and an e-CVT automatic transmission for ease of use. In addition, it will be among the first Toyotas to feature a new multimedia system with comprehensive smart phone integration.
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Most efficient MPV in America – but is it coming to the UK?
Unveiling the new Prius v at the Detroit motor show, Toyota has only officially confirmed the vehicle for the American market so far.
Toyota hasn’t yet revealed any official performance or efficiency figures, but in the USA it will easily become the most efficient MPV on sale, with the Japanese carmaker claiming a 66% reduction in emissions compared with the average American new car. This is because of the almost total non-existence of mainstream diesel power among US-market family vehicles.
However, while there is no official confirmation that the Prius v will be coming to the UK, Which? fully expects to see this new Toyota hybrid at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show in March, with further European on-sale details around this time.
Toyota is also showing a Prius c at Detroit – a compact city car concept designed for maximum fuel efficiency.
Which? Car Survey 2011
Which? Car wants to know more about your car. If you fill in the questionnaire online, you’ll be in with a chance of winning £5,000.
Last year, we had responses for over 60,000 cars, helping us determine the carmakers you can trust – and those you can’t. We’ve fed the results back to carmakers and they’ve listened to us. So your input is vital to keep customer satisfaction as a priority for carmakers and dealers. Find out more about the 2010 Car Survey results here