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Used 2013 Toyota Prius v Wagon Review

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2013 Toyota Prius v Wagon

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Edmunds Summary Review of the 2013 Toyota Prius v Wagon

  • The 2013 Toyota Prius V gives buyers a larger, more family-friendly alternative to the standard Prius hatchback.

  • Pros

    Excellent fuel economy; generous cargo capacity; quiet and comfy ride; roomy cabin.

  • Cons

    Awkward driving position for taller drivers; disappointing interior materials; overly busy gauge cluster.

  • What's New for 2013

    Save for the addition of a SofTex-trimmed steering wheel on Prius V Five models, the Toyota Prius V carries over unchanged for 2013.

Full Edmunds Expert Review: 2013 Toyota Prius v Wagon

What's New for 2013

Save for the addition of a SofTex-trimmed steering wheel on Prius V Five models, the Toyota Prius V carries over unchanged for 2013.

Introduction

With the 2013 Toyota Prius V, Toyota proves that it's got the business of catering to family-oriented car shoppers down to a science.

The Prius hybrid hatchback has been a huge hit for Toyota on the strength of its outstanding utility and exceptional fuel efficiency. The 2013 Toyota Prius V is built using the same basic formula as its omnipresent sibling, with the addition of greater passenger and cargo capacity.

With the Prius V, what you get is essentially a stretched, wider Prius. The V is an inch wider, 6 inches longer and 3 inches taller than the hatchback, with 60 percent more cargo capacity; peek behind the rear seats and you'll find 34 cubic feet available for your cargo. The cabin is designed to handle most daily tasks. The rear seats slide, recline and fold down, for instance, and you can even squeeze in unusually long cargo thanks to its fold-flat front passenger seat.

Superb fuel economy is, of course, a central part of the Prius' appeal, and the Prius V shares its powertrain with the hatchback: a 1.8-liter gas engine teamed with an electric motor and a nickel-metal hydride battery pack to generate a combined 134 horsepower. Though the V isn't quite as frugal as its smaller sibling (EPA ratings are 44 mpg city/40 mpg highway and 42 mpg combined), its mileage is still high enough to make it a compelling pick relative to most choices in the compact wagon/crossover segment.

The Prius V, however, is burdened by the same shortcomings as the standard Prius -- namely, bland handling and a dull-looking cabin. And these flaws are brought into sharper focus with this year's introduction of a new rival, the 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid. The C-Max offers more engaging driving dynamics and a nicer cabin than the V, along with slightly better EPA mpg ratings. Still, the Prius has it handily beat in the area of cargo capacity. The refined and fuel-efficient Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen TDI is also worth a look. But the competent 2013 Toyota Prius V remains a top selection despite a growing pool of rivals, distinguishing itself with its strong blend of versatility and frugality.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2013 Toyota Prius V is available in three trim levels: the Two, the Three and the Five.

Standard equipment on the base Two includes 16-inch alloy wheels, keyless ignition/entry, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, automatic climate control, cruise control, a height-adjustable driver seat, a fold-flat front passenger seat, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat that slides and reclines, and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, an iPod/USB audio interface and Bluetooth connectivity/streaming audio.

The Three adds a navigation system with voice controls along with a rearview camera, satellite radio and HD radio. You also get Entune, Toyota's multimedia interface with text-to-voice functionality and app integration. The Five adds 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, automatic LED headlights, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, upgraded upholstery (Toyota's new SofTex -- an eco-friendly alternative to leather) and heated front seats.

An Advanced Technology package is offered with the Five and includes a panoramic sunroof, adaptive cruise control, an automated parallel-parking system, an upgraded navigation system with a larger touchscreen, a premium eight-speaker sound system, a pre-collision safety system and Toyota's Safety Connect system.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2013 Toyota Prius V is motivated by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine teamed with a pair of electric motors that yields a combined total output of 134 hp and 153 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent through a specialized continuously variable transmission (CVT).

In track testing, the Prius V went from zero to 60 mph in 10.3 seconds: notably slower than rivals like the aforementioned Jetta wagon (8.8 seconds) and C-Max (8.1 seconds). Fuel economy is still excellent, though, at 44 mpg city/40 mpg highway and 42 mpg combined.

Safety

Every 2013 Toyota Prius V comes standard with antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and a driver knee airbag. Optional equipment includes a pre-collision safety system and Toyota's Safety Connect telematics system (which includes emergency assistance and a stolen-vehicle locator). In brake testing, the Prius V stopped from 60 mph in 129 feet, which is a bit longer than average.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Prius V its highest possible rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset, side and roof strength tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

User-friendliness is the prevailing theme within the Prius V's cabin. Controls are large and clearly labeled, and the shift lever is placed within easy reach, high on the center stack near the steering wheel. As such, this wagon is a good match for drivers with arthritis or other mobility challenges. Sadly, taller drivers still have to contend with a steering wheel that's placed too far away. There's a telescoping column, but it doesn't extend nearly far enough.

While the cabin may excel at being functional, it's not especially pleasing to look at. As with the Prius hatchback, the Prius V's cabin design is plainer and less ambitious than what you'll find in the competition. Materials quality is inconsistent; while some plastics are nicely grained, others look flimsy and low-budget. On the plus side, storage opportunities abound within the cabin. For example, there's a huge two-tiered glovebox that swallows more than just an owner's manual, and there's a large center console bin along with an open nook beneath the center stack.

There's no shortage of tech amenities either. Toyota's Entune -- which offers Bing search engine functionality, Pandora Internet radio, MovieTickets.com and real-time traffic, weather and fuel price information -- is standard on Three and Five models. All Prius V models come with Bluetooth connectivity and music streaming.

A reclining backseat slides fore and aft, allowing you to choose between limolike legroom and expansive cargo capacity. Luggage capacity logs in at a very generous 34.3 cubic feet. Total cargo capacity is also excellent. With 67.3 cubic feet available with the rear seats down, the Prius V rivals most small crossover SUVs.

Driving Impressions

Relative to the Prius hatchback, the 2013 Toyota Prius V feels more substantial and stable on the road; you can thank its heavier curb weight for this. The ride is quite smooth and comfortable, and while acceleration is far from brisk, the wagon gets up to speed in an acceptable manner. A Power mode is available to provide an extra boost during highway merging or when traveling up steep gradients. There's also an extra-frugal Eco mode, which is fine in city travel, but its sluggish response makes it unsuitable for the highway. The electric steering is rather numb, but its light effort makes the 2013 Toyota Prius V easy to maneuver in parking lots.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Average Consumer Rating (See all 22 reviews) Write a Review


Weak in the hills

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Toyota Prius v

Great driving in the city, and in the flats. A bit gut-less on the hills, and on-ramps. Even in Power Mode, the Prius is weak in the mountains.




A great buy

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Toyota Prius v

I bought it with 19 k miles at 50% original price 3 years old very comfortable a great sest plenty of space i get about 45 miles per gallon on a daily commute the adaptive cruise control rocks especially in the stop and go traffic lights are great the panoramic roof storage. Will fit my surf board right in it and it is a big one too the dealer was really nice and took a good care of me love it and hoping to get a great use out of it



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Bought to drive to alaska

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Toyota Prius v

I had a two seater sports car but wanted to drive to Alaska and camp on the way. This Prius V offered great cargo space and 44 mpg. When the cost of gas is as much as $7.60 a gallon in Canada, 44 mpg is great! The down side to this car is the ride which is uncomfortable and road noise. My Prius has every option but a sun roof but the interior is still all plastic. The reliability is fabulous. I have 66,000 miles on my 3 year old car and have only had to change oil every 10k using synthetic.



6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Safety

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Toyota Prius v

This is a comfortable, reliable car that is great on gas with awesome storage. Although I have always been very happy with it, I didn't fully understand just how amazing this car was until a few days ago. I was driving straight on a highway when I was unexpectedly T-boned by another vehicle who hit me head on. My driver's side door took the brunt of the impact. The Prius-v handled beautifully! It tipped, but did not roll and re-righted. The curtain and side door airbags deployed. The seat belt worked and held me tightly in place without hurting me. The seats were soft and amazing and limited neck and back movement. Except for a few minor cuts from broken glass, I virtually walked away unscathed. The car did exactly what it was supposed to do and for that, I am truly grateful! This is an incredibly safe vehicle!




Great car for our family

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Toyota Prius v

The good - great mileage (we are above the city rating in mixed driving), comfortable car, lots of cargo space; we can travel with a large dog kennel and luggage or I can carry an adult bicycle with the back seats down without removing the front wheel. The not so good - mileage very dependent on driving style, mileage drops significantly at interstate speeds; engine is noisy under load The little things - rear window wiper doesn't hinge away from the window, and that combined with rear spoiler make the rear window hard to clean; navigation (no tech package) overestimates time to arrival, also states your destination is ahead xx yards on left or right, but often you still have a turn to make, so unless you look at the screen, you miss the turn; Improvements - navigation as noted, air vent for back seats would be nice, outlet for back seat passengers would be helpful Updates - combined mileage is now right in the EPA estimates; colder weather has a detrimental effect on mileage; still like all of the qualities that made us want to buy it.




Happy we purchased the priusv

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Toyota Prius v

We chose a 2013 PriusV over the Ford C-max. Purchased in March of 2014 and have taken two trips to northern Minn and one to Fla. Very comfortable to drive, climate control works well. Great dealer experience so far. It does ride a little stiff and as our first hybrid it has taken some getting use to but have no compliants about freeway driving, just plan ahead.



Talk About The 2013 Prius v

2013 Toyota Prius v Discussions See all Started By

vtsteve2
vtsteve2
07-04-2014
My 2013 Prius v is just over a year now, 11,000 miles. My one year average was 40 mpg, hurt by extended cold and windy winter. Now I'm back up to low to mid 40's. The longer trips at 45-60 mph have...


stever
stever
05-14-2014
Your theory is good but it seems that lots of dealers are loathe to "dump" stale inventory. Prius V and Prius liftback sales are down some 30% compared to February a year ago and March/April...


toyotagirl4u
toyotagirl4u
11-12-2013
After owning a 2005 Toyota Prius, I traded it in for a 2013 Toyota Prius three this summer. Do NOT buy a Prius V. Gas mileage is much less...and crash tested very poorly this year. My Prius three g...



Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 44
  • cty
/
  • 40
  • highway
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