Despite being bigger and heavier, a Prius V gets to 60 mph as quickly as a regular Prius -- which is to say, quick enough for frugal folks. More aggressive gearing makes this possible, but it drops fuel economy to 'only' 42 mpg combined.
As with a regular Prius, steering is light, the brakes feel remote and their isn't a lot of grip thanks to low rolling resistance tires. The extra weight imparts a certain steadiness but also lengthens panic stop distance.
While it's not exactly plush, the Prius V feels a bit more settled down on rough roads than a standard Prius, and the seats have a good shape to them.
Noise levels are all over the map. It's very quiet for brief periods in electric mode, but the engine sometimes revs higher than expected and the hybrid system makes an assortment of odd sounds. Road noise is no better than average.
We still don't like the center-mounted gauges, but the other controls here are intuitive and easy to use -- especially the new climate control design. The V's more upright seating position seems to fit most drivers.
Good all-around visibility thanks to lots of glass and slender pillars. A rear back-up camera is recommended, though; the V doesn't have the nifty peek-a-boo glass panel found in a Prius.
Seat Access & Space
Headroom and legroom abounds in all seats, and the seats are neither too high nor too low. Rear seat access is very good thanks to taller rear doors and, once inside, you'll find actual shoulder room.
Cargo & Storage
A regular Prius scores pretty well here, but the Prius V has a full 70% more with the seats down. This one does as well or better than most crossover SUVs.
On par with other Prius products, the V appears well assembled. The various interior buttons and knobs operate smoothly, and the dash and seat materials are appropriate for this price point.