Five 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
Our first Toyota was a 2nd gen. Prius. Got that one after an 03 Civic Hybrid that we gave to one of the kids. Then purchased a 2010 Prius 5 and gave 2nd gen to other kid. Now have 2013 V5 with ATP to go along with the 10. The 10 is superior to the 2nd gen, the 13 is superior to the 10. Mileage is running 44-47/mpg on eco. This is calculated, not by the gauge (which on the 13 has been very accurate). The ride is smooth, the steering is American but quite tolerable, after all it's a wagon. The radar assist on cruise is a useful feature. Space, including leg and headroom, is terrific. I am still amazed at the seamless transition between gas and electric motors. Adequate power. A remarkable car! Update: 12/2016- still like the car a lot. No problems whatsoever. MPG varies with season and terrain. Averages right around 40, without trying to squeeze out additional miles by driving very conservatively. Would buy another without hesitation. Update: June 2016. Car now has 30k miles. No problems whatsoever other than a Toyota required software update. Calculated mileage varies with season, terrain, and load; ranges from 35-36 in winter to 43-44 in summer. Respectable driveability. Surprisingly good stability and handling a highway speeds above 70mph. Would not hesitate to buy another one.
So Prius v wagon or Jetta diesel wagon... though generally I much prefer Germanic driving dynamics, dollars and sense said same mileage with regular gas vs high cost of diesel fuel and likely lower maintenance costs. Thus the Prius. Handling was below par and crosswinds/truck buffeting was downright scary at times. Without going crazy, for less than $800 complete, a Cusco rear sway bar, Tanabe front and rear springs (10% +/- stiffer and less than an inch lower) with 7mm wheel spacers in front and 5 mm in the rear and the little golf cart that couldn't became the go cart that could! Stable at all speeds, cruising "sweet spot" on secondary roads and highway rose 10 mph comfortably. Awesome!
Three 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
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!
I am one of the few, I imagine, that went from a German built VW Golf (not TDI) to a Prius V. Why on earth would someone do that? I wanted to get out of the lease game, and purchase. VW has great driving cars and great lease deals, but I wanted to eventually not have car payments. That said, I am thrilled with the Prius V. Don't be influenced by reviews that say it has no power. Plenty of power especially in power mode. I only use power mode in heavy traffic and I have to make a quick maneuver. I had to use the sport mode on the Golf for that anyway. This car is very comfortable, great lumbar support in the driver's seat. Gobs of cargo room and the ride is firm but not jerky at all
I bought a Volvo XC60 in November 2012 to haul my kids and giant dog, but after 4 months of getting 15 mpg, I traded it in for a new Prius V. Instead of getting lousy gas mileage, I now get good gas mileage, but not as good as I expected. After 8 months, I average 33 mpg. Hubby says I book it off the line too quickly. I say it's the extra 125 pounds of dog that I'm transporting that he isn't. Either way, it's twice as fuel efficient as both my previous minivan and Volvo XC60, so it's a win. I won't lie: I miss the luxury of the Volvo. The seats were more comfortable, the doors were more solid. The Prius V doesn't feel cheap, but it's certainly not luxurious. At least it has built-in nav.