2013 Toyota Prius v Review

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent fuel economy
  • generous cargo capacity
  • quiet and comfy ride
  • roomy cabin.
  • Awkward driving position for taller drivers
  • disappointing interior materials
  • overly busy gauge cluster.
Other years
Toyota Prius v for Sale
List Price Range
$9,999 - $17,991

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Edmunds' Expert Review

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

Vehicle overview

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.

2013 Toyota Prius v models

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.

2013 Highlights

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

Performance & mpg

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.

Driving

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.

Interior

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.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2013 Toyota Prius v.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Our Third One
twoofthem,06/19/2013
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.
Safety
Kendra,09/27/2015
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!
Don't Pity Me
aom1,08/05/2013
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
It's a Prius, It's What You Expect
hendolvik,12/02/2013
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.

Features & Specs

MPG
44 city / 40 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
Hybrid
134 hp @ 5200 rpm
MPG
44 city / 40 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
Hybrid
134 hp @ 5200 rpm
MPG
44 city / 40 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
Hybrid
134 hp @ 5200 rpm
See all Used 2013 Toyota Prius v features & specs

Safety

IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2013 Toyota Prius v

Used 2013 Toyota Prius v Overview

The Used 2013 Toyota Prius v is offered in the following submodels: Prius v Wagon. Available styles include Three 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), Five 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), and Two 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT).

What's a good price on a Used 2013 Toyota Prius v?

Price comparisons for Used 2013 Toyota Prius v trim styles:

  • The Used 2013 Toyota Prius v Five is priced between $9,999 and$17,991 with odometer readings between 56904 and144001 miles.
  • The Used 2013 Toyota Prius v Three is priced between $10,000 and$11,720 with odometer readings between 51904 and126044 miles.

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Which used 2013 Toyota Prius vs are available in my area?

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Should I lease or buy a 2013 Toyota Prius v?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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