If you are looking for the holy grail - a versatile wagon type car with 40 mpg + fuel economy you only have a few choices. This, the C-Max and a Jetta TDI wagon. After reading reliability stories in reviews about the Ford and VW, I decided to not even bother. I knew that the Prius V would probably be mostly problem free. I now have 5000 miles on a Prius V, "4" level. It is the highest trim level before the "5" which very few people will purchase because it is ludicrous to spend that much money on a car that is supposed to be about saving money. Besides, on the level 5, the sunroof is fixed, and who wants hard riding low profile wheels on a Prius? I traded in a cramped Lexus CT in March for this Prius V. The CT had a bone jarring ride with the low profile wheels. Never again. The Prius V is much larger and gets better mpg than the CT did. I am averaging low 40's mpg in mostly NYC/Long Island driving. Very content with that!!! I like the tall roofline and space for everyone's legs and feet. The back seat reclines AND slides fore and aft. The back seat on many small cars is too upright, so it is great that you can adjust the back angle on the Prius V. Cup holders and storage compartments galore. HUGE cargo area for such a compact car. The seats are a type of vinyl... so easy to clean. Driving? The steering wheel doesn't feel connected to the car. Very little road feel. No reason why they couldn't have given more weight and precision to the steering. It took some time to get use to the car after the CT, because the Prius is sloppy on the road compared to the CT. The Ride is compliant and comfortable though. No more KABANG!!!! like in the CT when hitting a bump. Acceleration? It's ok, except for uphill, where the "power" button will work wonders!!!! Noise? It isn't as noisy inside as some reviews have made it out to be. The AC works well and you may want to get your windows tinted because this car got hot in no time before I got tint. Now... for the things I don't like. There is a known problem with the touch screen freezing up and you have to reboot it by holding the power button. Hopefully there will be a fix soon. But no other issues. I truly detest the Prius 4 spoke steering wheel. First off, it doesn't telescope enough for a person with long legs. So you may find yourself sitting closer, with your right knee hitting part of the dashboard. It is uncomfortable to hold the bottom of the wheel because of the hard edged plastic trim on the bottom spokes. I also don't like the placement of the steering wheel volume and station controls... too far from your thumb. I am not a big fan of the far forward windshield pillars. I know they shaped the car to be as aerodynamic as possible, but I find the pillars to hinder my vision of other cars and pedestrians as I enter intersections. Backing up? Good thing there is a back-up camera, as rear visibility is pretty bad because of the huge trendy D pillars. Check your side and rear mirrors a couple of times when changing lanes. The seats are ok... but no Volvo seats. I have had some leg pains a few times. Could use some gel pads for a long trip. But it's nice that they are up high so you are sitting like a human being should, especially in the rear, not like some other cars where your knees are up off the seat. Not a fan of all the technology. The Nav system screen is way too small to read, with too much stuff going on all over the screen. The CT was bigger and easier to read. The touch screen, when it is working is too easy to accidentally hit with your finger and change something and you don't know what you did. Not for me. The interior is fantastic as far are space planning is concerned, but has a very Fisher Price finish to it. Driving? The steering wheel doesn't feel connected to the car. Very little road feel. No reason why they couldn't have given more weight and precision to the steering. It took some time to get use to the car after the CT, because the Prius is sloppy on the road compared to the CT. The Ride is compliant and comfortable though. No more KABANG!!!! like in the CT when hitting a bump. Acceleration? It's ok, except for uphill, where the "power" button will work wonders!!!! Noise? It isn't as noisy inside as some reviews have made it out to be. The AC works well and you may want to get your windows tinted because this car got hot in no time before I got tint. This is a well engineered car, but it is not a "driver's car" or "luxury car" It gets phenomenal gas mileage with relative comfort, huge versatility and Toyota reliability. Nothing else out there really compares. Now, if they could only do something about the handling and cheap looking/feeling interior.
I bought the wagon because I wanted the mpg and cargo space I was used to. My previous car was a Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited that I bought new in 01. I love driving this car, all the visual guides on the driving performance are pretty cool.
I am driving a Prius V four with 7,000 miles that I have now had for 5 months. Overall, I am very happy with the car. As I get older, I find it difficult to get in and out of many cars, even very expensive cars. This one is easy, both the front and back seats. For regular sized people, it is comfortable, both in the front and back. The rear seats recline to some extent, a big plus for long trips. I just returned from an 800 mile trip, loaded with 5 adults and everyone was comfortable. The ride is comfortable and handles road bumps well, even with 5 in the car. Getting things in and out of the back is great, Plenty of room and no lip to lift things over. For ice hockey players, there is plenty of room for 4 players and their equipment. I typically operate the car in ECO mode and get an average of 44 miles per gallon. On occasion, I will put the car in PWR mode, for example when entering a crowded highway. I didn?t buy the car for performance, so it doesn?t bother me that the does not handle like an Infiniti or BMW and that it does not accelerate like a sports car. In ECO mode, when I drive up steep hills, the motor whines, but when I need more acceleration, I just move it into PWR mode. I am spending $15 a week for fuel instead of $50 for my Acura. Toyota did a very smart thing by displaying the MPGs for the current trip on the dashboard. It provides immediate feedback and provide reminder to not drive as aggressively. The touch screen / Nav / Radio / Climate system is terrible. First of all, the screen locks up and you need to power it down to reboot it about once a week. Even though I like the A/C fan speed to be stronger than most people, the Auto settings for the A/C blows the fan at significantly too high a speed, so that I need to take it off of Auto. (Interestingly enough, I had a 2006 Infiniti M35x that did not have the fan speed high enough and the car would get stuffy). The Nav is very hard to use and control. First of all, there is no joystick, so moving around the screen requires swiping your finger. With a joystick, you can just hold it in the direction and the screen moves. It can even move faster if you hold it for a long period of time. Finger swipes are slow and ineffective. Every time you place your finger on the screen, an address appears, blocking much of the screen. Also, there are many controls on the screen and it often accidentally goes into various modes. The screen, at times, splits between radio and turn functions, at a 50/50 ratio. This makes the map too small to effectively use. If the car is moving, you (or the passenger) cannot enter an address into the system. I understand that Toyota does this for safety reasons; however, since the car is able to sense if someone is in the passenger seat it should then should allow address entry. It is much safer to have a passenger enter the address than have the driver enter it, fighting with the voice recognition system while traveling at 65 MPH. I have a 2009 Honda Fit and a 2008 Acura MDX both with far superior NAV systems. I now tend to use Google Maps on my cell phone instead of the Toyota system. What a shame. If you don?t expect the performance of a sports car and are looking for affordable, economical, roomy basic transportation, this car is highly recommended. Just watch out for the NAV / Touchscreen system. ********* Update ********** I have had the car now for 18 months and have over 20,000 miles. The Nav is still awful. I now use Waze from my cell phone. Also, my radio was starting to freeze so Toyota did a firmware upgrade and it appears to have solved the issue. I have noticed that the mileage is weight dependent. I drove 800 miles with a packed car to move my daughter into college and got 8 miles per gallon less than I did on the return trip with an empty car. In addition, I get better mileage in the warm months than the cold months by a couple miles per gallon. As far as missing features, the thing I miss most is not having a seat release ( to fold down the rear seats) from the hatch area.
I have purchased so many vehicles your head would spin, I am a Caraholic.Of all the vehicles I have owned, only a few are my all time favorites. Jeep Wranglers and this Prius V and the Beetle Convertible and Kia Soul. This Vehicle will meet anyones needs. Great room and very versatile and comfortable and fantastic on gas. I could have kicked myself when I traded the last one in. This year the safety record is fantastic. I noticed a few mentions in consumer reviews about the entertainment, navigation screen freezing before buying the vehicle, My new car did the same thing. I noticed if I turned the vehicle off it would sometimes unfreeze. I took it into the dealership. The radio ,nav unit is manufactured by Panasonic. They have a fix for the unit, they will be shipping out new units within 3 weeks. Driving the Vehicle from Burien to Auburn then to Renton I achieved 53 mpg. That is hard to believe, I only have a little over a hundred miles .I then dropped it off to have the radio unit replaced. I feel they have made a few improvements over my first one. If you want one car to do everything, this is it.
Purchased car for wife who drives 140 round trip for work. Car averages 42 MPG in the city or highway. We love it and have fun driving it around town.. WARNING, the navigation system is junk. Just use your phone or GPS unit. Our screen would lock up and we had dealer order new screen. Problem fixed. Problem is the JUNK program that the units uses to find routes. It will send you nowhere and everywhere but where you want to go. How hard can it be, that Toyota can not give us a new download from Garmin, Tom Tom or Waze. Talk to any Prius owner and they all HATE the nav system. Five stars for the car, Thrash can for the Navigation system.