Used 2015 Toyota Prius v Review

The 2015 Toyota Prius V wagon gives hybrid car buyers a larger, more family-friendly alternative to the standard Prius hatchback.




what's new

For 2015, the Toyota Prius V gets a styling refresh front and rear, new upholstery fabric, a new full-color multi-information display and a new Four trim level to fill the previously odd gap between the Three and the Five.

vehicle overview

Whether you're talking about a cup of java or the most popular hybrid car lineup around, it's nice to have a choice of small, medium or large sizes. Those who want a roomier rear seat and more cargo capacity than the already generous standard Prius provides should be more than happy with the 2015 Toyota Prius V. Measuring an inch wider, 6 inches longer and 3 inches taller than the standard version, the Prius V wagon offers 60 percent more cargo space, with a full 34 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats. Fold them down and you've got nearly the same max capacity as some compact crossover SUVs.

Of course you're probably wondering about the Prius V's fuel economy. Although the V's 42 mpg combined rating isn't as lofty as that of the standard Prius' 50 mpg combined rating, this versatile wagon is still in the fuel economy stratosphere and one of the most fuel-efficient family cars you can buy. Like its brethren, the Prius V wagon may not be all that exciting to drive, and its lackluster acceleration means you must be more conservative with merging and passing maneuvers. Still, it is an easy car to drive and boasts a smooth, quiet ride that makes it a great choice for road trips.

Do your research and you'll discover a few other fuel-sipping wagons out there. One of our favorites is the 2015 Ford C-Max Hybrid, which offers more style, a nicer interior and better acceleration and handling. The Ford doesn't provide as much cargo space, however. The diesel-powered (TDI) version of the new 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen is another good alternative, particularly if you're looking for a more premium-feeling interior. Overall, the competent, Edmunds "B"-rated 2015 Toyota Prius V remains a good pick in this group, thanks to its impressive versatility, frugality and abundance of Prius-style green cred.

trim levels & features

The 2015 Toyota Prius V (the "V" stands for "Versatility") is a five-passenger compact hybrid wagon available in four trim levels: the Two, the Three, the Four and the Five.

The base Two model rides on 16-inch alloy wheels and comes standard with heated mirrors, keyless ignition and entry, a rearview camera, 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, a 6.1-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, voice controls and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player and iPod/USB audio interface.

The Three adds power lumbar support (driver seat), a fold-down rear center armrest, a multi-information display, a navigation system, smartphone app integration, satellite radio and HD radio. A panoramic sunroof is optional.

The Four adds SofTex leatherette upholstery, heated front seats, an eight-way power driver seat and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

The Five model adds 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights and automatic LED headlights. The Advanced Technology package available on the Five includes the panoramic sunroof, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, automatic high-beam headlight control, a premium JBL eight-speaker sound system, a pre-collision safety system and Toyota's Safety Connect system.

performance & mpg

The 2015 Toyota Prius V is powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine teamed with two electric motors and a battery pack. Combined output is 134 horsepower. Power is sent to the front wheels through a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

In our track testing, the Prius V accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 10.3 seconds, considerably slower than the Ford C-Max (8.1 seconds). The EPA rates this hybrid wagon at 42 mpg combined (44 city/40 highway), and we've found it easy to achieve these numbers in real-world driving.

safety

Every 2015 Toyota Prius V comes standard with antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags, side curtain airbags, a driver knee airbag and a rearview camera.

The Prius V Five with the Advanced Technology package includes a pre-collision safety system (which tightens the seatbelts and initiates braking when a crash is deemed unavoidable) 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 122 feet, which is a respectable distance for the segment.

In government crash tests of the 2014 Prius V, the hybrid wagon earned a perfect five stars for overall crash safety. It earned four stars for its crash protection in frontal impacts and five stars for side impacts. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2015 Toyota Prius V its highest possible rating of "Good" in the moderate-overlap and small-overlap frontal-offset impact tests. It also earned a "Good" score for the side-impact, roof-strength and head restraints and seat (whiplash protection) tests.

driving

Relative to the Prius hatchback, the heavier 2015 Toyota Prius V feels more substantial and stable on the road, particularly at higher speeds. The ride is remarkably smooth and more comfortable than that of the standard Prius. The V is also easy to maneuver in parking lots, but at higher speeds around turns, it's not at all sporty. Acceleration is far from brisk, but most owners will find it adequate, given the hybrid wagon's exceptional fuel economy potential.

interior

The Prius V's cabin prioritizes user friendliness above all else. Controls are large and clearly labeled, and the shift lever is placed within easy reach, high on the center stack near the steering wheel. Unfortunately, taller drivers still have to contend with a steering wheel that's placed too far away. The steering wheel telescopes, but it doesn't extend nearly far enough from the dash. Storage compartments abound within the cabin. For example, there are two stacked gloveboxes, and there's a large center console bin along with an open nook beneath the center stack.

While the cabin may excel in functionality, it's not especially attractive. As with the Prius hatchback, the Prius V's cabin design is plain and less stylish than what you'll find in the competition. The gauges are nestled in a recessed area in the middle of the dashboard, leaving the area in front of the steering wheel open and unfinished-looking. Furthermore, the quality of the materials is inconsistent; some plastics are nicely grained, while others look flimsy and low-budget.

There's no shortage of tech amenities, though. Toyota's smartphone app integration system -- which offers Bing search engine functionality, Pandora Internet radio and traffic, weather and fuel price information -- is standard on all but the base model. Getting started with the system can be a hassle, though, since you have to install an app on your phone and register for an account, plus you always need an active data connection to use it.

The split-folding rear seat reclines and slides fore and aft, allowing you to choose limolike legroom, expansive cargo capacity or anything in between. It also provides good headroom for taller passengers. Luggage capacity behind the rear seats 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.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.