Used 2016 Toyota Prius v Review

The 2016 Toyota Prius V wagon carries on, even though the regular Prius has been redesigned. Yet it still offers an appealing combination of hybrid car fuel economy and family-friendly cargo space.




what's new

The 2016 Toyota Prius V is a direct carryover from the 2015 model year.

vehicle overview

Toyota has made waves with the redesign of the 2016 Prius hatchback, but it will be at least another model year before the Prius V wagon moves to the new platform. Meantime, the carryover 2016 Prius V remains a good choice for hybrid shoppers seeking a roomier rear seat and more cargo capacity than that provided by the standard 2015 Prius.

The 2016 Toyota Prius V is a practical and efficient suburban people mover.

While the V's fuel efficiency isn't as lofty as that of the standard Prius, this versatile wagon is still in the fuel economy stratosphere. Its 42 mpg estimate for combined driving makes it one of the most fuel-efficient family cars you can buy. As is par for the course for the Prius family, though, the V is pretty bland to drive, and its lackluster acceleration means you must be more conservative with merging and passing maneuvers.

There are only a few other fuel-sipping wagons out there. One of our favorites is the 2016 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 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen is another possible alternative, but its status is in limbo due to the tailpipe emissions scandal. Overall, the competent, Edmunds "B"-rated 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 2016 Toyota Prius V (the V stands for "Versatility") is a five-passenger compact hybrid wagon available in four trim levels: Two, Three, Four and 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 six-way-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 2016 Prius V comes standard with a touchscreen interface and a rather futuristic central control layout.

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.

Going with the Prius V Four gets you leatherette upholstery, heated front seats, an eight-way power driver seat and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

Finally, 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 2016 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).

The 2016 Prius V returns an excellent 42 mpg in combined driving.

In our track testing, a 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 2016 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, a Prius V stopped from 60 mph in 122 feet, a respectable distance for the segment.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has given the 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

The 2016 Toyota Prius V's ride quality is remarkably smooth and comfortable around town as well as on the highway. It's an easy car to drive and should keep green-oriented owners quite satisfied. But the Prius' handling limits are low and the steering effort is very light and relays minimal information to the driver on how the car is connecting to the road. Acceleration is underwhelming as well. Highway merging and passing requires some planning, and the CVT's tendency to keep the engine droning at high rpm is off-putting.

interior

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

Don't look behind the 2016 Prius V's steering wheel for driver information; it's over in the middle, above the vents.

While the cabin may excel in functionality, it's not especially attractive. 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. Toyota's Entune touchscreen interface and smartphone app integration system (Prius V Two and up) works fine, but the C-Max Hybrid's new Sync 3 interface is easier to use and has a bigger screen.

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