While still a supersized version of the Prius hatchback, the 2017 Toyota Prius V is based on the previous generation Prius, rather than the substantially overhauled version that Toyota introduced last year. What this means is that the 2017 Prius V doesn't enjoy the ride and handling benefits of the new Prius or its improved interior quality. Still, it's a solid pick for shoppers in need of outstanding fuel economy, a larger backseat and more cargo-hauling capability than the normal Prius can provide.
While the V's acceleration might leave you wanting -- it's one of the slowest vehicles you can buy this year -- there's no denying that its fuel economy remains very impressive. It has achieved a 41 mpg combined EPA estimate on its window sticker, easily putting it at the top of the list for practical, fuel-efficient wagons.
The Prius V is the member of a fairly small segment, but among its competitors we're partial to the Ford C-Max Hybrid. While it can't hold as much cargo as the Prius V, the C-Max accelerates and turns better, and its cabin is more pleasant and its styling more handsome. Still, the Toyota Prius V is competent and remains a good pick in this group. It won't quicken your pulse, but its combination of fuel efficiency and practicality might win you over nevertheless.
Every 2017 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.
trim levels & features
The 2017 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 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.
The 2017 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, a Prius V accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 10.3 seconds, considerably slower than the Ford C-Max (8.1 seconds) and hybrid sedans. The EPA rates this hybrid wagon at 41 mpg combined (43 mpg city/39 mpg highway), and we've found it easy to achieve these numbers in real-world driving.
With its large and clearly-labeled controls and easy-to-use high-mounted shift lever, the Prius V cabin is an accommodating place. Its steering wheel is too far away for taller drivers due to the rather meager reach of its telescoping function, and the seat doesn't have enough adjustments to compensate. Storage compartments abound, however. There are two stacked gloveboxes and a large center console bin, along with an open nook beneath the center stack.
Functional though it may be, the interior comes up short in aesthetic appeal. The gauges are nestled in a recessed area in the middle of the dashboard, leaving the area in front of the steering wheel looking like an unfinished void. Cabin material quality is inconsistent, too; some of its 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) work well enough, but the C-Max Hybrid's new Sync 3 interface is easier to use and has a bigger screen.
One clever feature the Prius V boasts is its split-folding rear seat, which reclines and slides fore and aft. Backseat passengers can enjoy limousine-like legroom, or you can have an expansive cargo capacity or some combination of the two. There's also a good amount of headroom for taller passengers and a generous 34.3 cubic feet cargo hold behind the rear seats. And with 67.3 cubic feet available with the rear seats down, the Prius V's total cargo capacity 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.