In Toyota's bid to sell more Prius models, it expanded the range, coming out this year with the Prius v, a minivan version of the hybrid car. Next year will bring a compact-car version. The Prius v has familiar proportions in front, but an expanded cargo area.
Just like the Prius hatchback, the Prius v uses a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine enhanced by an electric drive system. Net output is 134 horsepower. In the Prius v, that means between 40 and 44 mpg, almost 10 mpg less than the Prius hatchback.
Like the Prius hatchback, the Prius v has seating for five. But the rear cargo area is somewhat larger. The change in cargo space compromises the aerodynamics and is largely responsible for the reduction in fuel economy.
This car came with Toyota's automatic parking system. Not very successful, this system requires adjusting before you can initiate parking. In real-world use, we could never get the parking frame to turn blue.