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.

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The Prius v maintains the Prius design from the most current generation, with the Toyota badge on a bump and headlight casings with a slight boomerang on their trailing edges.

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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.

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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.

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The ride quality in the Prius v feels efficient, but not particularly comfortable. Fortunately, the seats are well-padded.

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The Prius v has a minivan-style tailgate, rather than the hatchback of the original Prius.

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The rear seats fold down easily, maximizing cargo space.

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Our loaded version of the car came with a glass roof, allowing these dual panes over the front and second rows.

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The seats are well-padded, adding to the comfort level, while a standalone console between the seats gives the cabin an airy feeling.

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Rear-seat legroom is ample, and the row is designed for three passengers, with a three-point seat belt in the middle.

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Toyota has changed up its head unit offerings for the Prius v, moving to its new lineup of Display Audio systems. This model has the top end of that lineup.

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The electric power-steering boost is very obvious in the Prius v. It can be felt through the wheel at low speeds and makes for easy turning.

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Like the Prius hatchback, the Prius v has a small drive selector sticking out of the dashboard.

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The digital instrument cluster is placed in the center of the dashboard, and has a futuristic look appropriate for the car's hybrid drivetrain.

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Buttons on the console let the driver choose Power and Eco modes. The EV button can be used no matter what other mode is currently activated. But EV mode will only stay on under certain conditions.

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Toyota's power flow animation shows when drive energy is coming from the gas engine or the electric motor. It also shows when the battery is recharging during deceleration.

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An new voice command system is easy to use and gives a lot of options, from entering destinations to placing calls by name to asking for music by artist.

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The navigation system includes traffic data, but only shows maps in 2D views, with no perspective view available.

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Entune, Toyota's connected app system, comes with the Prius v.

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The FM radio band includes HD Radio, when it can tune in to a station.

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Other audio sources include satellite radio, Bluetooth audio, and iPod integration.

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The system analyzes music on a USB drive, parsing ID3 tags to separate the music by artist and album.

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The JBL GreenEdge audio system is designed to deliver punchy audio with low energy usage, a smart choice for the Prius v.

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The rearview camera shows trajectory and distance lines.

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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.

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When the system is working, the driver need only keep a foot on the brake, letting the wheel turn automatically as the car backs into position.

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