It's the hybrid that started it all. The Prius has become synonymous with saving gas and, to a certain extent, even the world. With the Prius V, drivers no longer have to compromise space for mileage.
"The V stands for versatility, it's our most versatile Prius product," said Moe Durand a representative from Toyota. " a lot more interior flexibility with a second row sliding seat. It's great for families... a lot more living you can do in that space."
On the outside, the V looks like a stretched out Prius. And on the inside, the extra bit of stretch goes a long way.
In fact, Toyota says, the V is more spacious than 80 percent of small SUVs. For Prius owners that means more space to fit in the stroller, kids and a lot of stuff from Costco.
Other notable features in the V include a panoramic moonroof and seats made with a new synthetic fabric called Soft-teks, which according to Durand, is tug, tear and water resistant.
To keep everyone in the car entertained, Toyota added the Entune system into the V, which allows drivers to integrate smartphone apps like Pandora and Moviefone into the dashboard.
"It brings right within your car and makes the actual dash interface something you can use safely while enjoying those applications," Durand said.
To Toyota's credit, Entune offers a seamless integration from smartphone to car in a clean interface. But the app selection is limited, the connection a bit sluggish at times and the entire system requires a proprietary Toyota app to be constantly running on the connected smartphone.
But let's face it, Entune is not really why drivers buy a Prius.
Keeping true to its roots, the V offers great miles to the gallon. On our week-long test, we averaged almost 41 mpg in city and highway driving.
Overall, the Prius V offers great fuel efficiency with a lot of family-friendly features and is a solid addition to Toyota's popular hybrid line. It starts at about $26,000 but can jump to about $35,000 when fully loaded.