Home2011 Detroit Auto Show
Consumer Reports auto experts report from the 2011 North American Auto Show in Detroit.
Toyota Prius V

What is it? The Prius V—for "versatility," Toyota says—is a taller Prius with 34 cu ft. of cargo space, about 60 percent more than the standard Prius. It's about the size of a Mazda5 small minivan, though it still seats just five. Toyota says the Prius V will be EPA-rated at 42 mpg city and 38 mpg highway, for a combined 40 mpg. That compares to 51 city/48 hwy and 50 mpg overall for the standard Prius. The Prius V uses the same 1.8-liter Atkinson cycle engine as the standard Prius.

What is new or notable? Toyota has long promised and expansion of its Prius hybrid lineup, and this wagon is the first outgrowth of that plan. This Prius will be the first car to use Toyotas new Entune next generation, Internet capable infotainment system. Despite the Prius V's taller roofline, it doesn't lose much aerodynamically to the standard Prius, with a drag coefficient of 0.29. A weight-saving plexiglass moonroof will be a new option.

CR's take: We've heard readers clamoring for a bigger, more versatile family car with the Prius's fuel economy for years. This may be at least the start of an answer, though it likely won't match the standard Prius's 44 mpg overall in our testing. At least with all the whiz-bang electronics, Toyota points out that it has maintained a single knob for climate controls.

When will it be available? Late summer 2011.

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