2012 Toyota Prius V Hybrid Wagon: Review Roundup

2012 Toyota Prius v
photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales, USA

Shopping for a hybrid vehicle and thinking about the 2012 Toyota Prius v hybrid wagon? Here’s a summary of major reviews of the vehicle to help you decide. Be sure to leave a comment at the bottom if you have questions, or something to add!

The Toyota Prius was the first hybrid to really get the attention of the American public when it was introduced in the 1990s. Now the Japanese manufacturer has expanded the line to include a plug-in hybrid, a wagon known as the v, and a smaller model called the Prius c.

The Prius V has an EPA fuel efficiency rating of 44 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. MSRP is $26,400.

Road & Track — 2012 Toyota Prius v: 2011 Detroit Auto Show

No doubt you are wondering what the “v” means in the 2012 Toyota Prius v. No, it is not the roman numeral five. Rather it stands for “versatility,” according to Toyota. Road & Track notes that this Prius version is bigger than the regular Prius and includes “ample” seating for five people and a 60/40 fold-down rear seat. The wedge shape of the silhouette assists the vehicle to cut through the air at a very efficient 0.29 coefficient of drag. That contributes to the fuel economy of the car and also helps to reduce wind noise, they say.

Road & Track adds that the Prius v features four driving modes — Normal, Electric (EV), Economy (ECO), and Power (PWR). The car has a push button start and includes Hill Start Assist, Stability and traction control, a back-up camera, and Toyota’s Entune infotainment system that provide entertainment, navigation and information. Mobile apps are available for the Entune which offers such things as the best fuel prices available, restaurant recommendation, live traffic updates, stock reports and sports scores.

Automotive Trends — 2012 Toyota Prius V: Can a Bigger Hybrid Actually Be Better?

It is not surprising that Automotive Trends says more of the same when comparing the v to the Prius. However, they note that this model does have a little more cargo space and has a little bit lower fuel economy. There is no third-row seat here due to the shape of the vehicle.

They liked the “gargantuan” dual sunroof which includes a cool feature where the sunshade automatically closes whenever the doors are locked. They presume this is to keep the car cooler and reduce energy consumption by the climate control when the vehicle is started.

They say that the drive is similar to the Prius. However, they complained that the steering is “very non-communicative” making the car less entertaining to drive, but the ride is smooth due to suspension tuning for pitch and bounce. They were not overly fond of the dash mounted gear shift that does not include a “park” setting. Instead, there is a separate button on the dashboard for this action.

Automotive Trends identified the “Good” to be the wagon’s versatility and styling as well as the fuel economy; they found the “Bad” to be the “uncommunicative” steering and sounds from the engine compartment. Despite this, their verdict was that “The Prius v proves that even in the world of hybrids, bigger is better.”

Consumer Reports — Behind the wheel: 2012 Toyota Prius v wagon

Consumer Reports says the car is practical and has good fuel economy. They note that it is 6-inches longer, 3.3-inches taller and about 1-inch wider — and has 60 percent more cargo space than the regular Prius.

They also quote Toyota to explain that the larger v has similar acceleration as the Prius because of lower final-drive gearing which provides quicker take off from a start. CR notes that the Prius v earned 44 MPG overall in their tests, which is the best of any small SUV or wagon they have tested. The next closest was the VW Jetta TDI wagon at 36 MPG.

Toyota Prius V Review Conclusion

Here’s a summary of the reviewers likes and dislikes:


  • Great fuel economy
  • Roomy
  • Good visibility from cabin
  • More cargo space than the Prius
  • Dual sunroof
  • Smooth ride
  • Versatility
  • Styling


  • Steering
  • Gearshift doesn’t have “park”

Do you own this car, or have you driven one? What’s your take?

Leave a comment and help out the people who are researching this car!