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Prius V

Prius V interior

Prius C
After selling over one million Prius vehicles, Toyota expands the line

The hybrid that everyone loves to hate is getting a companion model. While the Prius MPV has been rumored for quite some time, Toyota only recently began to drop hints that the larger model was on the way. Today, however, Toyota made it official.

The current Prius started out as a sedan, but transitioned to a hatchback in its second generation. The new model, the Prius V (the “V” stands for versatility), brings a bit more utility to the Prius platform with a more upright rear hatch and a higher roof for 50 percent greater cargo volume.

“This is no ordinary family.  It’s a modern family with a Prius for everyone,” said Bob Carter, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager.  “The Prius v is an all-new dedicated hybrid vehicle, and all future Prius family members will be as well.  They will all share common Prius attributes but will be unique, with a special appeal to different buyers.”

When it comes to the powertrain, there aren't any surprises. The Prius V still uses the same 1.8-liter gasoline engine found in its smaller sibling along with the same Synergy Hybrid Drive.

Fuel economy for Toyota’s latest hybrid gets an impressive 42 mpg in the city, and 38 mpg on the highway (40 mpg combined). For comparison, the standard Prius is rated at 51/48 (50 mpg combined).

The Prius MPV will be going toe-to-toe with Ford’s new C-MAX Hybrid. Ford hasn’t released official EPA numbers for the vehicle yet, but the company does say that it will get better fuel economy than the Fusion Hybrid that is rated at 42/36. So it’s highly likely that Ford’s hybrid will get even better fuel economy than the Prius V.

The Prius V will be available to purchase later this summer.

Toyota also unveiled a Prius C, a vehicle that is smaller than the standard hatchback. It is aimed at young adults and will get better fuel economy than the current's Prius' already impressive 50 mpg combined. The vehicle will debut in production form around this time next year.

If the Prius C looks familiar to you, it's because Toyota debuted a similar hybrid concept, the FT-CH, last year at the Detroit Auto Show. The Prius C is a further refinement of that design.

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Ugly headlights
By Parhel on 1/10/2011 1:52:19 PM , Rating: 4
I absolutely hate the Prius C. Everything about it, but especially the placement of the headlights. The other model, to my taste, is a slight improvement from the existing models. But I really think they should explore a minivan spinoff. Something a bit smaller than the Sienna at close to 40mpg would make a great and popular people mover.

RE: Ugly headlights
By DukeN on 1/10/2011 1:55:18 PM , Rating: 2
But I really think they should explore a minivan spinoff. Something a bit smaller than the Sienna at close to 40mpg would make a great and popular people mover.

Isn't this what the aforementioned Prius V is?

RE: Ugly headlights
By Parhel on 1/10/2011 1:58:24 PM , Rating: 2
According to the article, it's a hatchback. But I think it's a step in that direction, which is why I brought it up.

RE: Ugly headlights
By quiksilvr on 1/10/2011 2:35:58 PM , Rating: 4
Minivans have three rows of seats, not two.

RE: Ugly headlights
By MonkeyPaw on 1/10/2011 2:10:28 PM , Rating: 2
I absolutely hate the Prius C. Everything about it, but especially the placement of the headlights.

Looks like a concept model (and a rather bad one at that), so the actual model will probably change considerably. Not sure if that will make it better looking or not.

RE: Ugly headlights
By Brandon Hill on 1/10/2011 2:59:12 PM , Rating: 2
While it's still a concept, it's pretty damn near close to final production as far as the exterior goes (minus the wheels and secondary lighting). The "rough" concept design was shown last year:

RE: Ugly headlights
By blueboy09 on 1/22/2011 10:38:22 AM , Rating: 2
Well, I dunno Brandon, concept inceptions can change dramatically from year to year, especially in concept vehicles. I remember the concept of the Volt in particular. The concept I really liked, but then it turned fugly by the time of production. I just didn't like the design, but that's just me. IMO, I like the design overall (small, compact), but wheels and headlights you are dead on, they need improvement big-time.

RE: Ugly headlights
By Iaiken on 1/10/2011 2:28:51 PM , Rating: 5
As much as we dislike the Prius for it's styling, there are almost 500,000 people each year that disagree with us. At an average profit of $2200 per car, Toyota is laughing their way to the bank with over a Billion dollars profit from that car alone.

So money talks, it doesn't stop it from saying good things about stupid cars.

RE: Ugly headlights
By bleekii on 1/10/2011 4:18:33 PM , Rating: 2
I really like the look of the C. It's not what I'd make a car look like if I had a choice but it's a good look. I'm sure it will find a market if the price is right. If you don't like how something looks you shouldn't look elsewhere. It's a big world and their lots of other things for you to be dull and picky about.

RE: Ugly headlights
By bleekii on 1/10/2011 4:19:27 PM , Rating: 3
should look elsewhere*

Why no Diesel in North America?
By spazmedia on 1/10/2011 7:00:18 PM , Rating: 1
Still don't get why there are not more cars powered by Diesel engines in North America. This turbo diesel Jaguar gets 35 mpg:
On the show Top Gear it got over 40 mpg. On the same show they had a VW getting 80 mpg...

By piroroadkill on 1/11/2011 4:02:26 AM , Rating: 1
Imperial, almost certainly, not US Gallons.

Yes, it's a clusterfuck, yes we shouldn't be using MPG in any form.

RE: Why no Diesel in North America?
By Galcobar on 1/11/2011 6:24:03 AM , Rating: 1
Keep in mind that a gallon of diesel fuel is not the same, in terms of energy contained, as a gallon of gasoline.

As a heavier fuel diesel is, for lack of a better word, more energy dense. Comparing it directly to gasoline is somewhat akin to comparing the output of two batteries with different voltages.

Prejudice against diesels in North America was created by GM, which basically retrofit gasoline engines to run diesel in the 1970s and produced historically unreliable cars which tended to have cracked blocks and damaged crankshafts. Dirty diesel -- particularly because of the visibility of its exhaust -- cemented the dislike.

Actually, particulate matter is still a concern with diesel, precisely because it is a less-processed, heavier fuel than gasoline.

By mellomonk on 1/11/2011 9:03:06 AM , Rating: 3
Besides GM's 70s diesels tainting public opinion, there are other factors as well. The high sulfur content of the North American fuel up until the recent years low-sulfur mandate was a major hindrance to emissions compliance. Even with the low sulfur fuel, California emissions compliance requires lots of expensive tech, ie. urea injection, particulate filtration. And will get increasingly tough in the future. The CA emissions are now used as a template for several other states as well. Another factor is that at our lower US fuel prices the difference in petrol vs. diesel makes it often a wash when you factor in higher initial prices and maintenance costs.

But there is still hope that diesel passenger cars could catch on more here. Fuel prices are bound to rise in the coming years as China, India and the rest of the rapidly developing nations use more and more oil. The CAFE standards are set to rise and could lead to more adoption, especially if small displacement diesels are offered in trucks, SUVs and crossovers. We need more than VW, Audi, and Mercedes to champion diesel here. Hopefully Fiat's influence over Chrysler will bring more clean diesels to our shores.

By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 1/11/2011 1:19:06 PM , Rating: 2
Plus the nasty urea requirements. Who wants to fill their car with pee as well as fuel?


By chunkymonster on 1/17/2011 11:56:05 PM , Rating: 2
Emissions standards is the biggest reason for the lack of diesel in North America. Which is a red herring because modern clean diesel engines get more miles per gallon and produce less greenhouse gases than comparable gasoline engines.

Definite bias in America about diesels, left over from the 1970's.

The oil companies and car companies are also guilty of not developing diesel technology and alternative fuel sources.

Rudolph Diesel built his first engine to run on peanut oil. Part of the brilliance of the diesel design is the fact that the engine can be tweaked to run on various fuel types i.e.; petroleum distilled fuel, bio-diesel, bio-mass based fuels, vegetable oil. Diesel fuel distilled from petroleum, which has become synonymous with the engine, was developed and created after Rudolph Diesel's untimely death.

Bio-diesel, diesel-electric hybrids, and alternative fuel sources are not in the interest of the car and oil companies. Proof exists in the fact that Ford Motor Company developed and sells a diesel Fiesta ECOnetic, in Europe only, that gets 55+/- miles per gallon. When asked if Ford if they would ever bring the fuel sipping Fiesta to America, they said no claiming that there is no market in America for diesel cars.

Well, there may be no diesel car market (something VW would argue with) in America. But you can bet your last dollar that there is a market for an American made car that gets over 50mpg whether it's diesel or not!

I suppose the American car buyer is supposed to be content with the the Volt...

Diesel electric hybrids are being developed for the mostly EU market. Pre-production models got 70+ miles per gallon. Very little chance of ever seeing a diesel electric hybrid made by and American car company, let alone one being sold in the United States; VW or Audi being exceptions.

Jetta TDI, 175K miles, 42mpg average, 530 mile range. The Prius, Volt, and Leaf can suck it.

By SSDMaster on 1/10/2011 1:51:02 PM , Rating: 2
Why not a diesel hybrid? Is there any reason why this wouldn't be better? There has to be a reason or they would have done it already, right?

RE: Diesel
By xprojected on 1/10/2011 4:00:36 PM , Rating: 2
Cost. Diesel and hybrid powertrains each already add thousands of dollars to a car's price. Figure $10k over a base car (plus the additional testing needed), and the benefit isn't worth it to most.

RE: Diesel
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 1/11/2011 1:21:06 PM , Rating: 2
Are there any diesels in production that are using start/stop technology, like the gas engines in hybrids? I think you might lose a lot of efficiency from the diesel with constant cold restarts. I don't know if this is true, but just a thought.

RE: Diesel
By chunkymonster on 1/18/2011 12:18:19 AM , Rating: 2
While I agree that cost is a factor while initially producing diesel electric hybrids. Cost goes away with the economies of scale. The current run of 5th generation gas electric hybrids have proven that.

Fact is, a currently available modern clean diesel can get 50+ miles per gallon. Road test of pre-production diesel electric hybrids have shown to get 70+ miles per gallon.

In these times, with people willing to pay $50K for a Chevy Volt, I fail to believe that cost would stop someone from buying a diesel electric hybrid that gets 70+ miles per gallon.

Cost is not the reason for no diesel electric hybrids.

40 is that all?
By GTVic on 1/10/11, Rating: 0
RE: 40 is that all?
By xprojected on 1/10/2011 3:20:23 PM , Rating: 2
1. 40mpg imperial < 40mpg US
2. EPA ratings were inflated until 2008. Ratings by post-2008 standards for the '89 Mazda 323 are 24 city/30 highway (US gallons, again) for the manual..
3. Cars in '89 were about 3/4 scale of their 2011 equivalents -- in power, weight, and size. Some of the weight gain is due to safety requirements, some features that buyers demand.

RE: 40 is that all?
By Keeir on 1/10/2011 3:36:38 PM , Rating: 2
Good response

you forgot the following

1. US testing cycles are significant different and more challenging than EU and Japan cycles. (Even Pre-2008 EPA delievered consistently lower results)
2. Real World =! EPA.

EPA testing is not meant to predict the mileage that someone will get in the real world. EPA testing is meant merely as a comparison method between cars. Each and every car that gets rated with the EPA method must drive a very strict and controlled driving cycle under very specific atmosphere and temperature. I will never forget the consumer reports person I saw on TV one time saying that BMWs should get lower ratings on the EPA because "if you drive them like you can drive them, then they get signifcantly lower ratings". This creates a certain weakness as EPA testing cycles can drive or affect efficieny technology. For instance, the current EPA cycles do not involve significant idle times... which reduces the incentive to add Start/Stop feature as it will not appear in the EPA cycles.

A good rule of thumb. Take your EURO combined cycle result and multiple by 60% and 70%. The US combined cycle result will fall within those boundaries regardless of pre/post 2008 rating.

By CZroe on 1/10/2011 1:58:56 PM , Rating: 2
On the C model the tiny tires finally look proportional like a normal car.

By flyingrooster on 1/10/11, Rating: -1
RE: Design
By GulWestfale on 1/10/2011 1:54:32 PM , Rating: 1
true, but toyotas have seldom been exciting to look at. the C on the other hand looks better than honda's sorry little wanna-be CRX, the CR-Z.

i guess it will be some time until we see more distinctive designs, as the manufacturers still have to figure out how to incorporate distinctive styling elements into cars that are designed with a focus on aerodynamic efficiency. toyota never really had distinctive design to begin with...

RE: Design
By dagamer34 on 1/10/2011 2:01:47 PM , Rating: 2
Sure, not exciting, but at least not ugly.

RE: Design
By tng on 1/10/2011 2:32:23 PM , Rating: 3
the C on the other hand looks better than honda's sorry little wanna-be CRX, the CR-Z.


Can't say I agree with you there. After seeing the CR-Z in person, I think it looks better than what I had seen in press releases and definitely better than this.

RE: Design
By dani31 on 1/10/2011 3:38:55 PM , Rating: 2
Call me crazy but I like both the CR-Z and the Prius C...

...OK, I admit :D
Maybe I like the CR-Z a bit more on the design side and Prius C on the tech side.

RE: Design
By walk2k on 1/10/2011 3:51:03 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah it's pretty obvious they lifted the rear from the CRX/CRV. I kinda like the looks of the CRZ too. If it wasn't for the torsion-beam rear suspension on the CRZ I'd take one and swap it with Integra Type R motor (220hp) and remove the heavy IMA+battery of course.. probably run 6-secs 0-60s with 50+mpg! But that rear suspension is a dealbreaker.. torsion beams belong on minivans, not sports/sporty cars.

RE: Design
By tng on 1/10/2011 5:07:55 PM , Rating: 2
If it wasn't for the torsion-beam rear suspension on the CRZ I'd take one

Any idea on what the weight difference would be between the torsion beam and say the type that is on a older Civic or Integra?

Just wondering why they put that in, is it lighter, or just cheaper and easier to install? I would think that it would be heavier.

RE: Design
By mellomonk on 1/11/2011 8:33:45 AM , Rating: 2
Torsion Beam makes sense for the CR-Z. Simple, cheap to produce, compact. Right tool for the job. After all, the CR-Z is a 'sporty' hybrid, not a sportscar.

RE: Design
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 1/11/2011 1:15:47 PM , Rating: 2
Also, the EU pedestrian-safe grill height regs are affecting designs everywhere.

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