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.