6 Speed Test Drives

6 SPEED TEST DRIVE: 2013 Prius V

The Toyota Prius family of cars is world famous for ushering in the age of green driving. Since the very first oddly shaped Prius first popped up on the scene in 1997, the legend of its gas-saving prowess has grown to significant heights.

Speaking of growing, the family has grown quite a bit since then too. Now, the Prius line has four different models in it. This one, the Prius V, is an extended hatchback, so it’s longer than the others and has much more interior storage space.

It also offers some fun features like a dashboard mounted card holder and a metric button to toggle your speed from miles to kilometers per hour. Here are six more things we noticed about the 2013 Toyota Prius V.

  1. Green Power. Since this is the world famous, gas-saving Prius, we’d be remiss if we didn’t start our review by discussing MPG. During our week-long test drive we saw an average of 38 MPG, which ain’t too shabby but is a little shy of the posted 42 MPG. The Prius V also has three different modes: Power (100% gas), EV (100% electric) and ECO (a mix of both) to manage your speed and gas consumption.
  2. Crime Busters. The moon-roof stretches the full length of the car, which provides for quite a bit of sunlight, but that’s only half the story. When you lock the car and walk away the moon roof eventually closes itself, even if you left it open. A nice, passive theft deterrent.
  3. Open Sesame. When you approach the Prius V with the key fob in your pocket or purse, the car keeps track of your proximity but it won’t actually unlock the door until you touch the door handle. There is a super thin strip of metal on the back of the door handle and as soon as it feels the smallest pressure from fingers, viola, the door unlocks. Almost like magic.
  4. My Cup Runneth Over. The Prius V is a veritable cornucopia of cup holders. There are three in the front: An obvious one in the central armrest, plus a hidden, pull-out cup holder beneath it, as well as a pop-out holder over on the passenger side. In the back, there are two more pop out holders. Add the in-door cup holders and you’ve got all you need to keep the whole family happy.
  5. Speak No Evil. The voice command is very accurate but it’s also a bit slow to load. When you first start the car, it takes time to warm up. Hit the button too soon and you’ll get an “initializing” error. That said, it understands speech very well for a computer and short commands like, “find nearby Waffle House” will get you everywhere you need to be.
  6. Look, Ma, No Hands. The automated parking feature is a godsend. Not only does it help you parallel park by steering for you but it can also back into perpendicular parking spaces as well. All you have to do is apply the brakes and shift when the car tells you to. It’s not completely user-friendly but, once you get the hang of it, it’ll definitely save you some parking anxiety.

Overall the Prius V is a car that’s great on gas and space. Also, check out one more fab Prius feature that we didn’t mention in this review, right here.

2013 Toyota Prius V
MPG during test drive: 38
Pricing: Starts at $30K
Test drive model: $37K
Cost to fill the tank: About $43


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