At Inhabitat, we've been working our way through the latest editions of the Toyota Prius, including the plug-in version and the small Prius c. This month we had a chance to try the larger Prius v, which is the same shape as a standard Prius but about the size of a family wagon. We found that the interior was a little nicer than the other Priuses we had tested - heated leather seats and a double sunroof made it feel much more upmarket than most other cars in this vehicle line and we also enjoyed great legroom in front and back, plus a large hatchback trunk for gear. Toyota claims that by flattening part of the second row, you can fit 98 bags of stuff in there. That sounds breathlessly optimistic to us, but there is plenty of storage, so if you've been jonesing for a Prius but need more room, the v may be your ride.
That being said, Toyota hasn’t changed much else about this car besides the size, which presents some problems. Toyota seems to have plugged the same engine and motor into this car that goes into other Priuses, without compensating for the extra size and weight, so you get lazy acceleration, odd transmission shifts, and 40 mpg, which you can get in many other vehicles without sacrificing power. The Prius v starts at $26,400, which is pretty affordable for a hybrid, so if you cruise around town running errands and ferrying people and gear, this may be the hybrid for you. But you won’t be doing any burnouts or quick traffic maneuvers in this car.