Since 2001, Toyota has offered the Prius in one form or another, giving buyers the roominess of a sedan or a liftback (2004 and on) with fuel economy that was almost impossible for traditional cars to match. In 2012, after other automakers started hopping on the hybrid bandwagon and gobbling up sales, Toyota saw a gap in the market for a hybrid wagon and launched the Prius v. With the 2015 model year upon us, and Toyota looking to inject a little youth into its customer base, the automaker has given the hybrid wagon a facelift that gives it a slightly sportier look than before without abandoning its reserved personality altogether.

With this refresh comes a handful of changes to the front fascia and a little tuck on the backside. Unfortunately, Toyota left the drivetrain unchanged. Allowing its main competitor to easily trump it in terms of performance.

Does the Prius v still have what it takes to dominate the hybrid wagon market?

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Prius v and find out.

  • 2015 Toyota Prius v
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Transmission:
    CVT
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    134
  • MPG(Cty):
    44
  • MPG(Hwy):
    40
  • Torque @ RPM:
    15
  • Displacement:
    1.8 L
  • 0-60 time:
    10.4 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    103 mph
  • Price:
    26675
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • car fuel:
  • body style:

Exterior

2015 Toyota Prius v High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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2015 Toyota Prius v High Resolution Exterior
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2015 Toyota Prius v High Resolution Exterior
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Finally, the upper grille gets a new insert, while the headlights get a more aggressive, hook-like swoop as they approach the grille.

Don’t expect anything too drastic from Toyota here, as the Prius v still retains the majority of its styling. With this update, Toyota has revised the front bumper, which adds a touch of sportiness to the otherwise plebeian wagon thanks to a new center insert that includes a matte-black center bar and optional fog lights on the edges of the lower grille. New vertical air inlets are now installed on the outer edges of the front bumper, where the fog lights were on the 2014 model, but I’m sure these do little more than look cool. Finally, the upper grille gets new insert, while the headlights get a more aggressive, hook-like swoop as they approach the grille. Speaking of those headlights, for the first time ever, Toyota is offering optional LED-projector low- and high-beams

Around back, things are less heavily revised, as the only change I can make out is the new bumper and lower insert.

Toyota didn’t stop at just changing the look of the Prius v, as it has also added a few new colors. These new hues include Attitude Black Metallic, Absolutely Red, and Toasted Walnut Pearl. Also slightly changed was the size of the Prius v, as its length grew to 182.3 inches – 0.6 inch longer than the 2014 model.

Other than the minor lengthening, the updated front and rear fascias, and the new colors to choose from, the 2015 Prius v remained unchanged from the 2014 model year.

Side-by-side comparison

2015 Toyota Prius v Exterior
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Interior

2015 Toyota Prius v Interior
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2015 Toyota Prius v Interior
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2015 Toyota Prius v High Resolution Interior
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As for the new Entune systems, the standard unit has a 6.1-inch screen, AM/FM/CD capabilities, six speakers, a USB input, Bluetooth phone pairing and audio streaming, and an auxiliary jack.

On the inside, only a few bits and pieces have changed since the 2014 model year. The key changes include the introduction of new Entune Audio systems, a new eight-way power driver’s seat, a new 4.2-inch screen mounted between the center-mounted gauges (standard only on the Prius v Three), and an updated Advanced Technology Package.

The 4.2-inch screen shows the driver all of the key details that he needs, including the odometer, clock, climate control settings, fuel economy, cruising range, hybrid system information, energy monitor, navigation indicator, and more. As for the new Entune systems, the standard unit has a 6.1-inch screen, AM/FM/CD capabilities, six speakers, a USB input, Bluetooth phone pairing and audio streaming, and an auxiliary jack. The Entune Premium Audio system with Navigation and App Suite, which comes standard on the Prius v Three, includes split-screen, navigation, advanced voice recognition, HD radio with predictive traffic, SiriusXM, and an integrated rearview camera display. The final audio option is the Entune JBL Audio with Navigation and App Suite, and it adds JBL Green Edge Speakers that not only sound better, but require less electricity to power.

Other than the aforementioned changes, the 2015 Prius v is largely carryover on the inside, including its multiple glove boxes, storage cubbies and up to 67.3 cubic feet of cargo room.

Drivetrain

2015 Toyota Prius v High Resolution Exterior
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For drivers who need more control, the 2015 Prius v has four driving modes to choose from: Normal, Power, Eco, and EV.

As expected, the 2015 Prius v carries the same drivertrain as the 2014 model. This means that on the gasoline side of things it has a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that runs on the Atkinson cycle, and delivers 98 horsepower and 105 pound-feet of torque. Adding 80 horsepower and 153 pound-feet of its own is an electric motor that is fueled by a sealed nickel-metal hydride battery. This is a parallel hybrid system, so the output of the two powerplants are not added directly. Instead, the two do a delicate ballet that results in a combined output of 134 horsepower that gets the wagon to 60 mph in 10.4 seconds and on to a top speed of 103 mph.

The hybrid drive system mates to an electronically controlled, continuously variable transmission that can drone a little at times. However, that CVT’s smooth transfer of power is a big reason the EPA rated the Prius v at 44 mpg city, 40 mpg highway, and 42 mpg combined. Also contributing to the fuel economy is automatic stop and start, so you aren’t burning fuel during extended stops, an electric water pump and power steering pump, an electrically driven air-conditioning compressor, and regenerative braking.

For drivers who need more control, the 2015 Prius v has four driving modes to choose from: Normal, Power, Eco, and EV. The Power mode enhances the mid-range response of the Prius to help you handle hilly terrain a little more effectively. Eco mode tones down throttle response and adjusts the climate-control system to enhance fuel economy. EV mode gives you about one mile of electric-only driving at low speeds — ideal for hunting down a parking space in a crowded lot.

Drivetrain Specifications

Type 1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle, 4-cylinder engine + electric motor
Output 134 HP
Peak torque 105 LB-FT
Fuel economy (City/Highway/Combined) 44 / 40 / 42
Battery nickel-metal
Acceleration (0-60 MPH) 10.4 Sec.
TopSpeed 105 MPH

Prices

2015 Toyota Prius v High Resolution Exterior
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In the pricing game, the Prius v sees a mild decrease to $26,675 in its base Two trim level – $75 less than the 2014 model. The Prius v Three starts at $28,060, which is a $545 increase. The Four trim level starts at $29,695 – the same as in 2014 – while the range-topping Five trim bases at $30,935, a $540 increase.

Pricing

Model MSRP
2015 Toyota Prius v Two $26,675
2015 Toyota Prius v Three $28,060
2015 Toyota Prius v Four $29,695
2015 Toyota Prius v Five $30,935

Competition

Ford C-Max Hybrid

2012 Ford C-Max Hybrid Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Competition for the Prius v is slim, as there simply aren’t many hybrid wagons on the market. The Ford C-Max Hybrid is about as close as it gets, and it certainly wins the price battle, at $24,170. That said, the hybrid game is about more than just who’s the cheapest – just ask Honda how that worked out for the Insight.

The C-Max has a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle engine that produces 141 horsepower and 129 pound-feet of torque. Teaming up with the gasoline engine is an electric motor that is powered by a 35 kW lithium-ion battery. Combined, the C-Max kills the Prius in total output at 188 horsepower, which results in a 0-to-60-mph time of about eight seconds and a top speed of 135 mph.

So, it’s cheaper than the Prius v, it’s looks are about on par with the Prius v, and it’s significantly faster than the Prius v, but something’s gotta give. Well, there are two minor sore spots with the C-Max, and that’s the fact that it is rated slightly lower than its Toyota Rival at 42 mpg city, 37 mpg highway and 40 mpg combined, and it can only haul up to 52.6 cubic feet of cargo.

Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen TDI

2014 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen 4Motion Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Yes, it may not be a hybrid, but the 2015 Golf Sportwagen TDI is yet another thrifty wagon that is also easy on the environment. I expect the Sportwagen (known as the Jetta Sportwagen in 2014) to be slightly less expensive than the Prius v, but the downside is that you’ll be topping it off with significantly more expensive diesel fuel.

Under the hood will be a 2.0-liter TDI engine that produces 150 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, giving the wagon plenty of low-end grunt to get off the line. Swapping the gears is the responsibility of a six-speed manual or an optional dual-clutch transmission – no stinking CVT here. With the dual-clutch transmission, the 2014 Jetta Sportwagen TDI hits 60 mph in the high-eight-second range, and I expect the 2015 Golf Sportwagen to remain about the same.

As for cargo capacity, I expect the Golf to haul roughly the same 67 cubes of cargo as its Jetta predecessor with the seats lowered. Additionally, it’s my opinion that the Golf is a much better-looking wagon than either the C-Max or the Prius v.

Pricing and fuel economy is still unknown, as it has yet to hit dealers, but I expect it to hover around $27k, and turn in around 43 mpg highway, 31 mpg city, and 35 mpg combined.

Conclusion

2015 Toyota Prius v High Resolution Exterior
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I love what Toyota has done with the Prius v. Much like what it did with the Prius c, it made the model sportier and a likely opened it up to a slightly younger crowd. The only issue with the hybrid wagon is that it remains very slow and it’s starting to lose ground to new models like the C-Max. I think it is time for Toyota to start tinkering with the under-hood bits and milk a little more power from its thrifty wagon.

  • Leave it
    • Very slow compared to the C-Max
    • Still looks too Prius-y
    • Slightly more expensive than the quicker C-Max

Press Release

The Toyota Prius v – the “big Prius” – gets a new look for 2015. But Toyota didn’t mess with the outstanding roominess in the largest model in the Prius Family, a car sized for families with a hefty 42 MPG EPA combined fuel economy rating.

2015 Toyota Prius v High Resolution Exterior
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Revised front and rear styling and striking new colors including Attitude Black Metallic, Absolutely Red and tasty Toasted Walnut Pearl give Prius v a sportier attitude. The new front bumper, grille, available integrated fog lights and available Toyota-first LED projector low- and high-beam headlights contribute to the roomy Prius v sporty makeover. Inside, new Entune® Audio systems bring new multimedia capabilities. The newly available 8-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar support offers even more comfort to the already high-utility interior. Technology is updated with a 4.2-inch TFT screen that is standard on Prius v Three and higher and the available Advanced Technology Package has been upgraded for 2015 model year.

The “v” in the Prius v stands for versatility, by the way, which seems appropriate in a highly efficient vehicle that offers more cargo room than most small SUVs.

Using the same Hybrid Synergy Drive system as the standard Prius, the Prius v delivers EPA-estimated 44 MPG city / 40 MPG highway ratings, an exceptional level of efficiency for such a roomy and versatile vehicle. The Prius v rides on a 3.1-inch longer wheelbase and is 5.9 inches longer overall than the Prius liftback. Those modest differences in exterior dimensions yield nearly 60 percent more cargo space with 34.3 cu. ft. behind the rear seats vs. 21.6 cu. ft. for the Prius liftback.

2015 Toyota Prius v Interior
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With its 60/40 split folding rear seats folded down, the Prius v offers 67.3 cu. ft. of carrying space. In fact, the combination of a roomy cabin and cargo area earns the Prius v a “midsize station wagon” classification from the EPA. The low, wide-opening tailgate provides easy access, and the fold-flat front-passenger seat allows the vehicle to carry long items. And, the sliding second row seats let you adjust room for passengers or cargo.

Familiar Prius Look, Upsized
A familiar silhouette helps make the Prius v instantly familiar and is also slippery through the air. The 0.29 coefficient of drag is low for a vehicle of its size and roominess. Even the wheels are designed with aerodynamic efficiency in mind. These measures and others also help to suppress wind noise.
Extensive use of high-tensile grades of steel throughout the body along with aluminum in key body panels and systems keeps weight low: a Prius v weighs just 268 pounds more than a standard Prius liftback.

A resin Panoramic View Moonroof with power retractable sunshades provides an open feeling in the cabin and is 40-percent lighter than a conventional glass roof of similar size. The construction also provides excellent heat insulation performance, reducing the load on the vehicle’s climate control system.

2015 Toyota Prius v High Resolution Interior
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A Peek Into the Future: Simple, Easy Controls
Get behind the wheel of a Prius v, and you’ll be struck by the cockpit’s clean yet futuristic appearance. You’ll also be pleased by how easy the controls are to see and use. The center-mounted instrument panel puts vital information at eye level. Don’t look for a shift lever or parking brake handle — push buttons are used to start and operate the car, and the drive-by-wire shift toggle replaces a clunky lever. A single automatic climate control dial looks advanced and works with ease.

The available animal-free SofTex® seat material is designed to resist spills and wear – perfect for a family vehicle. As the name suggests, it’s soft to the touch. SofTex is also lighter than leather and other traditional leatherette-type materials, and its production generates 85 percent fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs) than conventional synthetic leather production.

The new 4.2-inch TFT screen nestled between the gauges, is standard on Prius v Three and higher. The screen’s animation displays a wide range of vehicle functions including odometer, clock, climate control settings, fuel economy, fuel economy history, current/average fuel economy, cruising range, average speed, hybrid system information, Hybrid System Indicator, energy monitor, audio menu, simple navigation indicator and warning messages.

You’ll find useful storage spaces throughout the Prius v, including dual glove boxes, a center console storage box and utility tray and five cup holders in large and medium sizes. Bottle holders are built into the front and rear door pockets, and most models feature an overhead storage space that can hold sunglasses.

2015 Toyota Prius v Interior
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Storage units built into the sides of the luggage compartment hold smaller items, and there’s another space under the floor, suitable for storing soft items like car wash supplies or gloves. There’s even a space under the rear seats specially designed to store umbrellas.

Hybrid Synergy Drive: The Hybrid Gold Standard
Toyota’s clear hybrid leadership shines through in the Hybrid Synergy Drive® powertrain, which combines the output of a 1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle, 4-cylinder engine with an electric motor. A full hybrid, the Prius v can run on the gasoline engine alone, battery alone, or a combination of both.

The system’s combined 134 net system horsepower feels even stronger to the driver due to the unique way the system combines the torque of the gasoline engine and electric motor through a planetary-type continuously variable transmission. Automatic start/stop helps to reduce fuel consumption in urban driving.

The compact and lightweight gasoline engine operates very quietly and qualifies for SULEV and Tier2 Bin3 emissions standards. The nickel-metal hydride battery pack is the same as in the Prius liftback, but with a cooling duct located under the rear seat.

2015 Toyota Prius v High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Like the Prius liftback, the Prius v presents the driver with the choice of four driving modes, NORMAL, POWER, ECO and EV. POWER mode enhances mid-range response for better performance on slopes and mountainous terrain. ECO mode adjusts throttle input and climate control to maximize fuel economy. In EV mode, the Prius can drive on battery power alone at low speeds for about a mile under certain conditions. When operating under battery power only, the Prius v is ultra-quiet, so a Vehicle Proximity Notification System helps alert pedestrians and cyclists by emitting a small warning sound.

As in other Toyota hybrids, the Prius v employs numerous special features to squeeze maximum efficiency out of every gallon of regular-grade gas. Regenerative braking helps to recapture electrical energy under deceleration, sending it to the battery, which helps to reduce fuel consumption.

The electric water pump and electric power steering work without accessory drive belts, which helps reduce maintenance costs. Likewise, the climate control system uses an electrically driven compressor, so the air conditioning can run even when the gasoline engine shuts off, as it does under certain conditions in normal driving. The available single LED projector low and high-beam headlights enhance visibility while reducing electric draw and are designed to be virtually maintenance free for the expected life of the vehicle.

2015 Toyota Prius v Interior
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Banishing the Bounce
Know those irritating expansion strips on some freeways? Toyota engineered a system called Pitch and Bounce Control for the Prius v to even things out. The novel system uses the torque of the hybrid motor to enhance ride comfort and control and help make the ride feel more composed over such surfaces. The Prius v comes standard with 16-inch alloy wheels with full wheel covers, and 17-inch alloy wheels are available.

Entune® Unlocks a World of Information
The Prius v is equipped with Toyota’s latest multimedia technology. The standard Entune Audio is a touch-screen system with a 6.1-inch screen. The AM/FM CD player unit offers MP3/WMA playback capability with six speakers, a USB 2.0 port for iPod® connectivity and control, rear camera display, Bluetooth hands-free phone capability and audio streaming, and an auxiliary input jack. The display also provides vehicle information and allows the driver to customize vehicle settings.

The Prius v Three trim line adds Entune Premium Audio with Navigation and App Suite including the Entune Multimedia Bundle (6.1-inch high resolution touch-screen with split screen display, advanced voice recognition), HD radio, HD predictive traffic and Doppler weather overlay, AM/FM cache radio, SiriusXM All Access Radio with 3-month complimentary trial, Gracenotes album cover art, and integrated backup camera display.

The Toyota Entune App Suite is a collection of popular mobile applications and subscription-free data services. Once a smartphone is paired to the vehicle using Bluetooth or a USB cable, Entune apps are operated using the vehicle’s controls or, for some services, by voice recognition. Entune App Suite includes Bing™, Facebook Places, iHeartRadio, MovieTickets.com, OpenTable®, and Pandora® and Yelp™; real-time information including traffic, weather, fuel prices, sports and stocks.

2015 Toyota Prius v High Resolution Exterior
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The range-topping multimedia package sounds amazing, offers more features and functions and even helps reduce energy consumption. The upgraded Entune Premium JBL Audio with Navigation and App Suite adds JBL® Green Edge™ speakers to provide a high-quality sound. The GreenEdge system draws less energy than conventional components.

A Safety Star
There’s safety in strength in the Prius v. Expansive use of high-strength steel, notably in the front frame members, is key to the strong body structure that’s also commendably light. Similarly engineered reinforcements using high tensile steels help to protect the cabin from side and rear intrusions by dispersing energy throughout the vehicle.

Like all Toyota models, the Prius v features Toyota’s Star Safety System™, which includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist. It also features the standard Smart Stop Technology brake-override system.

There are seven airbags, including a knee airbag for the driver. The front seats are designed to help lessen the possibility of whiplash injury during certain types of severe rear end collisions.

The Prius v also offers several in-demand advanced safety features as part of the Advanced Technology Package. The available Pre-Collision System retracts seatbelts and even applies the brakes in certain conditions when a frontal crash is unavoidable. It is paired with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, which is designed to help maintain a set distance from a vehicle traveling ahead.

The Advanced Technology Package for the Prius v adds Lane Departure Alert and Automatic High Beams for 2015 model year. The Lane Departure Alert system helps the vehicle “see” the lines in the road and sounds an audible warning if the vehicle is straying outside the lane markers.

The available Safety Connect system can access a call center with a live operator who can dispatch police and emergency vehicles. The system offers automatic collision notification and a stolen vehicle locator feature. A one-year trial subscription is included.

Limited Warranty and Toyota Care
Toyota’s 36-month/36,000 mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and against corrosion with no mileage limitation. The hybrid-related components, including the HV battery, battery control module, hybrid control module and inverter with converter, are covered for eight years/100,000 miles. In applicable states hybrid-related component coverage is 15 years/150,000 miles with the exception of the hybrid battery, which is covered for 10 years/150,000 miles.

2015 Toyota Prius v High Resolution Exterior
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The Prius v also comes standard with Toyota Care, a complimentary plan covering normal factory-scheduled maintenance and 24-hour roadside assistance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first.

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