The new Prius v has finally been launched in Australia. (Where’s my invitation Bin?) I saw a few in Japan last October where I picked up a brochure for the Prius α [alpha], as it is known over there. (For the record, the surname of the very helpful saleswoman at ToyoPet Platinum Shop at Shirokanedai, Minato-ku, Tokyo was Tsuzuki.)
In Japan both 5 – and 7-seater versions are available with different HV battery configurations. I guess that Toyota Australia couldn’t see the point of another 5-seater Prius on top of the Prius and Prius c (known as the Prius Aqua in Japan), so we are only getting the NVW40 7-seater, which seems a sound decision.
Here’s a comparison of the Prius v and the Prius base and i-Tech packages.
In ACT, the Prius v and Prius base are close on price and specs. BTW, in ACT stamp duty is zero for cars with a green rating of 16 or better (Prius v scores 17) so the new price will vary in other states. Only $2000 difference is not bad and no, I don’t know why the i-Tech costs $10-12,000 more.
- Prius v RRP $35,990 Full Drive away $38,921.10
- Prius base RRP $33,990 Full Drive away $36,791.60
- Prius i-Tech RRP $45,990 Full Drive away $48,791.60
The Prius v weights 200kg more than the Prius base but can carry 310kg more. The 2 extra seats are small for adults. Moving the HV battery to the front console means that there’s decent space at the back with the rear seats folded… though I’ll have to see with my own eyes before I can be sure.
The Prius v has quite different dimensions between the Prius v, Prius base and Prius i-Tech
- Length 4615 4480 4480
- Width 1775 1745 1745
- Height 1590 1490 1505
- Wheelbase 2780 2700 2700
- Wheels 16″ with 114.3mm PCD (Prius has 100mm PCD)
The engine specs, fuel tank, braking and suspension are the same. The tyres at 205/60/16 are midway between the 195/65/15 on the base and 215/45/17 on the i-Tech. IMO 16″ wheels are a good compromise of comfort and performance, but since the PCD is different you won’t be able to exchange wheels with a Prius.
Only 1 model is being sold so it is interesting to compare with overseas models. In Japan, it would be between the G and S if that came as a 7-seater. All Australian-delivered Prius have fog lamps, perhaps thinking that most would be sold/leased in Canberra to Government. The Prius v will have a “premium” steering wheel from the G, but not the LED headlights. In USA it is probably closest to the Prius v Two but with fog lamps.
It also has only 6 speakers, against 8 in the Prii, but the front speakers are 5.5″ squawkers instead of 5″. Moonroof, radar cruise control, parking robot and pre-collision are not options.
But worst of all, there’s no navigation package to go with the 6.1″ touch screen display, though there is a reverse camera. The Japanese brochure for the Prius α has a separate brochure for the 7 navigation systems it offers. Why no navi in Australia? Even the base model Prius could be ordered with navigation until the 2012 model.
No mention of accessories for the Prius v in Australia. Shall I mention the customise brochure included in the Japanese Prius α brochure? Modellista and TRD styling packages for interior and exterior. There’s even a premium horn set at ¥5250 plus 0.7 hours fitting.
Despite having had the Prius for only 4 months, I’m quite interested in the Prius v. I don’t need a 7-seater and the Prius hatch is sufficient for 95% of loads I’d carry. But the extra width and wheelbase might translate into a smoother ride. Going from a Citroën C5 Break (wagon) with hydro-pneumatic suspension to a normal car is a big shock. I’m used to the ride in the Prius, but it ain’t no magic carpet. But will the lack of navigation be a killer or will it simply be the lack of disposable income?
It should be mentioned that it isn’t clear how a plug-in HV battery could be fitted to the 7-seater Prius v. The 5-seater has the HV battery at the rear, whereas the 7-seater moves it to the front between the driver and front passenger. Where would an extra HV battery fit?
I’ll try to test drive the Prius v this weekend and report back.