From 2012-2015, my car of choice was the 2012 Toyota Prius v. I had a great time with this car and despite a few quirks, I was very happy that I had been driving it for the past three years.
It started back in 2012 as my lease on my 2008 CR-V was coming to an end. I had a choice to get into a new CR-V, but after doing some test drives, I decided that it was time to look at other cars in the segment. My favorite car of the last 10 years has been my 2002 CR-V and the new CR-Vs just didn’t capture my attention and driving pleasure. I wrote about getting the car and my first impressions back in 2012.
These observations held up over the three years. I’d like to add that my relatives loved riding in the Prius v on our many trips to San Diego, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara. Part of the reason I got this car was for the ability to chauffeur them around Southern California. I managed a fairly consistent 40-42MPG over the lifetime of the car. I spent most of the time in the ECO mode which was the cause of the underperforming freeway acceleration. When I learned to turn off ECO and go into POWER, the Prius v was great in acceleration.
Another high point of the v was it’s ability on long road trips. Whether to the far north of California or to the Arizona desert, the v was comfortable all the way and had great gas mileage. Mileage might be better in the c or the hatchback, but I think you can’t beat the comfort of the v.
A word of warning though, the Prius v and other hybrids have a huge mark up for insurance. I was completely blindsided by this when I got the car and despite the extra gas savings, I think the higher price of the car and the higher insurance rates completely negated any savings I was hoping to achieve. I think had I stuck with the under-powered and smaller Prius-c I would have saved money in the long run, but I know my driving pleasure would have been greatly reduced.
It will be almost a year before I re-enter the car market and it will be interesting to see what is out there. With the upcoming redesign of the Prius I will keep it in my “first look” car list, but will also be keeping my eyes open over the next few months to see if anything can steer me in another direction.
I recommend anyone looking for a comfortable, gas economic vehicle to take a look at the Prius v, although if you are looking to save money by owning a hybrid, I’d suggest sticking with a smaller hybrid or one of the hybrid sedans like the Camry.