When Toyota initial introduced the Prius, not everyone accepted how a hybrid works. After years of publicity, and the Prius apropos a familiar steer on the roads, many people obtain it.
But right away Toyota reintroduces difficulty to the Prius brand by developing new models that share the name. The initial of these to strike the marketplace will be the 2012 Prius V, a automobile that uses identical styling and power train to the stream Prius, but offers significantly increased freight area and seating room.
Toyota written the Prius V, the “V” station for versatility, to accustom U.S. drivers’ gusto for loading up on 64 packs of toilet paper rolls at Costco. As arch operative Hiroshi Kayukawa remarkable during a display on the new Prius, Japanese people do not purchase as sufficient large things as Americans.
More interesting than additional cubic feet of freight space, however, is the new navigation and audio head units Toyota is introducing with the Prius V. Along with a reward hard-drive-based navigation system, Toyota offers a lower-priced flash-memory-based unit. And all of these head units work with Toyota’s new Entune system, bringing apps such as Pandora and Opentable in to the car.
Toyota will hurl this new head section technology out in to its other models as they take updates, replacing the exceedingly out of date DVD-based navigation systems currently in use.
For a preview drive, Toyota chose the lifelike but nonoptimal roads of the Santa Cruz Mountains around Half Moon Bay, in California. The pushing highway enclosed high ascents and parsimonious corners, all of that would scheme against the Prius V’s EPA-rated fuel manage to buy of 44 mpg town and 40 mpg highway.
Prius fans may deplore the tumble in fuel manage to buy from the Prius hatchback’s 50 mpg, but the Prius V is 6 inches longer, and boasts 50 percent more freight area, according to Toyota.
For comparison, the Honda CR-V has 35.7 cubic feet of freight space with the back seats up, and 72.9 cubic feet with the seats down. The Prius V claims 34.3 cubic feet with the back seats up and 67.3 cubic feet with them down. But fuel manage to buy for a four-cylinder CR-V is usually 21 mpg town and 28 mpg highway.
The Prius V offers more newcomer area than the typical Prius, with back seats that slip deliver and back, and recline. In the front seats, the additional space is notable, with the feeling of more bend room and a far-reaching console working as an arm rest. Six-footers will find their heads brushing the roof in the back seats, but recumbent those seats restores inches of headroom.
Similar to the Prius hatchback, the Prius V uses a 1.8-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine joined to a hybrid network that can expostulate the automobile with an electric motor. Total outlay from this network is 134 horsepower, but Toyota altered the differential proportion to obtain a small more hanging ornament from the network to cope with the incomparable vehicle.
Little is altered from the pushing experience between the Prius models. With the brakes on, the gas engine shuts down, causing that assumed still familiar to hybrid drivers. A light daub on the accelerator and the Prius V rolls deliver beneath electric power, running silent.
Or, it would be silent, solely is to walking safety sound network Toyota installed. This network uses an outmost orator to announce a man-made sound at speeds up to 30 mph, giving parking lot pedestrians bell of the Prius V’s presence. The sound is hardly heard to the motorist when the window is open.
As with the original Prius, the V’s gas engine seamlessly kicks in when the motorist calls for more acceleration, adding to the speed up from the electric motor. Over prosaic highways and up hill roads, the additional bulk of the V was hardly felt. Going up a long, sincerely steep, climb with the V in Eco mode, it took a lot of pressure on the accelerator to keep up with traffic. But drumming the Power mode symbol alleviated this malnutritioned behavior, getting the Prius V up the hill with a more cozy entertain throttle.
The electric power-steering network felt a small more increased than in the typical Prius, permitting easy branch of the wheel. Banging the Prius V around switchback turns in the mountains, the steering reacted good but felt lifeless, but this was not the home domain is to car. In a more apt urban mood the automobile would simply hoop low speed turns. During a run by a yellow left spin light, the Prius V didn’t feel quite firm as you bending the circle to coherent the intersection.
While not spectacularly comfortable, the Prius V’s float was about what you would expect. Bumps in the thoroughfare make themselves felt in the cabin, but the automobile damps out jolts good enough.
Toyota moreover fits the Prius V with new anti-oscillation technology, to keep the automobile from bouncing up and down when going over repeated bumps. Wheel sensors discover when the postponement starts to teeter in greeting to something similar to uniformly spaced turnpike enlargement joints. The expostulate P.C. then relates a small bit of hanging ornament from the hybrid system’s electric engine that cancels out the bouncing motion.
Over the hill pushing route, the Prius V’s outing P.C. showed a mid-30s median fuel economy. But that number pushed ceaselessly higher, coming 40 mpg, on compliment sections of thoroughfare during this preview drive.
Trim levels and tech
When the Prius V goes on sale someday in the fall of 2011, Toyota will make it existing in 3 trim levels: the Prius V Two, Prius V Three, and Prius V Five. The Two comes typical with Toyota’s new Display Audio system, basically a 6.1-inch LCD in the lurch to make using the audio network easier. The top two trim levels increase a flash-based navigation network as standard, but the top trim level, Five, may be optioned with Toyota’s Premium navigation, a hard-drive-based network with a 7-inch LCD.
Using both the spark and hard-drive navigation systems, the maps showed splendid colors and good resolution. The systems tracked the van place good and the onscreen interface reacted rapidly enough to touch-screen input. Both systems moreover conceal traffic data on the maps.
Beyond simple navigation network utility, Toyota’s new Entune network brings in a few really utilitarian connectivity. To capacitate Entune, the motorist contingency have a smartphone with the Entune app interconnected to the car. The Entune app is existing for Android , iPhone , and BlackBerry. Entune uses the phone’s data outline to capacitate a set number of apps. Entune will launch with Pandora, iHeartRadio, OpenTable, MovieTickets.com, and Bing.
The initial two, Pandora and iHearRadio, increase Internet-connected audio sources to the car. With Entune’s Pandora interface, not usually can you select stations and give songs a thumbs up or thumbs down, you can moreover emanate a law station when the automobile is parked.
Bing adds Internet-connected local looking to the car, integrated with the navigation system. Not usually can you use the hold shade to come in looking terms, but Bing moreover functions with voice command. For any looking term, Bing earnings a list of its best-matching locations.
As a test, a publisher on the preview expostulate entered the word “paris hilton,” to that Bing responded with a list of locations in France. In a more prosaic test, the tenure “pizza” brought up a list of within reach pizza joints. Strangely, the looking results were not sorted by distance, an omission on Toyota’s part.
The typical navigation network moreover uses the phone’s data outline to bring in traffic, weather, and fuel prices. The reward navigation network relies on heavenly body air wave for this data.
A backup camera featuring stretch and arena lines comes typical on the Prius V. The top trim can moreover be had with adaptive journey control and an automatic together parking system. A underline that would be nice is blind-spot detection, as thick back pillars on the automobile make it tough to see during line changes.
Toyota has not voiced pricing yet, but says the Prius V will bepriced just a small more than the hatchback Prius. With its interior space and fuel economy, it should present a convincing selection for buyers, mainly those looking to upgrade from the typical Prius.
More interesting is the berth tech, that will find its way in to other Toyota models. The flash-based navigation network presents a cheaper option than the hard-drive-based system, with few underline sacrifices.
Entune moreover looks to be an glorious strategy for bringing related services in to the car. Using a interconnected phone means owners won’t be profitable for two data plans.
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