Report: 2014 Prius V is the family hybrid of choice

Among the popular line of Toyota Prius models, the v offering is considered the station wagon of the bunch as it provides enough room for small families with active lifestyles. For the 2014 version of the hybrid, Toyota has made a few tweaks but left most functions the same for a car with an impressive 42 miles per gallon combined fuel economy.

At the heart of the 2014 Prius v’s drivetrain, according to Toyota, is a system combining the “output of a 1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle, four-cylinder engine with an a 60kw (80 hp) electric motor that mainly works to power the compact, lightweight transaxle and another smaller motor that mainly works as the electric power source.” All total one can expect 134 net horsepower.

Toyota Prius v at 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show (image copyright EarthTechling)

As has been in years past, a nickel-metal hydride pack powers the electric motors. This pack, which can be recharged through regenerative braking, also provides enough power when the hybrid is operating in a special electric only mode to propel the Prius forward with no emissions for up to a mile at lower speeds.

With regards to 2014 changes, Toyota added daytime running lights and also a moonroof as a standalone option on one of the trim levels. Otherwise things pretty much remain as is in a car with 35.9 inches of rear seat leg room and 34.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the 60/40 split folding rear seats, which expands to 67.3 cubic feet with the seatbacks lowered.

Standard technology features include a Bluetooth wireless connection for compatible cell phones, a USB port to play audio from connected devices, an audio system with six speakers and a 6.1-inch screen which displays infotainment and hybrid operating data.

One optional feature of note is tied to a high end audio system that sports an amplifier that is “lighter and more efficient than other amplifiers of similar output, drawing less energy than conventional systems and speakers.”

* Nino Marchetti, EarthTechling