Toyota has launched the seven-seat Toyota Prius V expanding its hybrid family to four models alongside the Prius hatch, Prius C and Camry Hybrid.
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The $35,990 Toyota Prius V (denoting versatility) is Australia's first seven-seater hybrid vehicle and Australia's first Toyota to be fitted with a lithium-ion battery.

The new 56-cell battery's unique, vertically double-stacked structure means it can be located inside the centre console allowing more space for seating in the rear of the vehicle as well as centralising weight distribution – the new battery is 7kg lighter than that found in the Prius.

The new Prius V is 135mm longer (4615mm), 30mm wider (1775mm) and 100mm taller (1590mm) than a standard Prius with front and rear track both increased, 15mm and 25mm respectively. The wheelbase has been extended by 80mm to 2780mm making it possible to accommodate adults in all three seating rows.

The Prius V's seven-seat three-row format features three independent sliding, reclining and split-folding second-row seats and a 50:50 split-folding third row meaning a vast range of seating and storage combinations are available. Even with a full compliment of passengers on board, the Prius V provides 180 litres of cargo space and if the third row of seats is stowed flat, capacity grows to 485 litres.

The Prius V incorporates the latest generation of Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain to help achieve emissions figures of 4.4 litres per 100km and 101grams of CO2 per kilometer, both slightly higher than the Prius hatch's 3.9L/100km and 89g/km CO2. The 73kW/142Nm 1.8-litre petrol engine and 60kW electric motor combine for an identical total system output of 100kW that drives the hybrid's front wheels through Toyota’s E-CVT continuously variable transmission.

While Toyota has embraced the iconic Prius triangle silhouette, all exterior panels on the Prius V are unique to the model rather than simply an elongation of the flagship hatch. The styling features sharp-edged headlights, daytime running lights, turbulence-minimising bumpers and an enlarged trapezoid lower grille with chrome highlights around the front foglights and front grille. An extended roofline leads to the top-hinged rear tailgate and roof spoiler with classic blue hybrid badging and 16-inch alloy wheels completing the exterior accents.

Inside sees a 6.1-inch audio system display-screen, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, energy monitor, head-up display, cruise control, and fabric seats with two-tone grey cabin trim. Keyless entry and ignition, electric power-assisted rack and pinion steering, reversing camera, hill-start assist, stability and traction control, anti-skid brakes, brake assist with electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) and seven airbags also ensure the Prius V is not short on safety and technology.

Toyota Australia's executive director of sales and marketing Matthew Callachor said, "We see Prius V as an alternative to small or mid-size sedans and wagons as well as compact SUVs and crossover vehicles - with fuel economy few of them can match."

The Prius V is available in seven exterior colours: Glacier White, Crystal Pearl, Silver Pearl, Graphite, Ebony, Wildfire and Tasman Blue and is covered by Toyota Service Advantage's capped price servicing of $130 for each of up to six scheduled logbook services in the first three years or 60,000km.

The Toyota Prius V sits atop the Prius range ahead of the $23,990 Prius C city car and $33,990 Prius hatch.

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