The two-variant, 2015 Toyota Prius V line-up arrives on our shores roughly nine months after the upgraded hybrid people-mover was unveiled overseas with evolutionary design updates.
The headlights, LED daytime running lights, grille and front bumper are all new at the front, while tweaked tail-lights with red lenses and light-guide technology, a new bumper with an integrated diffuser, a rear spoiler and a redesigned licence plate surround refresh the look at the back.
Rustic Brown and Eclipse Black finishes join the exterior paint palette.
Upgrades to the interior include revisions to the centre cluster and multi-information displays, steering wheel, instrument panel switches, and audio systems.
The layout of the instrument cluster has been revised, positioning the speedometer, shift indicator and fuel gauge closer to the driver’s line of sight.
The entry-level Prius V gets new black fabric seat upholstery.
Both trim levels get new audio systems, both with 6.1-inch touchscreen displays. The base Prius V ($34,490 plus on-road costs) gets a six-speaker unit with Bluetooth connectivity, USB and AUX ports, a single CD player, and the ability to play files from two connected devices.
The Prius V i-Tech ($44,490) gets an eight-speaker JBL audio system with an amplifier, DAB digital radio, voice recognition and satellite navigation. The system also contains the Toyota Link connected mobility suite of features, including the pay-per-use Destination Assist app and Destination Download.
The i-Tech gains a lane departure alert system, which Toyota says has been tested and refined in Australia to optimise its performance on local roads.
The standard hill start assist control now works without requiring the driver to depress the brake pedal with extra force, while the i-Tech’s adaptive cruise control and pre-collision safety systems have also been upgraded to give greater warnings when vehicles are detected within close range.
Finally, Toyota claims changes to the Prius V’s dampers and springs have improved ride comfort and handling stability, and reduced noise, vibration and harshness levels.
There are no changes to the Prius V’s hybrid hardware, which comprises a 56-cell lithium-ion battery that sends power to an electric motor, and a 1.8-litre ‘Atkinson cycle’ four-cylinder petrol engine. The internal combustion engine produces 73kW at 5200rpm and 142Nm at 4000rpm, while the electric motor generates 60kW and 207Nm. Combined system output is 100kW, while combined cycle fuel consumption is rated at 4.4 litres per 100 kilometres.
Toyota will be hoping the updates give the Prius V a shot in the arm in showrooms. Sales of Australia’s only seven-seat full-hybrid vehicle are down almost 20 per cent this year, with just 246 sold to the end of May.
2015 Toyota Prius V pricing (plus on-road costs):
Prius V $34,490
Prius V i-Tech $44,490
2015 Toyota Prius V specifications:
16-inch alloy wheels with full wheel covers
Halogen headlamps (manual levelling)
Front and rear fog lamps
LED daytime running lamps
Smart entry and start (keyless)
Electronic stability control
Hill start assist control
Display audio with 6.1-inch touch-screen and six speakers
4.2-inch colour multi-information display
Power lumbar adjustment: driver's seat
Prius V i-Tech (adds over Prius V):
Bi-LED headlamps (auto levelling)
Auto high beam
Pre-collision safety system
Semi-automated park assist
Adaptive cruise control
Lane departure alert
Water-repelling front side glass
Electrochromatic rear-view mirror
Panoramic roof with power shade
Heated front seats
Toyota Link connected mobility with destination download, local search, weather, fuel, and Toyota help functions
Satellite navigation with Toyota Link apps Destination Assist and Navigate to
Eight-speaker JBL sound system with DAB digital radio