European Prius V Can Fit Seven People

Toyota Prius +The Toyota Prius +, which was just unveiled at the 2011 Geneva International Motor Show, may look familiar. That’s because we’ve already seen it — more or less — as the 2011 Toyota Prius V, which debuted at January’s Detroit auto show.

Dimensionally, the Prius + MPV is identical to the Prius V, which goes on sale stateside in April. You can learn more about the model, here.

The only discernible difference between the two is there’s a 50/50-split folding third row in the European model. The Prius V will only be offered with two rows of seats in the U.S. There aren’t any photos showing off the third row, so we don’t know how cramped it will be.

Toyota hasn’t commented as to whether this configuration will come to the U.S., but we doubt it will, at least initially. The Toyota RAV4 has a seven-seat option with 144.4 cubic feet of passenger volume. Toyota might think the two models will compete with each other. On the other hand, if the seven-passenger Ford C-Max or the Ford C-Max Hybrid takes off, Toyota may be forced to bring the model here for competitive reasons.

The EPA has classified the Prius V as a midsize station wagon, which means it has between 130 and 159 cubic feet total interior volume.

In Europe, the Toyota Pirus + will be the most fuel-efficient seven-seater on the market, according to Toyota. The European model will go on sale early in 2012.

Comments 

cody

they should offer the third row as an option at the very least. i guess after it goes on sale people will be able to find the third row on ebay...

Dan

Seriously, how hard can it be to switch out the seats? Seems an inexpensive way to sell the same car to a new segment. Even if it isn't popular in that segment, it should be cheap to build so probably profitable.

Bob

I understand Toyota's desire to protect the RAV4, but I think they may be doing a disservice to themselves here. The RAV4 isn't available as a hybrid, and the Prius has that instantly recognizable teardrop shape. IIRC, especially in this time of high (and getting higher) gas prices, average consumers may be looking specifically for a hybrid and may pass over the 3-row RAV4. Also, the RAV4 has another competitive distinction in being available with AWD.

How about this: maybe Toyota should discontinue the 3-row RAV4 and offer the 3-row Prius V? There are many 3-row SUVs in the U.S. market, but few 3-row hybrids. In fact, the most fuel-efficient 3-row hybrid in the US market is Toyota's Highlander Hybrid, which is a size larger, has AWD, and SUV styling: i.e., it has significant competitive differences vs. a 3-row the Prius V.

@Cody: it may not be possible to retrofit a third row easily. For example, IIRC the two-row and three-row RAV4 models have different suspensions to account for the extra weight in the back of the three-row model.

Amuro Ray

DARN IT!!!!!!!!!!!!

Maybe it has sthg to do with those safety ratings here. I'm guessing that Europeans are more acceptable on 3rd row (vs less than stellar impact rating for the 3rd row).

Bob's right. Suspension can be different, and so are drilling holes/wiring, and MOST importantly, lack of seat belts (3 pt type).

cody

thanks guys. i know it is more complex than just installing the bench, but hadn't considered suspension changes.

without the third row, i don't see the benefit of this over a regular prius.

my prius holds plenty of gear, and if i want more space i can either get one of those bags/cases to put on the roof or one of those hardcases that hangs on a hitch.

danxp

the euro 7-seat version will have a lithium-ion battery pack which will slide in between the driver and passenger seats... this allows for the extra space to add that third row... to bad its not coming stateside till 2013 or ever...

skinner

I'm with Amuro, it probably has something to do with US safety regulations regarding the third row seats. Not enough airbags, maybe ;)

Amuro Ray

The "easiest" or even "best" thing for US to add a 3rd row - maybe through Beverly Hillbillies style! lol

http://www.fiftiesweb.com/tv/beverly-hillbillies-2.jpg

Alf

It irritates me to no end that manufacturers like Toyota decide what us North Americans will like or not like in some boardroom in Japan. How about giving the consumers the choice and WE'LL decide what we want to buy!

Ken L.

Having a 3rd row in the Prius V would be nice, but considering that it will not be much bigger than the current Prius, a 3rd row would be inconsequential. Besides, who'd want to sit back there?

Amuro Ray

@ ALF,

"WE'LL decide what we want to buy!"

Do u know the car buying / selling...actually, ANY business operation?

There's a cost to bring something into the market. That cost is even more expensive when we are dealing with vehicle.

WHat happen if Toyota sold only 10? How do they get rid of the rest? They can't make only 11 of these and sell them at around $25K or so...

Blame it on us. We don't support wagon type of vehicles, we don't support minivans, and we don't support fuel efficient vehicles. We only support big SUV for 7+ seaters. Guess what? We lose.

qdp

In such a small car, loading with 7 people will cause sever strain to both brake system and driving control

Ste (Original SG)

I've seen smaller cars such as the Nissan Cube³ and Toyota Sienta, both JDM models, with seven seats and a dinky 4cyl in them. They perform just fine, even though they may not be hybrids. As much as I want toyota to put the 3rd row in the Prius V, why not Toyota bring back the Estima? Sure, they already have the Sienna but they also have 6 SUVs in their lineup. Mainly, I'm talking about the Estima Hybrid, a wonderful vehicle with great styling, space and efficiency.

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