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Future models - Toyota - Prius V

Toyota updates Prius V with added kit

Eco-warrior: The new look Prius V retains the same engine and drivetrain, meaning fuel economy figures will remain at just 4.4-litres per 100km, a benchmark in its class.

The seven-seater hybrid Prius V to receive a bevy of revisions from Toyota

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Toyota logo10 Oct 2014

By TUNG NGUYEN

MINOR updates are on the way for the Toyota Prius V, with a light facelift and extra equipment for the seven-seat petrol-electric hybrid MPV expected to roll into local showrooms in the middle of next year.

The changes were first announced for the Prius+ – the European moniker of the Prius V – and while the majority of changes will be cosmetic, it will also receive a host of upgrades to equipment and safety levels.

Pricing is yet to be announced as it is “a little too early to discuss specifics just yet,” according to a Toyota spokesperson.

The updated version will add intelligent park assist and hill-start control as well as introducing an emergency brake signal – which will turn on all side indicators when sudden braking is applied – to the list of safety features.

Subtle design changes include new LED headlights flanking a redesigned front fascia, that features a more pronounced nose, tweaked bumper corners, new air intakes and a new lower grille – finished in gloss black – that brings the styling of the new Prius V in-line with the rest of the Toyota familyAt the rear, redesigned tail-lights and a rear-bumper integrated diffuser differentiates the new model from the old.

In the cabin, Toyota has given the Prius V chrome door handles as well as dark silver metallic highlights throughout. The position of the centre-mounted airvents has also been revised, with two larger vents now replacing the existing three.

A new 4.2-inch colour information screen is also fitted as standard, which displays information such as a trip indicator, cruising range fuel consumption and hybrid system indicator and energy monitor, all controllable via new steering wheel-mounted controls.

The Japanese car-maker's electrified wagon also receives the Toyota Touch 2 multimedia system, including touchscreen control, Bluetooth and reversing camera, all as standard.

The Toyota Touch 2 can be specced up with the Go option, adding more detailed maps and live traffic information.

Suspension gets a tweak as well, with Toyota adjusting damping force to improve on-road manners and new sound deadening materials to decrease road noise throughout the cabin.

The original Prius V, first introduced to Australia in 2012, represents the third cheapest option for a seven-seat people-mover, with prices starting at $35,990, plus on-road costs, and is the cheapest hybrid-powered seven-seater on the market, undercutting the Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid, which starts at $42,990.

While it has never received an ANCAP crash safety rating, it includes seven airbags, electronic stability control, ABS with brake assist, electronic brakeforce distribution and brake energy regeneration.

Prius V sales are down 27.9 per cent year to date, with Toyota shifting 540 cars this year compared with 749 over the same period last year.

A refreshed look could help Toyota recapture initial sales momentum, with the Prius V managing to sell 943 vehicles in 2013, the first full year it went on sale.

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