TOYOTA Australia has added a fourth member to its petrol-electric hybrid range in the form of the seven-seat Prius V, priced at a sharp $35,990 plus on-road costs.
The largest member of Toyota’s expanding Prius hybrid family will therefore become Australia’s second-cheapest people-mover after the similarly sized Kia Rondo.
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.
Sales of the Prius hatch – which received a facelift in March – have rebounded this year, up 29.8 per cent to the end of April after recording a 47 per cent drop in 2011, while the Prius C got off to a strong start by recording 405 deliveries in its first full month on sale. Toyota Australia expects Prius V to contribute about 100 sales a month.
Toyota has confirmed that it will not introduce a plug-in version of its Prius hybrid until at least 2014.