As our time with the Toyota Prius v comes to an end we have reached what is possibly the most important aspect of the ownership equation – efficiency.
After all, why stump up the coin for a hybrid if it can’t deliver better consumption figures over straight petrol or diesel equivalents?
Efficiency, fuel consumption, economy, whatever you choose to call it has always been the hybrid car’s biggest drawcard. Fuel is often a grudge purchase in the context of the weekly budget so the promise of lower fuel bills presents a compelling reason to consider a hybrid when the time comes to upgrade.
Unfortunately, in the early days, hybrid technology hasn’t always been able to deliver efficiency that matched buyer expectations. This is still the case with some models.
Thankfully, hybrid cars have continued to evolve in the face of a swing towards pure electric technology. Driven largely by Toyota, the level of efficiency offered by the latest hybrid powertrains can justify the ever-shrinking premium they command.
During our long-term loan of the seven-seat Prius v, we have covered a substantial 6520 kilometres and returned a combined consumption figure of 5.5L/100km. It’s a remarkable figure that remained stable regardless of the selected drive mode or driving situation.
For context, the majority of the Prius v’s time was spent navigating the school run and negotiating traffic in town, as is the case with family cars.
We also took the Prius v on a 1544 kilometre road trip where it consumed 5.6L/100km.
Now there is a caveat, the Prius v requires premium unleaded which is obviously going to add more to each trip to the bowser.
Despite the premium juice, the Prius v produced an impressive result that gives the car genuine economic credibility.
Adding to the car’s list of virtues is the absence of a consumption penalty for driving in Power mode. There was a negligible difference between each mode, meaning the improved responsiveness didn’t come accompanied by higher running costs.
It should be noted that the official fuel consumption figure on the combined cycle is 4.4L/100km. We were unable to replicate that in any real-world situation, yet it’s hard to complain.
If purchasing criteria are focussing on the long-term costs of ownership, this is one of the most efficient cars we’ve driven and we are struggling to think of a proper competitor.
There is no mainstream seven-seater rival that can provide the low running costs of the Prius v.
The Prius v is a hybrid that delivers on the promise of fuel-efficient motoring, the fact it maintains an impressive consumption figure with loaded bases irrespective of the driving situation makes the result all the more noteworthy.