Yes, styling is subjective and beauty is always in the eye of the beholder. However, a well-executed design can be appreciated by all.
When it comes to carrying seven people there is always a compromise or two that needs to be made. It generally falls to the designers to provide a solution.
Back in the day, most seven-seaters were merely advertisements for those with little self-control. This meant the minivan served to highlight the owner was a breeder, not a reader.
Thankfully, times have changed and now there is a multitude of seven-seat options for family buyers to scrutinise. Most buyers in need of more pews have pivoted towards large SUVs, but again, they can be too bulky for the latte-sipping suburbs of our large cities. Population enthusiasts will be relieved to know there is another way.
Our long-term Toyota Prius v has got to be the most discrete seven-seater currently for sale. From the outside, it doesn’t look capable of accommodating that many without breaking the law. For context, the Prius v is only 105mm longer than the regular Prius.
The full tale of the tape for the Prius v reads 4645mm long, 1775mm wide and 1590mm high. It’s a small footprint for a seven-seater, something that shouldn’t be considered a bad thing.
There are design benefits to restraining the overall size. The Prius v maintains much of the sleek look of the wider Prius range.
Up front, the Prius v certainly adopts a contemporary design philosophy which is designed to maximize the car’s aerodynamic qualities. The low nose gives the car a unique look, especially when it’s lined up against SUV rivals.
The LED daytime running lights and fog lights have been carefully integrated into the lower bumper, again emphasising a discrete approach.
In keeping with the rage against the people moving establishment, the Prius v utilises regular doors, there are no sliders here which keeps the Prius v well within the realm of hatchbacks.
To accommodate seven and their belongings a boxy rear is needed. As a consequence of keeping the length tight, the squarish rear isn’t a turn-off.
Having a square at the back allows for a wider tailgate to make loading and unloading easier. It also allows for a large piece of vertical glass which provides the driver with more rear-vision.
One of the more perplexing exterior elements is the 16-inch alloy wheels that wear plastic covers. It doesn’t detract from the look, the covers are only detectable via an up-close examination.
Our tester is finished in a dark metallic grey, one of nine options for buyers to ponder, there are no garish choices, every hue could be tagged as a safe bet which again shows the Prius v isn’t one to scream for attention.
So the largest Prius doesn’t cast a large shadow. It’s a tailored solution to chauffeuring a large family. Perhaps most importantly, the Prius v doesn’t carry any of the connotations generally associated with MPVs.
We will turn our attention to the interior next, that’s where the magic happens.
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