Toyota Prius V sales in 10 weeks surpassed GM’s Chevy Volt in 2011

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 19, 2012

In just 10 weeks, the deliveries that Toyota Motor Corp. made in the U.S. in 2011 for its Prius v wagon surpassed that of General Motors Co.’s Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, which was offered all year. Toyota spokeswoman Carly Schaffner said that Toyota sold 8,399 units of its hybrid wagon, which only arrived at U.S. dealerships in the last week of October.

In 2011, GM delivered 7,671 rechargeable Volts. Meanwhile, it sold 7,997 in during the first 13 months on the market. Toyota had not differentiated Prius v sales from those of the original one.

In an e-mail statement, Jim Lentz, president of Toyota’s U.S. sales unit, said that Prius v is “off to a great start.” On its Web site, Toyota said that the hybrid wagon is priced from $26,400. The Volt has a starting price of $39,145 and it qualifies for up to $7,500 in federal tax credits. Toyota aims to deliver 220,000 vehicles that have the Prius badge this year to U.S. customers.

This is 60% higher compared to 2011. This was driven up by a four-car “family” that included the original hatchback, the v, the Prius c subcompact (which arrives in March), and a plug-in Prius that runs around 15 miles on battery power.

GM wasn’t able to meet its target last year of selling 10,000 Volts. CNW Marketing Research Inc. said that a sluggish production boost had meant that dealerships suffered a short supply until December. The demand for the car dropped after a federal investigation was opened over the three fires that happened after Volt crash tests.

The “V” in the name of the new Toyota Prius V stands for versatility as it is designed to provide active growing families with the renowned Prius features. Like other present Prius models, it features the same platform with the Hybrid Synergy Drive technology. Though compact in size, it has a spacious cabin with a cargo space that exceeds its predecessor by 50 percent.

Toyota Prius V offers a nice blend of remarkable spaciousness, sophisticated style and aerodynamic shape. Its 0.29 drag coefficient reflects its design focused on convenience. It is completely new all over, with a shape representing not just an elongation of the previous model but a real next evolutionary step for Prius.

The car’s streamlined and rounded body shell expresses confidence but its extended roofline still gives it the traditional triangular Prius shape. The trapezoidal front end is composed of angular headlamps, aero corners which enhance airflow and aerodynamics, and a large lower grille. Together, these elements modernise the look of the Prius line. From the rear, the car’s looks are defined by the elegant backdoor panel, elaborately arranged taillights and a distinctive airflow enhancing roof spoiler.

Prius V’s interior is properly proportioned for the practical spaciousness required by active families. Comfort and visibility are excellent, thanks to the high seating, generous head room and substantial leg room provided by the remarkable couple distance of 38 inches. The low rear hatch opens wide to a voluminous 34.3 cubic foot cargo compartment, which exceeds that of all other available dedicated hybrids and even a few compact SUVs.

A family of five can be comfortably seated inside. The second row seats can be reclined up to 45 degrees for more comfort and can also be slid to facilitate ingress and egress, as well as adjust rear storage space. The foldable rear seats are split 60/40, allowing four seat arrangements. This degree of flexibility is great for passengers and luggage. Meanwhile, a fold-flat front-passenger seat allows long cargo items to be carried.

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