In the 1980s, the Oldsmobile Cutlass was one of the top-selling nameplates in the world. So, what did GM do? They put the “Cutlass” name on seemingly every Oldsmobile they made. Did they beat it to death? Quite literally, yes.
I was thinking about this when I was reading a recent issue of “Sports Illustrated” and came across an advertisement featuring the “Prius family.” The ad showed the current Prius lineup (the third-generation Prius and new Prius v wagon), as well as the upcoming Prius plug-in and Prius “c concept.” “Prius goes plural” is the tag line.
Does the Prius name risk getting too watered down with so many variations?
We’ve been impressed with just about every Prius we’ve tested. And now we’ve got a new one: The Prius v. This wagon-like hybrid is about the size of the Mazda5 small minivan, though it seats just five. We imagine that, compared to the standard Prius, the v will sacrifice some fuel economy performance due to its extra weight and bulkier aerodynamics. The regular Prius has been one of our top green cars for years, averaging 44 mpg overall, leaving room for the v to still be a strong performer.
Our Prius v “Three Model” came with only wheel locks and floor mats as extras, and it stickered for $28,217.
We’re putting the miles on this latest hybrid and will let you know if it lives up to its family name.
Entry-level 2013 Toyota Prius c hybrid breaks cover
Toyota's 2012 Prius V hybrid will make noise to alert pedestrians
Pricing: 2012 Toyota Prius V and Prius Plug-in
Video: 2012 Prius V second drive