Is Toyota blowing a big opportunity?
According to the car folks over at InsideLine, the larger Toyota Prius V is a better car than the current Prius, offering not just more cargo and passenger room, but also a better overall driving experience.
More interesting, however, is that those willing to offer a positive comment about the Prius V want a third row of seating.
In last week's post, European Prius V offers seating for 7, why not US version?, I wondered why Toyota wouldn't at least offer a third-row of seating as an option in the US if such a feature will be standard in Europe and Japan.
It seems there could be a battery issue. Turns out the Prius V will use a NiMH battery pack currently found in all Toyota hybrid cars. However, the European and Japanese versions – where a third row will be offered – will use a lithium-ion battery pack.
Perhaps, Toyota doesn't believe most Americans care about a third row, therefore, it's more cost-effective to use a NiMH battery pack? Or maybe Toyota's lithium battery packs aren't ready for the kind of demand potential that Toyota believes the Prius V might garner in the US versus Europe?
I don't know, but those that seem to have an interest in the larger Prius V also seem to be very interested in a third row of seating based on the comments at InsideLine. Certainly, that's not consumer science, but it still says something.