Fans of the Prius who need more room are rejoicing about Toyota's recent announcement of the new Prius v. The 2012 Toyota Prius v (v is for versatility) is a roomier version of the best-selling hybrid and will be available at dealerships nationwide this fall.

The Prius v is going after both the minivan market and the small SUV market. According to Bob Carter, Toyota Division Group vice president and general manager, “The Prius v brings leading-edge hybrid technology to customers who need more room and provides more cargo space than 80 percent of all small SUVs.”

The 34.3 cubic feet of cargo space can be accessed by a wide-opening hatch, allowing for easy loading and unloading. The vehicle also features a sliding second row 60/40-split seat and a flat-folding front-passenger seat for additional cargo space.

All of this space comes with Prius-level fuel economy. The vehicle is larger than the standard Prius, which is reflected in the slight decrease in fuel efficiency rating. The estimated EPA fuel economy ratings for the new Toyota Prius v will be 44 mpg in the city, 40 mpg on the highway and a 42 mpg combined fuel efficiency rating.