Why the Toyota Prius v?
Powertrain performance: It's no race car, but that is known going in. No problem getting up to freeway speed. A long uphill ramp will make things a little loud, but then just about any car will let you know that it is working hard.
Fuel economy: The average mileage  (using tank fill gallons and trip meter) is better than the EPA ratings for either city  or highway .
Ride smoothness: Quite a bit better (solid and quiet) than the original Prius model as late as the 2011 model year.
Safety & braking: The brakes pull the car down from speed rapidly, it takes a bit of getting used to. Lighter braking can be used to increase the charge rate as compared to coasting, the power display assists in getting the brake pressure just right.
Warranty, scheduled maintenance cost: The first two years (or 20,000 mi.) of maintenance is included at no cost. After that the required synthetic oil is a bit more expensive, but using the right product puts the change interval at one year the cost back in line with conventional oil.