What Are The Different Prius C Models – Two models have already been added to sit alongside the Prius five-door hatchback for 2012, and now the latest addition to the Prius lineup has been revealed.
The 2012 Toyota Prius C, the first compact Prius since the original 2000-2003 model year, was unveiled today at the Tokyo Motor Show. It will make its official US debut at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show in January.
What Are The Different Prius C Models
Toyota separately calls the Prius C a compact and a subcompact, although “bracket switching” often occurs as small cars grow, its size seems to separate the difference.
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The production version of the Prius C is completely different from the two cars that preceded it, but it’s still the familiar Prius.
And Toyota says the Prius C will offer the “highest city mpg of any non-plug-in vehicle,” meaning it’s better than the Prius Liftback’s EPA rating of 51 mpg.
The 2012 Toyota Prius C is designed to offer an entry-level Prius for younger drivers, so it should be priced below the current Prius II hatchback’s $23,520 (plus destination). It is also aimed at customers who want sportier and more advanced handling.
Compared to the current 2012 Toyota Prius midsize, it is 19 inches shorter, 2 inches narrower, nearly 2 inches lower, and has a nearly 6-inch shorter wheelbase.
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It is powered by a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine combined with a Hybrid Synergy Drive system with two electric generators and a planetary gearbox, ideally offering a continuously variable electric transmission (eCVT) for maximum efficiency. Toyota did not release the performance.
Between the battery, eCVT transmission and electronics, the Prius C’s hybrid system weighs nearly 90 pounds less than the one in the larger Prius hatchback. Toyota did not specify whether it uses a lithium-ion or nickel-metal hydride battery.
The 2012 Prius C will have more comfort features, and in particular, Toyota says, premium electronics and infotainment systems.
Standard equipment includes Bluetooth hands-free connectivity for mobile phones and music players, audio system controls on the steering wheel and nine airbags. It will offer Sirius XM satellite radio, voice recognition, music streaming, and both text-to-speech and voice-to-text.
Toyota Prius C Unveiled: Compact 52 Mpg Plus Hybrid Hatchback
There is also a new Toyota Entune multimedia system that combines entertainment, navigation and information services including live traffic data, weather reports, gas prices and location, sports updates and stock prices.
Drivers and passengers can use Toyota-approved apps, including Bing, OpenTable and MovieTickets.com. Entune also includes access to Pandora and other streaming radio services,
The full feature set creates a “less risky driving experience,” according to the press release — though we’re not sure what that says about the current Toyota Corolla.
In Japan, the Toyota Prius C will be known as the “Aqua” rather than the Prius model. It’s also said to get 94 mpg on the very different Japanese test cycle, but we’ll wait for the EPA ratings on the US version before drawing any conclusions about real-world gas mileage here.
Toyota Prius C One 4dr Hatchback
Lines of the car began to leak about a month ago, when a brochure about the Prius Aqua appeared on Japanese websites.
Toyota has shown two different concepts of what will be the Prius C product: The most recent name is the Prius C concept shown at the Detroit auto show last January, which has refined the style and packaging ideas introduced for the first time the year before in the 2011 FT-Ch concept. January 2010.
The 2012 Toyota Prius C is expected to go on sale in late 2012. Toyota has yet to release any information on pricing or trim levels.
Tags: Compacts 2012 Green hatchbacks Hybrids Tokyo Motor Show News Toyota Toyota Prius C Concept News Toyota Prius C
Toyota Prius C Model Review
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Timing, as they say, is everything. If the right product comes to market at the wrong time, no matter how good or appropriate it is, it may fail.
About ten years ago, Toyota was riding the Prius model, US gas prices were rising and looking set to stay there, and American car buyers were taking a fresh look at small cars. Toyota decided to use the strength of the Prius brand as a strategic indicator to build an entire family of related models, including the affordable and compact Prius C.
Adding a battery and electricity to a conventional combustion engine means that hybrids will always be more expensive than conventional drive systems. The Prius C is designed to provide an affordable entry into the world of efficient driving. Unfortunately for Toyota, the merger has pretty much killed the demand for the little Prius. Within a few years of its launch at the end of 2011, the price of oil fell below $50 a barrel and is expected to remain low for the foreseeable future.
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At the same time, conventional powertrains became more efficient and consumers abandoned small cars in favor of crossovers. It was the perfect storm of a bad introductory season.
For 2015, the Prius C received minor styling updates that added pseudo-utility touches like black plastic fender flares and a front fascia with what vaguely looks like a skid plate. Frankly, despite these features, the Prius C looks less like a crossover than the Chevrolet Bolt, which is sold as such.
It’s not that the Prius C looks bad—it’s good, and it looked great in the tangerine paint that covered the hatch.
The problem is, there are many better options available in 2018. The C is more cramped than other small cars currently available in the US, and the interior isn’t the best place to spend time. The master of small car packaging, the Honda Fit offers 96 cubic feet of passenger space, compared to only 87 in the Prius. The Fit starts at $4,500 less than the Prius’ $20,630 MSRP, and the top-of-the-line Fit EX-L is more than $100 less. The “loaded” Prius C Emine I drove was over $26,400 including delivery.
The Toyota Prius C Has Outlived Its Usefulness
At this price point, which is about $2,000 more than the well-equipped Civic I bought earlier this year, Toyota doesn’t offer much equipment. There’s automatic climate control in one place and heated front seats, but they’re strictly on/off and there’s no adjustment. The driver assistant function is limited to collision warning with automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning. Radar adaptive cruise control is not available.
The audio system is pretty basic with Bluetooth streaming support, and Toyota has made it clear that it doesn’t plan to support Android Auto or Apple CarPlay even in its new models with Entune 3 infotainment systems. The Prius is dominated by hard plastic. the tops and seats are covered in brown vinyl. I fit my 5ft 10in frame behind the set of front seats, but only just. At this price point, you’re sure to find plenty of attractive driving spots.
The Prius C is fuel efficient, and even on a cold week I drove it, it averaged 41 mpg. Its overall acceleration performance is definitely good. It can be fast or slow when you enter the highway, but it won’t make your blood boil. The handling is good, but it doesn’t feel good enough and it doesn’t give any feedback about driving.
If you want a Toyota hybrid, the regular Prius is the best choice, with a starting price just $2,800 more than the C. But if the Prius’ current looks aren’t for you, there are other, more attractive options that offer better fuel economy and a more compact car like the Prius C.
Toyota Prius C (2012)
Hyundai offers the Ioniq Hybrid in Prius-like form but more conventional styling, and the mid-size SEL version offers more equipment for $800 less than the Prius C I drove. If you want more of a crossover look, Kia offers a mechanically similar Niro for the same price, and both offer more interior space and better handling and fuel economy.
Time has passed. The Prius C was a great concept for Toyota when it was conceived, but it has outlived its usefulness in the lineup and should be retired. Car buyers can get a better price and a better experience elsewhere. They also get real gas mileage of 50 mpg or more; we saw 51.4 mpg during a 50-mile test that combined San Diego’s freeways, two-lane roads on rolling hills and city stops.
The EPA rates the 2012 Prius C at 53 mpg city and 46 mpg highway for the same 50 mpg combined rating as