Toyota’s Prius c merges two of Toyota’s strengths to create a unique product. In this case, it’s the compact dimensions and bulletproof reliability of the Yaris hatchback, with the hybrid powertrain of the legendary Prius. The result? The most affordable hybrid that money can buy, and a pretty economical one at that.
For 2017, the Prius c carries over effectively unchanged; it was updated two years ago with refreshed front- and rear-end styling.
While the Prius c may share its name with the standard Prius, it's a completely different car that sports its own powertrain. A 1.5-litre dual-cam four-cylinder engine running the Atkinson cycle pairs to a pair of electric motors. Combined, the output is 99 horsepower. That makes it nearly as powerful as the standard Yaris and more powerful than Chevy's Sonic or Mitsubishi's Mirage, but the Prius c has the added benefit of having both a fuel-saving Eco mode plus an EV-only mode that allows it to be powered for short distances on electricity. A CVT is the only transmission available. Fuel economy is a Prius c forte: 4.5 L/100 km city, 5.1 highway.
Despite being the smallest and lightest member of the Prius family, the c is not its most efficient. The standard Prius uses 4.4 L/100 km city and 4.6 highway.
The c is at home in the city. Its small dimensions and sub-10-metre turning circle make it a breeze to maneuver and park. The electric powertrain also gives it good off-the-line acceleration, though longer stretches can leave the c feeling a bit breathless.
The Prius c is available in two trims - standard, and Technology.
Standard equipment on the Prius c includes LED headlamps and taillights, power windows, keyless entry, power heated exterior mirrors, tilt and telescoping steering column, automatic climate control, 6.1-inch display audio system with four speakers, AM/FM radio, CD player, USB, Bluetooth, a single-piece fold-down rear bench, and a 3.5-inch LCD trip computer display.
An optional Upgrade Package adds cruise control, two additional speakers for the audio system, driver seat height adjustment, synthetic leather instrument panel cover, 60/40 split folding rear seat, 15-inch alloy wheels, a rear centre console box, and a reverse camera.
The Prius c Technology includes all of the content in the Upgrade Package, and adds 16-inch alloy wheels, Touch Tracer steering wheel controls, synthetic leather-wrapped steering wheel, satellite radio, navigation, text and e-mail assistant, heated leatherette-upholstered seats, proximity key with push-button start, power moonroof, LED fog lamps, automatic high beams, lane-departure alert, and a pre-collision warning system with auto-brake.
Pricing for the Prius c starts at $21,975.