Toyota is not the kind of car manufacturer that tends to jump on bandwagons, and that’s why even as electric cars are coming into vogue, this Japanese juggernaut -- a huge proponent of hybrid vehicles -- has just one vehicle that can be plugged into charge.
The Prius C is not that car. Rather, this is the entry point to Toyota’s extensive range of hybrids. Based on the Yaris subcompact hatchback, the Prius C gets a minor update for 2019 that includes an enhanced suite of active safety features and a new trim level that bundles the car’s available high-tech features at a lower price.
All Prius C models come with the Toyota Safety Sense C suite, which includes lane departure alert, automatic high beams and a pre-collision system that for 2019 adds a pedestrian detection function.
Also new is a Technology package that brings the same features as the Technology and Moonroof package, without the moonroof but with a lower price.
Otherwise, the Prius C is carried over fundamentally unchanged. Under the hood is a 1.5L four-cylinder engine mated to an electric motor and continuously variable transmission, which team up to produce 99 hp and an unspecified amount of torque.
Toyota faces no direct competition for the Prius C, as no other mainstream manufacturers have seen fit to do a subcompact hybrid. But as plug-in cars grow in popularity, this car will ensure Toyota has a foot in the door of the electrified city car segment. And with a starting price of less than $23,000, the Prius C is a nicely done gateway drug for drivers curious about how much fuel an electrified vehicle can save, particularly in city driving, which is where hybrids tend to shine.
Standard features include LED headlights and taillights, heated side mirrors, power windows, keyless entry, 6.1-inch display audio and infotainment system with four speakers, cruise control, 4.2-inch information display, air conditioning with automatic temperature control, 15-inch steel wheels and fabric seats.
The Technology package adds a six-speaker sound system, navigation, Bluetooth streaming audio, steering wheel-mounted touch tracer controls, passive keyless entry, heated front seats, synthetic leather upholstery, alloy wheels, LED fog lights and black wheel arches and rocker trim. A Tech and Moonroof package brings the same list of kit but adds a moonroof.
Toyota’s fuel consumption estimates are 4.9/5.5 L/100 km (city/highway).
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed