2012 Toyota Prius C Hybrid Hatchback Review Reviewed com Cars

19 Апр 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи 2012 Toyota Prius C Hybrid Hatchback Review Reviewed com Cars отключены
Toyota Prius c Electric Cars

The Prius C cuts costs all around to make a more affordable hybrid.


The Prius family has grown—and shrunk—into three distinct models.

Toyota dealerships now feature not only the mainstream Prius, a car that’s become synonymous with hybrid, but also a plus-sized Prius V and the pint-sized Prius C. The C is meant to fill a niche at the entry level, one that Honda’s currently filling with the slow-selling Insight, an inexpensive hybrid that can’t compete with the Prius lineup on fuel economy but barely undercuts the Prius C on price.

The problem is, Toyota didn’t create an entry-level Prius. Instead, they hybridized the Toyota Yaris—a budget-oriented car with looks and handling to match. Though the C is smaller than a standard Prius, it gets similar fuel economy to its bigger brother (a still-commendable 50 MPG combined) thanks to a smaller, cheaper battery and offers no additional driving pleasure.

About the only advantage the Prius C offers is a starting price of just under $19,000—about $5,000 less than a conventional Prius. And like a single issue voter, the C keeps hammering home that lone talking point, hoping that potential buyers overlook its otherwise questionable record.

Tech Entertainment

Toyota has one of the most straightforward app-enable infotainment systems on the market.

The Prius C has Toyota’s new Entune smartphone connectivity package, which allows users to link their smartphone’s data connection over Bluetooth using a downloadable app. Because it requires the Entune app to be downloaded and running, it’s clunkier than options from, say, Audi—which just rely on a phone’s data connection and let the car’s infotainment system do the heavy lifting. But it does give access to Pandora, OpenTable, Yelp and other apps.

Toyota Prius c Electric Cars

One or the best is Microsoft’s Bing search engine, which allows the user to use voice recognition to find and enter a destination in the navigation system in less time than it would take to type it on the touch screen.

The Entune voice recognition system is one of the best we’ve ever used.

Part of the magic is that Entune is a good listener: It waits for you to give a whole address, so it can parse out the parts that it’s heard and fill in the rest using what information it has. For example, if you’re going to 393 Main Street in Whoville, Massachusetts and Entune can only make out 393 -ain St. -ville, Massachusetts, it’ll search for all the -ville’s with -ain streets in the state in order to make a match.

We put Entune to the test against Toyota’s stock navigation system in a 2012 Prius Plug-In, and Entune emerged the clear winner:

We did have some issues getting the car to connect with Entune over Bluetooth — and from the reviews in the iTunes App Store, it looks like we weren’t the only ones. We finally resorted to plugging in our iPhone. Once plugged in, we were able to run apps such as Bing, Pandora, Opentable and iHeartRadio.

Even with a solid 3G connection, though, they were far from lightning-fast.

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