2012 Toyota Prius c HybridCars com

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Toyota Prius c Electric Cars

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53 / 46MPG

TYPE: Sedan


BASE MSRP: $18,950

is often everything in the automotive As gasoline prices again upwards, Toyota’s launch of the c in mid-March couldn’t have better timed. With a starting at $18,950 and an EPA city economy estimate of 53 mpg, it be no surprise that the smallest tallied 1,201 units within three days

of its Through the end of May, sales 12,379, numbers that far removed from the Honda 15,519 units for all of 2011.

The c is the fourth hybrid to be tagged a and joins the conventional midsize (now referred to as the Liftback), the spacious v and the Plug-in model. based largely on the Toyota platform—it’s about four longer than the Yaris—the c is similar to the original Prius. have a 100.4-inch wheelbase, the 66.7-inch width and employ a four-cylinder engine. However, the c is some 12 inches shorter the first Prius, and is 265 pounds

But the big difference is fuel economy: The c clocks in at 53 mpg city/46 highway and 50 compared to the first model’s rating.

And just what that “c” stand for? compact and cheap come to but Toyota says it represents and is designed to function as an urban-friendly aimed at millennial buyers. prompts two questions: Does it not in small towns or rural and, are Baby Boomers as potential buyers?

A Scaled Hybrid System

The basics of the c’s hybrid system mirror of the larger models, but everything is down. The 1.5-liter four Atkinson cycle engine (an version of the engine employed in the Prius) is 0.3-liters smaller and its 73 is 25 less. Engine torque is curtailed, 82 pounds feet 105.

Power output of the smaller motor, integrated into the variable transmission (CVT) its larger siblings, is 60 horsepower, 20 horses, and torque production is less, 125 pound-feet compared to 153 in the Prius. Total system and motor combined—is 99 horsepower for the c, 35 fewer than its bigger

Like the other components, the hydride battery is reduced in with fewer electrons. The pack consists of 120 cells as to the standard Prius’ 168 cells, and offers a modest 0.87 rather than 1.2 kw-hours. positioned the battery pack and tank beneath the rear

This placement not only additional cargo space, it a low center of gravity that handling.

The Prius c’s Hybrid Drive system operates the way as in other Prius models: propelled by electric power for a short distance up to 25 mph; a of the engine and electric motor more power is required; and only if the battery charge is The gas engine shuts off automatically stopped and restarts when the pedal is released. Braking and downhill recharges the battery.

distinct drive modes are Normal, Eco and EV. Eco mode conserves by governing the climate control and response and EV mode allows the car to be for about one mile at up to 25 mph.

(Sort Of) Like A Prius

now, the Prius design has undeniable and, for many the distinctive look sends a which declares that must be taken to reduce our thirst for oil—with all its negative in terms of the environment and geopolitics.

Up front, the c does exhibit the Prius nose bump a Toyota logo badge However, the small upper opening is a slot rather the elongated V shape with a insert found on the larger And, although the headlamps on the c upwards toward the front pillar, they look too in proportion to the car’s size and as sleek as those on the other

In profile, the c is similar to the sweptback characteristics of the v model. An angled seamlessly flows into a windshield, then to a curving that meets up with a rear spoiler. Adding a of boldness, large, sculpted wheel arches with a character line swoops and tapers toward the front. The is dominated by large vertical that are exclusive to the c.

The absence of “hybridness” styling is by design, to Prius Chief Engineer, Ogiso. The mission was a look would attract new, buyers that want a that didn’t shout, look at me. I’m driving a hybrid.” The was accomplished with the c looking like a Prius stepchild than a blood relative.

A Inside

Occupants are greeted materials that are mostly plastic with a few soft-touch This is expected in subcompact but the quality appearance and feel behind others in the class the Ford Focus and Hyundai Trending towards hipness, the design, with an angled, center console, is obviously at young buyers.

Overall, its two-tone interior, the cabin a friendly, cheerful environment.

the grown-up Liftback and v Prii, the panel is placed in the center of the below the windshield rather the more orthodox—and easier to behind the steering wheel. always include the digital fuel gauge, gear odometer, average fuel and time. With a steering mounted button, the driver can different information that is on the bottom section of the screen, as: a graphic of the power distribution the battery, engine, electric and wheels; a real-time battery gauge; scoring that economical driving; and fuel per mile. Want to compare the of driving the Prius c with vehicle, say the gas guzzling Toyota SUV (13 city/17 highway)?

You can do that, too.

Wow, all info at your fingertips! But through all that data and over with squinted to read the small-size text driving … Well, you get the picture.

One not carried over from the models is the stubby, confusing-to-use gearshift lever positioned in the console. The Prius c has a conventional shifter with the familiar sequence, plus an ersatz low marked “B,” which the car and produces a more aggressive braking.

The Prius c has adequate up front with good and legroom, and the bucket seats an agreeable blend of comfort and The steering wheel tilts and but a height adjustable driver’s is not offered on the base model, could be a deal breaker for shorter drivers. Entry and to the rear cabin can be somewhat but there’s sufficient legroom for average height folks, and room for two adults or three ones.

With the rear up there is an admirable 17.1 feet of cargo room. The seat does fold to cargo space, either in one on the base model or 60/40 in the other trim levels, but doesn’t provide the increased numbers.

Features And Tech

Prius c is in four trim level One, Two, Three and Ensuring the c connects with the more connected young all versions come standard an AM/FM CD audio system MP3/WMA, an auxiliary audio a USB port with iPod hands-free phone and phone access plus music via Bluetooth connectivity.

Toyota Prius c Electric Cars

The entry c One ($18,950) shuns the notion it is an economy car with a commendable of standard features including windows and locks, automatic control, intermittent front and wipers and a tilt/telescoping steering with audio, climate, display and Bluetooth hands-free controls, remote keyless and hill start assist, prevents rollback on hills you let off the brake pedal. For an additional the Prius c Two ($19,900) adds control, an upgraded audio a 60/40 split fold-down seat, center console armrest and a cargo area cover.

The Prius c Three builds on Two with a Display system with Navigation and Entune that adds a touchscreen, Sirius XM Satellite HD Radio with iTunes vehicle information with settings, and advanced voice Entune includes Pandora, plus real-time info as traffic, weather, fuel sports, and stocks. Available are OpenTable, iHeartRadio and MovieTickets.com.

c Four ($23,230) is distinguished by its alloy wheels, heated seats, color-keyed heated outside mirrors with signal indicators and integrated fog

Prius c’s technology doesn’t end entertainment and connectivity features. airbags are standard including a knee bag (helps keep the body in the correct position so the and steering wheel airbag can optimum protection) and front airbags (prevents occupants sliding under their in certain types of impacts). safety tech includes brakes for more controlled stops, traction control for grips in takeoffs, and antiskid control to minimize chances of skids.

Behind The Steering Wheel

The c is a highly citified small car and in typical Toyota fashion, built. Visibility, fore and is excellent all around, it is easy to and can pull a U-turn on narrow Leisurely acceleration from a is appropriate for metro and urban speeds. On smooth road it offers up a delightful ride compared to the larger Prii, one almost say it is fun to drive.


of our time spent with the c was in where we logged 63 miles included crisscrossing Queen Hill with its steep and narrow streets. It’s driving environment where the Prius exposes some of its Traveling uphill, the engine puffs and groans as it tries to a grade. While this is on, the CVT sounds like it’s slipping—it’s not—as it desperately to match throttle input the correct gearing.

In other not a pleasurable experience.

However, the c itself with fuel Our city ride returned mpg, a little less the EPA estimate for city fuel but the hilly Queen Anne took their toll though we drove in Eco mode all

The balance of our driving included 167 of Interstate and two lane highways 65 miles of the typical in-town errands. While happy in the the Prius c is less at home on the road with a fair of steering corrections to maintain the path. Then there is huffing, puffing and groaning traveling uphill.

Most annoying, however, is into fast moving traffic. It is here where it very apparent that the hybrid needs a couple hamsters on the treadmill as merging can be a occupation. Once melded traffic, things smooth out but far lane driving is not this forte.

A week with the c and the odometer had added 295.3 We normally exceed EPA fuel numbers with hybrids but time fell short, we 46.9 mpg. Chalk up to hills, hills and more where the 99 horsepowered engine

Bottom Line

There are other subcompact hatchbacks are more fun to drive that less—the Ford Fiesta, Fit, Chevrolet Sonic and Accent come to mind. if you’re a city-centric greenie, the c is the car for you. Don’t stray too far its natural urban habitat and it most likely exceed expectations.

And, if you have a personality, well, this fuel-sipping hatchback has you covered.

are manufacturer suggested retail (MSRP) at time of publication and do not destination charges, taxes or

Toyota Prius c Electric Cars

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