With the base model priced at just below the $19K limit, Toyota has fulfilled the word it gave to the people all over the world. It has been quite a saga for Toyota to launch a smaller but worthier product, Prius C, under the Prius line of cars and with efficient mileage. The Prius C is, for sure, going to be a blast.
While nowhere near as cool as the Prius C concept from last year’sDetroitshow, the production C isn’t half bad-looking. The hatchback has clean styling punctuated by interesting details like the tall vertical taillights, and its aggressive grille treatment manages to avoid the fish face that characterizes the outlook other Priuses.
With a 100.4-inch wheelbase and overall length of 157.3 inches, a width of 66.7, and a height of 56.9, the Prius C is just a few inches longer thanToyota’s own Yaris.
Powering the Prius C is a downsized version of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drivesystem: a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor paired with a CVT. The gas engine produces 73 hp and the electric motor 60; total system output is 99 hp.
If you would remember, the bigger Prius and Prius V both use a 98-hp, 1.8-liter four and an 80-hp electric motor, with total output of 134 hp. Energy storage is handled by nickel-metal hydride battery pack.
Electric-only range is less than a mile at speeds up to 25 mph. There’s also an Eco mode that controls throttle response and climate-control functionality to maximize efficiency. Finally, there’s a Normal mode that’s, well, normal.
Toyotaclaims the C will get a city rating of 53 mpg, beating any non-plug-in hybrid currently available and a 46-mpg figure on the highway.
The city number is 2 mpg higher than that of the standard Prius, though the highway efficiency is 2 mpg lower; both cars share a 50-mpg combined rating.
Toyota claims the C tips the scales at a feathery (for a hybrid) 2500 pounds, roughly 500 pounds less than a normal-size 2012 Prius.