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Toyota Prius c

backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
The new Prius c is almost here! Introduced at the North American (Detroit) Auto Show, it's smaller and less expensive than the traditional Prius hatchback and evokes the Yaris in size and styling. It's supposed to list under $19k US and get ~52 mpg city (but a few less mpg than the Prius-with-no-suffix on the highway).

I am looking for a small, fuel-efficient hatch for my next vehicle purchase, which is at least a year out. I was thinking of getting a Prius-with-no-suffix, used, as one alternative. My desired ceiling before TTL is around $18k. But the Prius c provides an intriguing alternative, as it's smaller (but probably big enough for me) and gets better FE in the city, which is usually where I drive. So I'll have to check it out once it hits the dealers. I am hoping there will be a Prius c at the upcoming Greater Twin Cities Auto Show in March so I can take a good look at it.

What do y'all think about the new c?


  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    I wish it had the dash layout of the prius V. I think the shifter is a waste of space.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    edited March 2012
    One may very well be in my driveway in a year too. I am down to the Fit and Yaris, and now C. I just can't get past the poor gas mileage for the Fit's 1.5 liter engine. It costs $20k for one with navigation just so I can have hands free phone; at that point we're essentially talking the same amount of money for the C. Since I do my own maintenance, I sure hope I don't see the dreaded plastic apron underneath, preventing me from accessing the oil filter. I'm fearing it will be there since Toyota likely wants to keep the air flow under the engine bay to eliminate additional drag. The standard features on the C look attractive at this point so I can't wait to see one for real.
  • stevegoldstevegold Posts: 185
    edited March 2012
    I have a 2004 Prius. No apron so DIY oil changes are a snap. Not so on my wife's 2007 HH. The apron removal and replacement add 30-40 minutes to what is already a messy oil change. I'm not sure about the 2010+ Prius. It wouldn't be a deal buster, just a pain. There is another BlueTooth option if you don't get the GPS. It's not the same but with a smartphone it probably works almost as well and it's much less expensive. I tried my GPS iPhone app on a recent trip and it was pretty good. Smaller screen but good enough if you're not always visiting strange cities.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    Read a "first drive" report in (I think) Motor Trend the other day. They weren't very complimentary. The FE is compelling, but frankly based on how much I drive (~7500 miles a year), it will be hard for me to justify the C vs. a car I know would be a pleasure to drive like a lightly-used Rabbit or Golf, which would cost several thousand less than a base C. Or even something new about the same price as the C, e.g. the Mazda3i Skyactiv, which in CR's tests averaged 32 mpg. Or for the same money, a lightly-used Prius, which I'll bet is more refined and has a lot more rear seat leg room than the C.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    the mileage driven per year is exaclty my dilema too. I'll be buying the car for a new driver, and there simply is no better car out there for a new driver than the Fit. The visibility is amazing, and the interior is simple. If the driver is not going to be racking up a whole lot of miles, there does not appear to be much of a reason to pay for the hybrid despite the escalating gas prices. But like you, I'll look forward to checking the C out since we both do our homework years in advance and know what we will buy ahead of time so we can spend the rest of our time searching for a used bargains.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    I was wondering... how does the C stack up to the C Class? Will it be favored by C-level executives? Will driving it give you your daily dose of vitamin C? Will Toyota offer it in Deep Blue C? Will it be "sharp" handling? And will Toyota come out with a marketing program for the USA around July 4 with the slogan, "Oh, say can you C?"
  • Bob Carter of Toyota said the following:

    1. Expecting sales to start late March (Really start of Q2). 35-40k this year expected.
    2. Prius C Two, with Cruise, Engine immobilizer, 6-speakers, and split rear seat still under $20k
    3. 9 airbags including airbags UNDER the seat cushions, to help keep passengers in best position
    4. Primary competitors are subcompacts Ford Fiesta, Mazda 2, Honda Fit, plus Honda Insight
    5. Was designed to have a different feel and interior than Prius to attract new, younger customers

    Between the Prius, which sold 140k last year, with supply/production issues all year due to the tsunami, the Prius V, which is selling 4k a month, and is the hardest Toyota to find at a dealer, the Plug-In, and the new C, which is basically a 50MPG Prius with a 5k price break, I don't see how Prius family doesn't sell 250k this year, especially with gas prices skyrocketing all winter, and already averaging $3.70 nationally in February...... :confuse:
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    Typical Toyota... to get basic features like a split-folding rear seat, you have to get an options package. Who wouldn't want a split folding rear seat in a hatchback?

    Unfortunately for Toyota, at just under $20k for a C with even basic equipment, it will not only compete against much less expensive cars like the Fiesta, Fit, Accent, Rio, and Sonic (and Toyota's own Yaris), but also with cars one class up, some of which get excellent fuel economy, e.g. Elantra, Focus, and Mazda3 Skyactiv. All of those are available pretty well equipped for under $20k. And the subcompacts have a $4000 or so price advantage over the C. For someone who drives 10k miles a year and could get 50 mpg in a C and, say, 33 mpg in an ICE subcompact, it would take over 8 years to make up that difference with gas at $5 a gallon. So for me, the C will need to beat the alternatives overall, in ride, handling, seating comfort, interior quality, NVH, etc. FE will not be enough. If it were, I'd rather spend my $20k on a lightly-used Prius.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    I have 5 1/2 year old Fit that averages about 32MPG. At 10,000 miles/year at 32mpg at $4.00/gal that costs me $1,250 in gas. If I average 50mpg in the Prius C that would drop to $800/year in gas, or save me $450/year. My Fit has 70,000 miles on it now and I'd only get $8,000 for it, so to get the Prius C I'd pay $12,000 to save the $450/year in gas. The Fit is so simple and reliable, it will probably go another 10-15 years without any major problems, so I'll just keep it.

    But if I were in the market for a small car, I don't know if the price premium of the Prius C would be worth it to save $500/year in gas. The Prius C is designed for city MPG, not highway. If someone is putting 15,000 or more miles per year in a car, then they're probably doing a lot of highway miles, in which case they might want to look at something else.

    BTW, my other car is an '06 Prius I bought used because when comparing to other cars with about the same interior passenger and cargo space, there wasn't a big price difference as compared to the significant MPG difference. I can't really say the same thing with the Prius C.
  • derosa1derosa1 Posts: 4
    Test drove the C ver 3. Well the car is just like the Yaris. I even went over to the Yaris to see what the differences were. Since i need to carry my mountain bike, the cargo spaces measured the same. So basically the car is a Yaris Hybrid.
  • rustumrustum Posts: 100
    Do you own Prius. How does Prius C compare with regular Prius. I bought 2010 accord 2 years back. I am not happy with mpg. Reason for low MPG is short trips in the city. Buying Prius could have been a better decision instead of Accord. So, I am thinking of getting Prius C as a second car when spouse starts working again.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    If someone is putting 15,000 or more miles per year in a car, then they're probably doing a lot of highway miles, in which case they might want to look at something else.

    This is me exactly. I do about 18,000 per year, at least 60% highway and the rest suburban driving. You may remember that for a number of years I drove an Echo, in which I averaged about 41 mpg. I recently bought a new Yaris SE in which I am averaging about 38 mpg.

    I was interested in this Prius C, so I test drove one, and I have to lament/wonder why it is that no hybrid being designed and built today can be even remotely fun to drive? The C is no exception, not surprising given the tiny high-profile LRR tires, electric steering, etc. I must say that by contrast the Yaris is a barrel of fun to drive (and decently fun on its own merits). That's before I even get to the lack of a stick shift, which my Yaris has, and which adds such a measure of pleasure to the drive for me.

    So the Yaris is rated 30/38, I'm getting 38, and I bought it for $16,5. By contrast the Prius C is rated 53/46 so I would probably get about 46, and it costs $19,5 for the most basic version. That's $3K more for a car with a few extra doohickeys like auto climate control, but also without rear disc brakes, any semblance of handling or acceleration, and a noisy whining CVT (and it is a noisy little bugger, more so than the regular Prius). And an annual gas savings in my case of about 70 gallons or so, so around $350 with gas at $5/gallon. That's about a 10-year break-even period minus whatever value you assign to keyless start and auto climate control (maybe $300 for the keyless start in my case, $0 for the auto climate).

    I'm glad they have made a Yaris hybrid, and I think it will pull some people into the hybrid camp, but it will never approach sales of the other Prius models I don't think. OTOH, for anyone thinking of getting the el-cheapo Insight, the Prius C is definitely worth a long hard look IMHO. Yes, it's a bit smaller, but better in lots of little ways (including mileage).

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • The People have spoken. The Prius C is a hit!
  • I just bought my Prius C over a month ago. It is my first Hybrid. I love it. I don't feel guilty driving far distances now.
  • spruce66spruce66 Posts: 1
    Does anybody buy a Prius C in Bayarea? How is the price?
  • jhugs1jhugs1 Posts: 1
    Just wanted to let everyone know that my dealer is advertising Prius C at $1000 all models. Peoria, il
  • archaeoarchaeo Posts: 2
    Purchased a Prius C Four in Summer Rain with black softex interior. This model and color combination was extremely difficult to find in southern California. Searched to check inventories of dealers throughout CA and AZ. Internet communications with Toyota Dealerships was outrageous! Their primary function is to tell you they have exactly what you are looking for and to try to get you to come in to their establishment. Many of the fleet salespeople I communicated with had limited knowledge of their product which was frustrating. Finally found a sales person at the Pasadena dealership who had the Prius we wanted in stock and was willing to provide the information requested. Drove this car 102 miles home and loved it. We averaged 51 mpg freeway driving 65-70 mph. Seat material is soft and luxurious. Car is fun to drive and if you have an iphone, you simply place it on the storage area next to the navigation screen (don't have to plug it in) and you can listen to your stored iphone music through the car radio system and make voice command phone calls from your bluetooth system using your iphone contact list. You are able to switch songs using buttons on the steering wheel. Wow! Love these features. California dealers have all ordered this model with moon roof which is a nice markup for them but really not something we desired. We were able to deal on the price at MSFP of $25,142. and paid $24,320. Be sure to do your homework before contacting dealers by downloading the brochure for this vehicle on That way you can compare the four Prius C models and standard features and options. If you test drive this vehicle you will be pleasantly surprised at how it handles, good acceleration, and good highway mileage in spite of the fact that reviewers keep indicating that this is a city car. It performs equally well on the highway. Definitely a fun car to drive and the mileage, fabulous!
  • I bought a PRIUS-C 2012 in June 2012, and it has given me 2 different problems for a total of 4 times.

    1. On 8/31/12, the vehicle would not turn on and all the lights went on, however I could not shift gears...30 minutes later it turned on. On 9/10/12, I took the car for the 5000 mile check up at the Toyota La Puente Dealer and the intake person said it was nothing, that it happens all the time, he brushed it off and did not document my concern nor told mechanics to look into problem.
    2. On 9/12/12, approx. 2 weeks later as I was driving the vehicle's alarm went off and I was not able to turn it off! I pulled over and tried turning off the alarm and the car, but neither turned off. Finally it turned off and 5 minutes later it all happened again. On 09/13/12, I took it to the Toyota Corona Dealer where I purchased the vehicle and was told they could not find anything wrong...the car was there until 9/18/12...they decided to replace the alarm system because they thought that might be the problem. I confirmed with the KARR alarm company that the alarm was replaced.
    3. On 10/3/12, the same problem as of 8/31/12--but this time the gear was able to shift to reverse HOWEVER it rolled FWD not reverse. The cars warning lights were all on and the vehicle would not operate. Waited 45 minutes for Roadside Assistance and then the car turned on---On 10/04/12, the car was taken back to Toyota Dealer in Corona-still pending outcome.

    I think the LEMON LAW applies, I have contacted Toyota and was told that someone will contact me by today 10/08/12...still waiting for call. I am scare to drive this vehicle, I bought it for its reliability and peace of mind and it has cost me to miss work and more importantly putting me in a dangerous situation.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,042
    Your vehicle might not quite meet the Lemon Law requirements in your state. It sounds like you're in California:
    but you are definitely setting everything up right by notifying the manufacturer of the problem. The 9/2 incident doesn't count because they were able to fix the problem. It only applies to a problem (or several problems) that the dealership has tried multiple times to rectify without success.


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  • dkncdknc Posts: 2
    How's the aftermath? I assume the alarm was installed by the dealer and they said it won't void the warranty? How could that be possible if Toyota didn't even approve it. So now it's the "waranty from the Dealer", not backed by Toyota. And that is why they want you to service back to the same dealership you bought from, because not all dealership has "connection" to the Southwest Dealer Services. If it's so approved by Toyota, why the heck did Toyota has its own VIP? This KARR alarm is not making me comfy about driving my car now.
  • I would be interested in hearing how comfortable the Prius C is on long trips. I often drive between 500 and 1,000 miles a day ... Comfort and gas mileage on highway? What is the noise levell?
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,042
    If you are a parent of young children (at least one under 12 years old) who owns the latest model Toyota Prius C or Kia Rio, a reporter would like for you to fill out a survey, due by December 1, 2012, for use in a print publication. Please email no later than Friday, November 30, 2012 for a copy of the survey.


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  • mahout99mahout99 Posts: 2
    when the new revisuion of the prius 2 debuts this fall or early spring it will be based on the mazda2 and that will be a huge improvement over the yaris chassis. it should be the platform for yamaha, toyotas prime engine consultant, to offer a hot rod for the masses, much like Porsche's 918 for the super rich. Such a vehicle could easiluy be concocted with a turbo to generate 150 hpo or more and thus place Toyota high in consumer wants. In short, it will be what Honda failed to do with the CRZ. Sochiro has to be spinning in his grave. Combined with the superior chassis of the mazda2 it will be a large scale seller even if it gets only 40 mpg.
    As for the current Prius C it can be vastly improved in handling by simply disconnecting the front antisway bar (not removing) to reduce the enormous understeer dictated by lawyers rather than suspension engineers. And the current mazda 2 being prepped for B racing class have shown significant ability to be a leading class winner.
    Yes, I got my Prius C, promptly imporoved its handling and proved it on track. Its no competitor for even a Civic sedan, not the Si, but it is comfortable and fun to drive. There are clips on youtube. And yes, I've taken two long trips more than 500 miles and got 48 mpg at an average speed of 65 mph for the entire trip.
    I vote the Prius C the car of the year and most assuredly when the Prius C on mazda chaasssis and a high performance version is released I have my order prepped for my dealer. Congrats Toyota, we recommend the Prius C highly for today's driving errands, long or short distance.
    PS I've had more than my share of McClarens and Corvettes but today they don't offer much except on track.
  • So far in 7500 miles I have taken two 1000 mile trips, averaging 65 mph and 48 mpg, both entirely comfortable. Course my background is vettes, porsches, mustangs and camaros as well as racing but I found the prissy easy to drive long distances in comfort.
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