The Toyota Prius has always been known for its fuel economy much more so than its handling or performance. With the introduction of the Toyota Prius C however, Toyota has managed to infuse the Prius range with a little fun to go along with its low fuel consumption. Moreover, the Prius C is competitively priced and now offers budget shoppers the possibility of getting behind the wheel of a hybrid without breaking the bank.
Despite the fact that the C bears the Prius name, the vehicle’s interior is different from what we find in other Prius models. It’s a bit disappointing because we liked the futuristic style and especially the practical aspect of the interior of the Prius V that we tested earlier.
However, the interior of the 2013 Toyota Prius C still offers tons of storage room while maintaining Toyota’s high standards in terms of workmanship. However, the materials used in its development are rough and leave something to be desired. I guess when you offer a hybrid car for nearly 20 000$, you must find ways to save a little money.
On that note, standard equipment is not very substantial. Sure air conditioning, Bluetooth and power windows are included, but you will need to pay more for heated seats and cruise control.
The Toyota Prius C is built on the same platform as the Toyota Yaris. It therefore has the same interior dimensions as Toyota’s subcompact vehicle. Headroom and legroom in the front is adequate, but the back seat is better suited for young children. The trunk is roomy enough however with 431 liters of cargo space.
The Toyota Prius PHEV that we tested prior to the Prius C certainly left much to be desired in regards to handling and performance. The Prius C on the other hand surprised us with its handling and agility in urban areas.
The Prius C is powered by a 1.5 liter four-cylinder engine delivering 72 horsepower combined with an electric motor capable of driving the front wheels independently for about 1 kilometer, so long as you do not exceed 40 km/h. The batteries are located below the floor of the Prius C and their position helps with weight distribution and contribute to providing the small Toyota hybrid with well-balanced steering.
Although the gas engine’s 72 horses may seem inadequate, the addition of the electric motor brings the total output to approximately 100 horsepower. In combination with the torque of the electric motor, the Prius C seems much quicker off the line and when passing that other Prius models. It’s not a rocket, but it certainly is more dynamic than the Prius PHEV of Prius V.
During our test drive, we noticed that many people though that the Prius C was a Yaris. Indeed, the two cars are very similar and essentially share the same dimensions. We mention this because if your goal is to drive a hybrid to get noticed, the 2013 Toyota Prius C may not be your best bet.
We have not had the opportunity to try the Toyota Prius C in winter. That being said, Toyota’s hybrid engine has never been affected by cold weather or snow. However, keep in mind that the Prius C is a front wheel drive car with limited ground clearance. Quality winter tires are therefore a must and getting out of your driveway after a snowbank has formed at its entrance may give you a few problems.
The 2013 Toyota Prius C is currently the most fuel-efficiency vehicle we have tested. It also happens to offer fun driving dynamics and decent performance. Given its relatively affordable base price, there is very little not to like about the new Prius C.