Category: Prius c

The New and Improved 2016 Prius C 

October 12, 2015 lacarguy Prius c Tags: , , , , ,

Toyota updated the Prius C, it’s most compact hybrid vehicle. It offers more, has a more attractive look and is even more efficient than before. What’s not to love?

2016 toyota prius c
Handles Like a Compact

The Prius C is a very compact vehicle, and it certainly handles like one with it’s tiny 1.5 liter four cylinder engine. The engine runs on the Atkinson cycle to boost fuel efficiency further up the scale. The car manages 53 MPG, but with just 73 HP it’s a bit sluggish compared to the more sporty compacts out on te market. That being said, where else are you going to find a vehicle that gets this kind of mileage?

Drive on Electricity – But not too far!

The 2016 Prius C allows drivers to move around relying purely on electricity, but it’s only going to be useful to back out of your garage in the middle of the night without disturbing anyone, or to drive to a store right around the block because the car has just a one mile EV range at speeds of 25 MPH or less.

Three Different Driving Modes

While operating the Prius C you get to choose from three driving modes. The first, Normal, gives you the best power available with the vehicle, and it’s not too bad to drive around. The car picks up nicely and actually feels pretty perky for less than 100 HP. The next is Eco mode which saps a lot of that perkiness away from the vehicle, but successfully makes an efficient vehicle even more efficient. Finally there is EV mode that lets you drive around without burning any gas at all. Switching between the different modes gives you more control over how the vehicle handles overall.

Nice Safety Features

The Prius C is safer to drive than ever before thanks to technological safety advancements. It comes with automatic high beams that help keep the road visible, but won’t blind oncoming traffic in the least. The vehicle also has a pre-collisions system that will slow you down to reduce an impact if the vehicle believes you are going to crash. Finally there is lane departure assistant that helps you stay in between your lanes in case you are drifting off while driving, or just aren’t watching the road.

New Improved Look

The Prius C was always a bit short and blocky in design, that’s all changes with the 2016 version. It’s now longer and sleeker in appearance, giving it more of a sedan look. That should help improve appeal for the vehicle, giving buyers who were alienated by the looks of the old versions to something to consider.

Enhanced Interior Tech

Inside the 2016 Prius C you’ll enjoy a 6.1 inch touchscreen media system. It comes with an Aux jack for MP3 devices. It comes with a USB port as well for loading your media. The system has voice recognition and built-in Bluetooth support.

No pricing information is yet out for the 2016 Prius C, but it’s one of the more exciting products that Toyota’s offering, and should at least be considered by most people looking for a commuter vehicle.

A Candid Review of the Prius C Four

May 28, 2015 lacarguy Prius c Tags: , , , , ,

If you’re after a quality car that gets you around town without using much gas the Prius C is a good solid option. It’s not the sexiest car on the road, and it certainly isn’t the fastest, but that doesn’t stop it from being appealing. It’s a good value vehicle that you should consider if you’re trying to cut down on your gas consumption.

2015 prius c


Let’s be honest, when you climb behind the wheel of a Prius C 4 you aren’t hoping for high levels of performance. Instead you’re counting the gallons of gas that you save with each trip, and that’s exactly what this car is all about. Sure you won’t be accelerating very quick. After all, it only comes with a four-cylinder engine that manages a total of 99 lb.-ft. of torque at 4800 rpm. The car does get up to speed alright though and will travel at highway speeds without issue. The real notable thing about this vehicle is always going to be the fuel efficiency it offers and you should expect to average around 50 MPG with 53 in the city and 46 on the highway. If those figures don’t excite you just a little bit, you probably shouldn’t be buying this car.


The steering wheel of this Prius is a bit undersized and it doesn’t offer much feedback at all. You’ll enjoy a slightly numb driving experience while traveling down the road. The braking experience is similar to the steering. The regen braking gives you a mushy feel for the first three or four inches as the car makes the most of that lost momentum. After that point you’ll get hit with a sharp stopping motion. With practice you can improve the stopping feel of this Prius, but it definitely takes some getting used to. Finally the suspension is a bit rough. The Prius C is one of the budget models of the Prius and the suspension isn’t quite as pillow soft as some of the other models. This means you’ll feel those potholes a bit more and will find yourself trying to steer around them as much as possible. It’s probably better for your tires in the long run, but when you inevitably have to hit a bump you’re going to know it.


The Prius C Four is pretty affordable with a base price of just $25,300. It’s more than the Yaris, but you’re paying for the fuel economy increase with the increased rate. If you decide you want any additional extras such as larger wheels you’ll have to pay a few hundred for most, though this Prius does come nicely loaded with extras like an improved surround sound system and a high quality multimedia system.

Features Galore

The Prius C Four is one of the upscale trim levels and it’s still quite affordable. It comes packed with a top notch multimedia system and a unique feature that lets you know how economically you are driving while travelling down the road. You’ll get information about your acceleration and braking habits and over time you can learn to be a more efficient driver with this car. You’ll notice that some training with this little Prius can improve your fuel ratings while driving other vehicles as well.


This Prius is a nice looking vehicle and lends a slightly sporty edge to the well-known Prius silhouette. It comes with LED headlights and fog lights and has creases and accents in all the right places.


This little Prius comes with all the standard safety features you would expect, and has a top-notch safety rating. Still it isn’t going to be as safe as riding around in a big truck or SUV with all those other large vehicles out on the road, but that’s the price you pay for such stellar fuel efficiency figures.

If you’re in the market for something compact and efficient, you won’t find a better car than this Prius. It offers one of the highest fuel economy ratings in the industry, and it doesn’t look half bad for a Prius either.


First Drive: Toyota Prius c

February 23, 2012 lacarguy Green Auto Technology, High MPG Vehicles, Hybrid Vehicles, Prius c, Toyota Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

It’s been twelve years since the Toyota Prius first came on to the American stage. Thought of as a science experiment then, and in many ways it was, now in it’s third generation the Prius Liftback IS the face of Toyota.

While the hybrid and plugin electric market may only be 2.5% of all vehicle sales in the U.S., the Prius accounts for more than 50% of those sales. The most shocking statistic is that 96% of all Prius’ sold, are still on the road today. Looking to expand the sales of the Prius, Toyota have expanded the sub-brand of Prius into four models, with the goal of the Prius family of vehicles surpassing Camry in sales.

The first expansion of the Prius family was the v, not quite a crossover, yet more than a wagon, it was Toyota’s move to get growing and active families more space to fit their lifestyle without compromising fuel economy or the integrity of the Prius name. The Plugin Prius will be the current Liftback model that will have the ability to drive 15 miles on pure electric, then revert back to a standard Prius Hybrid once the charge has been depleted. The last component is the source of our review, and that is the Prius c. It is a B-segment car, which will be competing against the likes of Toyota’s own Yaris and iQ, along with the Mazda2, Ford Fiesta, Chevy Spark, Honda Fit, Nissan Versa, Kia Rio and Hyundai Accent.

Powering the Prius c is an updated version of the venerable 1.5 liter inline four cylinder engine. It has been updated to improve efficiency with lighter weight valve springs, lighter tension weight piston rings along with a few other items like the elimination of an accessory belt so now that the power steering, air conditioning and water pump are all driven via electric motors to reduce drag and friction and improve fuel economy. This is paired with a Ni-MH battery pack that is about 2/3rds the size of the one found in the Liftback, which provides an additional 25.9 horsepower to the 73 horsepower engine. The transaxle in the Prius c is an all electric unit that has no belts.

Fuel economy is the raison d’etre in the Prius family and the Prius c will deliver that in spades. Rated by the EPA 53 city, 46 highway and 50 combined. We had the opportunity to drive for a short 25 mile loop that was an equal mix of surface roads and highway. On the surface roads we pulled down 63.5 mpg without really making an effort to maximize fuel economy, and at the end of the loop we had a combined 54.7 mpg, and that was while driving highway speeds of 70-75 mph. Keeping with the rest if the Prius family, the c also has start/stop technology, so that the car is running only when it needs to when stopped in traffic. If you are in stop and go driving, this is an excellent way to save a few extras drops of fuel.

Lest you think this B-segment car is cramped inside, it is not. Front seat passengers have plenty of room, no fear of rubbing shoulders with your passenger. For back seat passengers, two normal sized adults will be able to ride comfortably. We had the drivers seat set for us at 5’11”, then jumped in the back seat behind and were able to get in and out with no problem, and our knees were not touching the back of the driver seat either.

The rear seats do fold in a 60/40 arrangement allowing for good load flexibility, bicycles and snowboards will have no problem fitting inside. With the seats up there is 17.1 cubic feet of space in the hatch area, which should be more than enough room for day to day items, or runs to the grocery store.

In the upper trim levels Toyota have made Softex synthetic leather an option. Listening to their consumers, Toyota have eliminated the use of natural leather in the Prius family of cars. The Softext in our test car, was comfortable, had a quality feel to it, and was grippy so that we did not slide around in the seat.

There will be four trim levels to the Prius c, One, Two, Three and Four. Stepping up to trim level’s Three and Four will net you a smart key, which offers the ability to not have to take the key out of your pocket to get in the car, or need it for starting. The upper two levels also get you the top end audio system with navigation. It has a 6.1 in touch screen with AM/FM/SirusXM/HD Radio and also will play CD’s along with MP3 and WMA files through a six speaker system.

All trim levels have bluetooth as standard but trim levels Three and Four allow for advanced voice recognition. The top end audio system also includes Entune. Entune is a system that Toyota have developed that works with the data connection on your smart phone to supply Pandora, iHeart Radio, OpenTable, along with real time traffic, weather, fuel prices, sports scores and weather to you.

You register on a specific Toyota website with your cars VIN number, and then you can assign up to four different phones to the system so that everyone can taylor the system to themselves, if multiple people in a household share the car.

The Prius c also contains a 3.5 inch TFT display to the right of the offset digital speedometer. There are multiple levels of menus to explore within. Items like energy monitors, drive information, scoring the last 100 drives and how economical the current one is, 5 minute consumption. There is an ECO Savings level where you can program the current cost of gas in, and also the mpg of another vehicle to see how much you are saving with the Prius c. It also calculates the current cost of your current trip, and past trips, and brake it down into a cost per mile. It will also grade you on how economically you are driving and braking on a scale of 1-5 and display it in a bar graph.

Many people worry about safety in cars that are as small as the Prius c. To address this Toyota is including nine standard airbags along with items like ABS, traction control, vehicle stability control, brake assist, brake force distribution and smart stop.

Smart stop is a system that intervenes when both the brake and gas peddles are pressed at the same time. In a panic situation one might press down hard on both peddles without meaning to. The system senses this, and disengages the gas, it also incorporates a hill assist into the system so that if you are on a hill and stopped, you do not roll backwards when transferring from the brake peddle to the gas peddle.

Pricing for the Prius c in trim level One starts at $19,710, Level Two is $20,760, Level Three is $22,395 and Level Four is $23,990, all prices include the $760 destination fee. While this is certainly on the higher end of the B-Segment price structure, cars like Ford’s Fiesta can quickly top $20,000 as well once they are optioned up. The base price of the Prius c is about a $2,000 premium over the Yaris to give some context.

Out on the road the Prius c drives very well. While the handling can’t be called sporty, it is very competent. It is very agile, has a better ride quality than the Prius Liftback or v, and also transmits less road noise through the tires than the Liftback or v as well. The Prius c engineers took extra time to mitigate as much NVH from the car as possible and their work shows.

Acceleration in city traffic from 0-40 miles an hour is good, though not quick. Merging onto the highway the power can be best described as adequate. It is able to get on to freeways and merge without drama, and while you may feel you need to be going faster or accelerating quicker, once you look at the speedometer, you will see you’ve already gotten up to the speed of surrounding traffic. The car can engage an EV mode where it can run up to a mile with a max speed of 25 miles an hour.

The Prius c was able to run 75 miles an hour on the highway with no issues, it was not moved around by semi’s going past, it felt very stable, and the interior is quiet enough to hold a conversation in a normal tone of voice.

While the other versions of the Prius have never excited us all that much, we feel that the c is the first Prius that we can get behind. It truly was a fun and satisfying car to drive. In a time when gas is again approaching $4/gallon in the U.S., having a car that can pull down 50 mpg is an attractive proposition. And when that proposition asks very few compromises from you, it’s even more so. No the car is not a sports car, or a sporty car, what it is, is a small car that gets the job done, can be well equipped, and you don’t mind driving. While in the past, and even now with the Liftback and the v, the Prius’ could be described as automotive appliances, the c does not have that vibe, it feels like a car first, a hybrid second.