Currently the smallest hybrid you can buy under the Toyota brand, the Toyota Prius C is the entry-level model of the Prius range and is also one of the least expensive hybrids on sale. Unlike the larger Prius models, the Prius C uses a 1.5-liter I-4 combined with an electric motor for a total output of 99 hp. A CVT is the only transmission available just like in the rest of the Prius family. Toyota’s Safety Sense-C suite of active safety features, which includes automatic high beams, lane departure warning, and the Pre-Collision System, a combination of automatic emergency braking and forward collision warning, is optional on the Three and Four trim levels.
In a 2014 First Test, we said that the Prius C it’s one of the slowest vehicles we’ve tested and opting for the larger 16-inch alloy wheels gives it an unusually wide 37.4-foot turning circle versus 31.4 feet with the smaller 15-inch wheels. The tires with the smaller wheels offer a better ride but it’s still far from good.
Why You’d Consider One
Among hybrids, the Toyota Prius C is the most urban-friendly and it’s also one of the most efficient vehicles available today.
Why You’d Look Elsewhere
With only 99 hp combined, you’re not going to win any kind of race and you’ll be struggling getting up hills, and making passing maneuvers.