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Toyota Prius C – You Drive Me Crazy!

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Toyota Prius C

It was Sunday yesterday and we had finally put our foot on the pedals of a brand new Toyota Prius C. Here we will describe the car from head to toe and from inside out. First impression and first observation, it looks really beautiful standing in the showroom and it is really small when compared to its elder brother Prius beside it. It looks like Jacky Chan standing beside the NBA player Yao Ming.

In the U.S., the Prius C is made available in four variants – Prius C One, Prius C Two, Prius C Three, and Prius C Four. The one we are reviewing here is the only model available inMalaysiawhich is the Prius C Four or better known as Toyota Aqua in Japan.

Exterior

The 2012 Prius C is an all-new hybrid model for the B-segment. It is something new, something different, and something fresh. The front bumper is fitted with a pair of integrated fog lamps that looks like dimples on a smiling face. What makes it different from other cars is the crystal clear rear lamp that combined with LED stop lamps in a unique shape. A good looking car should not lack of a set of cool wheels. The Prius C features a set of 15-inch 8-spoke alloy wheels with P175/65R/15 83V tires. It is not only cool but also helps to reduce the total weight of the car and perform well on different kinds of road surfaces. It is only three steps in length. Getting around in the city with this size could be fun and easier for parallel parking or reverse parking. As for the trunk, it may be small but some DIY furniture can still be loaded easily into it.

Toyota Prius C logo
Toyota Prius C logo with blue light-emitting diode (LED) illumination

Interior and Technology

We have to admit that the Prius C features a lot of new technology that will be fun to own. Key ignition seems to disappear from the Prius C. It features a Smart Key System with one power button for you to start the car like that of a computer, provided the key is in your pocket. The interior is nicely designed with a few florescent lights that make it look like a future car. The steering wheel is similar to that of the Prius minus the two buttons for phone calls. You can control the audio and climate from the steering wheel.

Toyota Prius C Interior
Interior of Toyota Prius C

There is also a 6.1-inch multimedia screen at the middle of the dashboard that offers a few popular mobile apps, navigation systems, and data services to the driver. You can customize the setting of your car including GPS, voice recognition, radio features, and wireless features. Together with a reverse camera that hides behind and above the registration plate, the multimedia screen will show the image of what the camera catches at the back of the car.

Toyota Prius C reverse camera
Reverse camera hidden in the Prius C

Performance and Safety

The Prius C is powered by Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive System that can be found in the Prius. A 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a pair of electric motor giving a total combined output of 99 hp sent directly to the front wheel through the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). On the gasoline engine itself, it produces 73 hp at 4800 rpm and 82 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm. A 144-volt nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH) battery is located under the rear seats that give a maximum output of 19.3 kW. Light body, great aerodynamic, and great technology give a combined fuel economy at 50 mpg, making it the highest in the non plug-in hybrid available in the market.

The Prius C sits on an independent MacPherson strut front suspension with stabilizer bar and torsion beam rear suspension. Together with the Electric Power Steering (EPS) and 31.4 turning circle diameter, the car is without doubt fun to drive. Inside all four wheels, it is equipped with power-assisted ventilated disc brakes for the front and drum brake for the rear.

As for safety, the Prius C is equipped with a total of seven airbags including front airbags, side airbags, curtain airbags, and a driver’s knee airbag. Other safety features such as traction control (TRC), ABS, EBD, auto climate control, cruise control, and Toyota’s famous VSC (vehicle stability control) can be found in the car too.

Toyota Prius C
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Fuel Economy

53 city/46 highway/50 combined mpg; 53 city/46 highway/50 combined mpg; 22.5 city/19.6 highway/21.3 combined km/l.

What could be better?

  • The dashboard is superbly designed but it is covered with cheap plastic. Just knock a few times and you will know what we mean.
  • It is a few thousand dollars cheaper than the Prius but many things are not there. In the Prius C, you don’t get the feeling of Prius. It is much smaller and very cramped. A person taller than 175cm or 5’ 8” may hit the roof if he sits in the middle of the back seat.
  • The luxurious feeling in the Prius could not be found here.

Price

  • United States: Prius C One (MSRP $18,950), Prius C Two (MSRP $19,900), Prius C Three (MSRP $21,635), and Prius C Four (MSRP $23,230).
  • Malaysia: Simple and easy, RM97,000 OTR (On The Road) with metallic paint.

Toyota Prius C’s competitors and similar cars: Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, Honda Insight, Honda CR-Z, Honda Jazz/Honda Fit Hybrid, Lexus CT 200h, Honda Brio, and Nissan March.

In a nutshell, the Toyota Prius C is a better version of the Yaris and smaller yet cheaper version of the Prius. It will be the number one buying choice for savvy consumers who need a small car but super huge gas mileage. Toyota Prius C, You Drive Me Crazy!

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Toyota Prius C interior Toyota Prius C Toyota Prius C back seat Toyota Prius C Toyota Prius C interior
Click on the image to enlarge it

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