DAY 1 | DAY 2
| DAY 3 | DAY 4
This car looks very interesting from the specifications sheet and actually when you first get inside the Prius C, the “interesting” continues but I’m not so sure it is the kind of interesting you want.
There is a lot of good interesting, like the navigation system, super-easy-to-use controls, and automatic climate control. The high-mounted centre gauge cluster, although some may hate it, is really easy to read, and nice and clear both day and night. There’s also a small screen that can be cycled through various informational displays such as hybrid system function, ECO score and trip information, giving the driver the information they want right at their finger tips.
All those features are great, but a few of Toyota’s decisions on this vehicle really baffle me. Do people really prefer fake leather over cloth? Sometimes it’s nice, but this is more like patio furniture vinyl; these have got to be the worst-looking and feeling seats I’ve come across in a car in a long time. Just put in some good cloth and be done with it. Combine this with a weird colour scheme of very light grey (nearly white door panels) and darker grey, and you’ve got a very odd interior indeed.
It seems like in an effort to save weight they removed so much material that the car sounds like a tin can every time you open and close the doors or the rear hatch. This is something that both I and my other half noticed instantly.
What is impressive is the amount of interior room, both front and back, for a vehicle that has a hybrid system in it, yet is built on such a small platform. Certainly, a lot of effort went into hiding the batteries, as cargo and passenger space do not seem affected compared to an equivalent subcompact car.
| DAY 2 | DAY 3 | DAY 4
Lots of excitement this week behind the wheel of the Prius C, but I have a feeling the excitement will be limited to how much fuel I can save as I watch the dollar signs roll by on the screen in the gauge cluster.
That’s not the only place the dollar signs are rolling, though; this tester comes in at a cool $27,000 after freight—seems a little on the pricey side for what is essentially a Toyota Yaris that has been electrified. Maybe I’ll never “get” this hybrid thing.
At least you do get some premium features for your money, such as a power sliding moonroof, power windows and mirrors, cruise, climate control, navigation, keyless entry, push-button start and heated seats with a simulated leather seating surface—more on that later.
The Prius C is powered by a 1.5-litre engine that is electrically assisted. The two powerplants (electric and gasoline) drive the front wheels through a CVT transmission. Interestingly enough, Toyota chose to use a standard gear lever on the floor of the Prius C, unlike the V and regular Prius liftback, which use a silly computerized stick on the dash, next to the steering wheel. Most likely, this is a cost and packaging issue, but I am glad, I am not a big fan of the little “nub” shifter.
With only 99 horsepower on tap, I certainly will not be going anywhere fast this week, but perhaps I can get close to the Natural Resources Canada ratings of 3.5 L/100 km city and 4.0 L/100 km/h highway.
2012 Toyota Prius C
MSRP as tested (including destination): $27,000
Day-by-Day Review: 2012 Toyota Prius C; Day 4 - Autos.ca