Toyota Prius C Review

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This small hybrid with the famous Prius pedigree is the most affordable model in the line and one of the cheapest we researched. It's slow to accelerate and doesn't offer a lot of power, but it's built for city driving, with fuel economy of 53 mpg (46 mpg on the highway) -- easily the best for a non-plug-in hybrid.

The Toyota Prius has been the champion of hybrid cars -- the standard with which all other models are compared. Toyota's 2012 lineup includes several versions of the Prius; the Prius C is the smallest and cheapest. Prius C reviews universally laud the car's excellent fuel economy, although they have some gripes about its performance. A review at Car and Driver, for example, pans the car for being slow to accelerate and generally sluggish. On the other hand, the reviewer approvingly notes the standard features, in addition to the hybrid bells and whistles, and the comfortable, supportive front seats.

A reviewer from The Car Connection rates this model 7 out of 10, noting the car's fantastic fuel efficiency and nimble handling in Toyota Prius C review. An Edmunds editor also praises the Prius C for being so stingy with gas and for its handling, declaring that the smaller model is more fun to drive than a regular Prius. However, the hard plastic in the car's interior is a turn-off, the editor says in his review. Like other reviewers, he complains about slow acceleration and disappointing power.

The Prius C has a very modest 99 horsepower between the four-cylinder gasoline engine and the electric motor. This is a front-wheel, five-passenger car with 87.4 cubic feet of passenger room -- much less than the sedans on our list but more spacious than you might expect, according to The Car Connection's Prius C review. No non-plug-in hybrid we researched can match its 53 mpg city/46 mpg highway fuel efficiency. The Prius C comes in four versions (the C One, C Two, C Three, and C Four) with various features. The cheapest model, the C One, includes automatic climate control, a CD player with Bluetooth support, and iPod connectivity.

If you have your heart set on a Prius, this is the cheapest model you can buy. The Toyota Prius C is an attractive hybrid that delivers the impressive mpg consumers have come to expect from the Prius name. This car is certainly no speedster, but it handles well and comes with compelling standard options for the price. It's our top choice for drivers seeking an affordable car to get them from point A to point B as efficiently as possible.

Michael Sweet

Michael Sweet writes about consumer electronics. If something runs on electricity or ones and zeroes, he's interested in it. Sweet has written about PC technology and consumer electronics for 14 years.

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