Lots of things have changed since Toyota introduced first Prius in 1997. It became a global phenomenon in the meantime, and with the latest generation, Toyota has decided to suit as many tastes as it can. That leads us to extended offer of Priuses, which includes, besides regular one, Prius plug-in hybrid, Prius V, Prius Prime and finally Prius C.
The C model became instant hit in Japan holding title of best selling new car for three consecutive years, while in the US its sales were significantly lagging behind the ones of standard Prius. Anyway, it was enough for this one to take the second place as best-selling hybrid within its brand. It deserves our attention then, and below are details of 2017 Toyota Prius C.
WHAT IS IT
Despite being called Prius, C model is subcompact car, although big one. It is closer to Yaris in respect to that, and its price tag of $20,000 is the lowest entry point to the hybrid world, considering that regular Prius ask for around $5k more. It made the world of unconventional cars more accessible and from there comes its main reason for sale success.
2017 Toyota Prius C STYLING
Prius C has been introduced in 2011, while it was treated with a refresh in 2015. Its look more resembles one of Yaris than Prius, but it is hard to the confused with it since it is more than just slightly different. Mentioned redesign brought more modern fascia, with quite bolder and bigger grille, while at the rear there is the new configuration of tail lights, which diversifies and instantly characterizes it as a better-looking option.
Overall, it appears as an intriguing city car, and it doesn’t say anything about its powertrain preferences on first sight, as other hybrids do.
Cabin is definitely not as near futuristic as one in Prius as an idea of more conventional appearance continues its story here. As mentioned, C model is bringing the world of hybrids closer to the wider array of buyers and desire to start with more modest price tag took its highest toll on the interior. Plastic is visibly cheap, while refresh in 2015 brought noteworthy improvements in that field but it is still behind regular Prius by miles.
The redesign also brought much cooler air vents, parts with glossy plastic, prettier buttons and knobs and significantly more modern infotainment system. Instead of pretty weird Prius gear selector, conventional shift knob is featured, which doesn’t require time for adjustment to it.
2017 Toyota Prius C POWERTRAIN
Under the hood lays 1.5-liter I4 petrol engine delivering 73 hp, while under the rear seats we have a 0.9-kwh lithium-ion battery that sends power to an electric motor rated at 60 hp, which in result provides the total power of 99 hp. This makes C model quite a sluggish car, taking 11.5 seconds to reach 60 mph, which is almost full second below Prius.
On the plus side, positioning batteries under the rear seat left boot space untouched and in full capacity of 17.1 cubic feet, in total, the cabin is decently spacious for the size of the vehicle. The all-electric mode allows drive without petrol engine, but only for insignificant half a mile. Eco mode restricts the power and slows air conditioner, but it just makes driving agonizing since performances are far from amazing even when in regular mode.
On the contrary of power figures, C model is quite fun to drive and more responsive than standard Prius, while also being decently safe with four stars achieved at federal testing.
2017 Toyota Prius C do feature some flaws in its path to reach as many buyers as it can. Cheaper cabin and lazy acceleration are one of them, but they are easily forgettable upon look on the price tag and incredible fuel economy of 50 mpg combined which is currently the highest number in the non-plug hybrid world. Also for the end for required amount of money you do get a decently equipped vehicle.