Joel Helmes road tests and reviews the Toyota Prius C.
After a run of somewhat disappointing drives in recent months it was refreshing to spend a week with a car that really ticks all the boxes.
Well, actually that should be almost all the boxes.
The only thing that’s disappointing with the 2013 Toyota Prius C is the price tag.
The Prius C range comes in two different specification levels and starts at $23,990, I had the i-Tech version which will set you back from $26,990.
Under the bonnet is a combined four-cylinder petrol engine and hybrid drive system that together delivers a total of 54kW and 111Nm.
Sure, the Toyota Prius C isn’t a racing car but it does have adequate responsiveness to get about alright, things are definitely more exciting in normal mode rather than “Eco”.
Matched with a smooth CVT transmission, brilliant steering, surprisingly good ride, great brakes (even though the rear is drum not disc), agile handling and a quiet cabin the Prius C is actually quite an enjoyable car to drive.
The fuel economy also adds to the joy – the Prius C uses just a combined 3.9L/100!
In the i-Tech configuration you pick up plenty of standard features including a reversing camera, satellite navigation, 15”alloys, power windows and mirrors, cruise control, key-less entry, push button start/stop, leather steering wheel and “leather like” seats.
Those seats are also surprisingly roomy and comfortable with a generous seat base making life more comfortable for taller drivers, those looking for a little more room will also be happy with the headroom in the Prius C and legroom front and back is surprisingly good as well.
The boot in the Toyota Prius C is also bigger than you might expect.
A feature that I like in the Prius range are the “hover” buttons on the steering wheel – you just brush your finger across them and the buttons function comes up on the centre display screen, clever.
Speaking of that centre display screen the graphics look absolutely brilliant, the only thing I would say is perhaps it’s just a touch too busy.
The cabin of the Toyota Prius C is extremely well laid out with generously sized storage areas and a feeling of quality throughout.
Most satisfying for me was the air-conditioning which remains cold when the Prius C is stationary and the petrol engine is switched off (some hybrids don’t perform anywhere near as well when running on battery).
On the safety front the Toyota Prius C is yet to be ANCAP tested.
Summing it up – the Prius C was a very pleasing drive, it’s one of those cars that just does its job, no fuss or bother.
If I were you however I would compare it to the equally as impressive Toyota Yaris. The Yaris isn’t a hybrid and therefore does use more fuel, but with a big initial price difference it may be a better alternative for drivers not doing big kilometres.
Overall however the Toyota Prius C has again proven the point that no one knows how to build a small car like Toyota.
NUTS and BOLTS
Engine: 1.5 litre petrol/hybrid drive delivering 54kW and 111Nm
Transmission: CVT automatic
Safety: Not tested
Price: From $23,990