Test drive review of the 2012 Toyota Prius C
Each of the four vehicles driven was clearly labeled as a pre-production vehicle; even though final production models are due to arrive at dealerships late next month. Some pre-production models change significantly by the time they come to market, but chances are any changes to the final version of the 2012 Prius C will be imperceptible.
First impressions upon entering the The 2012 Prius C were simply it seems bigger inside than it does from without. Its silhouette almost exactly conforms to that of the Toyota Yaris, but climbing into the back seat out of sheer curiosity it fit my six-foot form well with plenty of legroom. It was necessary to move the seat back a little when taking the driver’s seat so tall occupants in both rows might be a problem, but chances are good unless you’re hauling a basketball team, a family of five would fit quite comfortably.
Driving the 2012 Toyota Prius C3 first, it handled better than expected for a car with a wheelbase just over 100 inches. This is a likely result of Toyota engineers moving the lightened nickel hydride battery to a position beneath the back seat, instead of between the back seat and rear deck as in other Prius models.
This repositioning lowers the center of gravity in the vehicle and produces the sensation it is glued to the road. In addition to allowing a 60/40 split fold down seat in the top three trim levels, it gives all four variants a nimble maneuverability, and lessens the intrusion of the road’s imperfections to be expected in a commuter car.