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Toyota announces price of the amazing 2012 Prius c

The Toyota Prius c is the most compact and fuel efficient Prius yet, at 55 miles/gallon fuel efficiency it has the highest MPG rating of cars you cannot plug in, and at a $18,950 base price it is even more affordable.

Toyota announced today prices for the four Prius c models that are due to hit dealer show-rooms in March 2012. The Prius c is a new, compact, member of the Prius family getting higher fuel efficiency, is more compact, and more affordable than the regular Prius.

The Toyota Prius c is a five-seater hatchback compact Prius, and was introduced in December at the Tokyo Auto Show where it was called the Toyota Aqua. It has since gone on sale in Japan, and is due to go on sale in the U.S. as the Prius c in March.

The Prius c fuel efficiency is an EPA-estimated 53/46/50 city/highway/combined miles per gallon versus 51/48/50 city/highway/combined miles per gallon for the third generation Prius Liftback. Toyota claims this is the highest city MPG rating of any vehicle without a plug, and that it will achieve SULEV (Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle) rating. The higher MPG rating is due to using a Hybrid Synergy Drive 1.5-liter DOHC, 16-valve engine versus the 1.8 liter engine used on the Prius. The smaller engine is more fuel efficient, but also produces less horsepower. Between the gas engine and electric Hybrid Synergy assist, the Prius c has a total system power output of 99 horsepower, versus 134 horsepower for the total system on the regular Prius.

Feature-wise this is a Prius with all the options that come with the regular Prius. The four Prius c models differ by the quantity of options. The premium infotainment and navigation system, what Toyota calls Display Audio system with Navigation and Entune, comes with the Prius c Three. This includes XM Sirius radio, HD Radio with iTunes tagging, a USB port that supports iPod's and iPhones, advanced voice recognition, support for Bing and Pandora services, Bluetooth phone support for hands-free operation, and more.

Safety features in the Toyota Prius c includes 9 standard airbags, driver and front passenger Advanced Whiplash-Injury-Lessening seats and Toyota’s Star Safety System that includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction control (TRAC), Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), and Smart Stop Technology (SST).

Base price for the Prius c One is $18,950 MSRP. The Prius c Two adds a 6-speaker audio system, variable intermittent windshield wipers, a 60/40 split fold-down rear seat, cruise control, and comes at a $19,900 MSRP. The Prius c Three adds the features listed above, and comes at a $21,635 MSRP. The Prius c Four has 15-inch, 8-spoke alloy wheels, Softex-trimmed heated front seats, and comes at a $23,230 MSRP.

By comparison MSRP for the regular Prius Liftback ranges from $24,000 for the Prius Two model to $29,805 for Prius Five.


Rob (not verified)    February 9, 2012 - 5:44PM

I find it a little odd they don't at least have a plug in option. You would think a vehicle being targeted for inner city residents would be a perfect candidate. City dwellers tend to make very short trips on average and have a low daily driving distance, much shorter than the daily driving national average of 39 miles. You would think therefore that a plug in hybrid with a modest battery only range of around 20-30 miles would provide emissions free EV driving for the vast majority of their commuting but with the advantage of the hybrid drivetrain to provide ICE grade convenience for the odd weekend or longer trip. Imagine the benefits to inner city air quality alone if the residents cars only produced tailpipe emissions once they left the city.