Toyota Prius c 2018
Used 2018 Toyota Prius c
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Specs & Features
If you’re looking for ultimate fuel economy for your money, you’ll like the 2018 Toyota Prius C. The hatchback is America’s least expensive hybrid and there isn’t another subcompact available that can match its fuel-economy ratings of 48-mpg city and 43 mpg on the highway. The Prius C also has a stellar reputation for reliability and comes standard with many high-tech active-safety systems.
Some may find the new 2018 Toyota Prius C too small for family use. They should consider the larger and more fuel-efficient Prius, which costs a few thousand dollars more, as well as the new Kia Niro and Hyundai Ioniq hybrids. Both are larger than the Prius C and start around $23,000.
What’s New for 2018
For 2018 the Toyota Prius C hybrid hatchback gets an updated look with sporting intentions. Toyota has added SUV-inspired black roof rails, black side rockers and black wheelwell moldings as well as lower-body guards with silver accents. Toyota has also added a standard rearview camera to all Prius C models.
2018 Toyota Prius C Expert Review
With a 48-mpg fuel-economy rating in the city, the 2018 Toyota Prius C is America’s most fuel-efficient subcompact. The comfortable and sporty 4-door hatchback is also Toyota’s smallest and most affordable hybrid with a starting price just over $21,000. For 2018, Toyota has updated the exterior design, giving it some sporty black trim and a more rugged small-SUV vibe in the process. It has also added a rearview camera to the Prius C’s extensive list of standard safety equipment, which includes a Pre-Collision System with autonomous braking, Lane Departure Alert and Automatic High Beam headlights. Four trim levels are available, which Toyota has lazily named One, Two, Three and Four. Key competitors include the Toyota’s larger Prius, which starts around $24,000, and non-hybrids like the Ford Fiesta, Chevy Sonic and Honda Fit.
Toyota says the “C” in Prius C stands for “city,” and that’s where this little hybrid hatchback earns its money. In the congested urban sprawl of Los Angeles, the 2018 Prius C is fun to fling around with a playful chassis and precise steering. It feels sturdy, offers impressive agility and it’s confident in the curves. And its compact size makes it easy to maneuver in traffic and you can park it almost anywhere. It’s not as sporty as a Mazda3 or Honda Fit, but the Prius C isn’t a bore either, and the ride is comfortable, even over the potholes of West L.A. If only it had a bit more oomph for passing and merging. Acceleration is adequate, with a satisfying jump off the line. But the hybrid’s 99 horsepower can offer only so much thrust, so 0-60 mph takes a leisurely 12 seconds, and highway passing can be a roll of the dice.
TOYOTA SAFETY SENSE P
Standard on every 2018 Toyota Prius C is the brand’s Safety Sense P suite of driver assists. It includes Lane Departure Alert, Automatic High Beam headlights and Toyota’s Pre-Collision System with autonomous braking, which first warns you of a potential forward collision and will then apply the brakes for you if you do not take evasive action.
In standard driving mode, the 2018 Toyota Prius C achieves awesome fuel economy and qualifies as a Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (SULEV). But the hatchback offers the driver two other modes to help improve that performance. In Eco mode, the powertrain’s parameters are retuned for ultimate efficiency, and in EV mode the Prius C can be driven emissions-free for one-half mile.
Far from bare-bones, the 2018 Toyota Prius C subcompact offers the standard Prius’ center-mounted gauges, which take a little getting used to, and multifunction steering wheel that carry over directly from the larger Prius liftback. The Prius C has comfortable and supportive seats up front, and a back seat that’s good for two adults or three kids. Those rear seats fold to nearly double the 17.1-cubic-foot cargo area. Fit/finish is admirable, but there are more hard plastics than we normally like to see. Visibility is excellent, and the futuristic shape of the dashboard and climate controls is kinda cool.
With the Prius hybrid and plug-in Prius Prime taking on radical styling cues seemingly brought back from an apocalyptic future by Doc Brown, Toyota has taken a more sporty and conservative approach to the design of the new Prius C. And it’s the best-looking of the bunch. For 2018 the small hatchback gets an updated look with SUV-inspired black roof rails, black side rockers and black wheelwell moldings as well as lower-body guards with silver accents. It works, while its sweeping headlights with standard LEDs and distinctive taillights remain firmly rooted in the Prius design language, and the «boomerang»’ shape within the rear doors is unique.
Like other Prius models, the 2018 Toyota Prius C hybrid comes in trim levels designated by spelled-out numbers. The Prius C One comes with standard LED headlights, power mirrors, Entune audio, Toyota Safety Sense-C, a rearview camera, automatic climate control, cloth seats and Bluetooth phone controls. Prius C Two models add cruise control and a center-console storage compartment, while Prius Three models get push-button start. Prius C Four models get heated faux-leather seats and a power moonroof. Audio systems all include a 6.1-inch touch-screen display and USB input, but Three and Four models get navigation and a few other amenities.
Because of the 4-tier model lineup, individual options are sparse for the 2018 Prius C hybrid, and are confined to the Three and Four models. The Prius C Three model can be fitted with a power moonroof, and the Four model can be upgraded with 16-inch alloy wheels.
Lift the hood, and the 2018 Toyota Prius C will look familiar to any Prius driver. Using a smaller version of the Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive found in the larger Prius, the Prius C teams a 73-horsepower, 1.5-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine with a 60-horsepower electric motor energized by a compact nickel-metal hydride battery located beneath the rear seat. It combines for a peak of 99 horsepower, sending it through a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) to the front wheels. Normal, Eco and EV drive modes let drivers amp up the thriftiness, from Normal’s already good settings to Eco’s subtle adjustments of throttle response and climate control to maximize efficiency. The EV takes gasoline completely out of the equation for short periods of time at speeds below 25 mph.
73 horsepower @ 4,800 rpm
82 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
45-kilowatt electric motor
60 horsepower, 125 lb-ft of torque
Total System output: 99 horsepower
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 48/43 mpg
Toyota Prius C 2018 Review
Toyota and Australia’s most affordable hybrid has failed to keep up with the times
In May 2012 I reviewed the Toyota Prius C hybrid. It was a great little city runabout. What’s changed since then? Very little. It’s still Australia’s cheapest hybrid car, but it feels anachronistic in a world where plug-in hybrids are becoming common. Toyota’s compact five-door hatchback is affordable and although basic, the hybrid technology is effective at times. This top-spec Toyota Prius C i-Tech costs $26,540 (plus ORCs).
I really enjoy driving hybrids and EVs. It’s strangely gratifying to employ hyper-miling techniques to get fuel economy as low as possible. Unless you’re driving the Toyota Prius C…
This is an underwhelming car on so many levels, that it becomes challenging to recommend. Even to muesli-munching hippies and born-again solar panel acolytes.
As far as engine refinement and advancement of technology goes, the Toyota Prius C is a laggard.
The engine is very noisy and there’s with vibration and harshness at levels not usually associated with a Japanese brand. This is especially noticeable when the car switches out of the complete silence of EV mode. The coarse rattle of the feeble 54kW 1.5-litre petrol engine is not pleasant, as the car’s stunted brain decides it’s time to charge the battery.
Combined, the petrol engine and electric motor conspire to develop 74kW.
The Prius C’s interior looks and feels cheap, there’s no Apple CarPlay, no Android Auto and no five-year warranty to fall back on should things start to rattle themselves apart, either.
Fuel economy was pretty good, seeing as low as 4.5L/100km on some daily commutes but even when you hit the ‘EV Mode’ button the car barely covers one kilometre one a full battery charge.
Yep, even in EV mode you have to treat the accelerator pedal with caution. The indignant beep telling the driver «excessive acceleration» has reinstated the fossil-fuelled engine is perhaps the most insulting experience one can encounter behind the wheel of a car.
After being launched in Australia in March 2012, the Toyota Prius C was updated in August 2017 with an updated exterior design, new colours (Hornet Yellow Aquamarine), and improved standard features, such as a 6.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system.
Toyota call the Prius C Australia’s most affordable hybrid, priced from $24,040 for the base model. This ‘i-Tech’ version is the top-spec model and it gets a few more features that the boggo model, such as LED headlights, satellite navigation and 15-inch alloy wheels.
Despite the upgrade there’s no getting away from the fact that this is a seven-year-old car.
If you engage the ‘brake’ gearing mode, where extra engine braking supposedly recoups energy for the battery, you’ll find it is about as affective as a bucket of water in a fire storm, the car is so smart it won’t even work with the cruise control.
The temperature control dial felt cheap when rotated and although the digital temperature display and the triangular motif around the controls adds a touch of modernity, there is a sense of cost-cutting in this car.
The ‘i-Tech’ designation of this Prius C is an oxymoron, given that the car has very little in the way of anything resembling modern technology. It’s sorely lacking in semi-automated driving tech, such as adaptive cruise control or lane keep assistance. It can’t park itself and adding insult to injury there’s no parking sensors.
It was a surprise to find a rear-facing camera.
The centrally-mounted instrument display may have been novel seven years ago but it in practice it is distracting, taking your eyes slightly away from straight ahead, where you should be looking. A head-up display would remedy this.
Bluetooth phone conversations are challenging in the Prius C. The microphones must have been sourced back in 2012 because the audio quality for receivers of calls from the car (via iPhone 8 in this review) is below average. Boot space is also pretty tight at 260 litres.
Rubberised buttons on the steering wheel add splash-proofing and I enjoyed the gamification elements available in the trip computer that add a neat visual element to driving efficiently. But the speedometer looks like it was hand-crafted in the ‘80s and the refresh rate is appalling, which poses risks to your wallet and license.
This particular model has fake leather seats which actually feel very cushy in a Lexus kind of way. Given that seats are one of the most important elements of a car’s interior, it helps the otherwise dated interior claw back some credibility.
2017 Toyota Prius C Pricing & Specs
Read what Toyota Prius C owners think
Read more Toyota Prius C news & reviews
Driving Australia’s dumbest hybrid
Up and running, the Toyota Prius C gets the job done. There’s no charm and no character to this vehicle, just a diligent attitude. The CVT has the pulse of a zombie and combines with the raspy engine to create a dull experience.
But when the engine switches off and the electric motor takes over it’s quite a treat, the car’s gentler side coming to the fore.
Being a Toyota it’s likely to be very reliable which is a good thing, especially considering the three-year warranty is now border-line unacceptable in today’s cut-throat new car market.
In terms of fuel economy I ended my week long test with the ageing hybrid at 4.8L/100km.
During my time in the car I got it as low as 4.5L/100km and during the daily commute across the Westgate Bridge in Melbourne. I found outward vision to be pretty good front and side, which is handy when you’re surrounded by massive SUVs and trucks.
However, when you perform a head check, really big C-pillars obscure your vision. Again, technology to add extra ‘eyes’ in the car would have been handy.
One of the best things about the car is ride comfort. It’s very smooth on rough roads, over speed bumps and on dirt roads. A tight turning circle makes it very handy in built-up areas and it’s a doddle to park.
Just don’t throw it through roundabout too quickly because it rolls and pitches like a small boat in a large storm.
The hybrid system in the Prius C is unimpressive. The 12-volt Nickel Nickel-Metal Hydride battery that lives under the rear seat takes a long time to charge, chiefly from the engine revving noisily (you cannot plug it in). It also discharges very quickly, unable to go for more than a kilometre or so by our measure.
Acceleration is pretty good for a car of this size, when electric and petrol combine, but when pushed the 1.5-litre petrol is like a drunken sailor – loud and course. Words like raw and unrefined spring to mind.
Given the Prius nameplate is one of Toyota’s – and indeed the world’s – most recognisable hybrid brands, the company has dropped the ball with this car.
The hybrid system is fundamentally the same as the original Prius that launched in 1997 – more than 20 years ago. Toyota used to be a leader in the hybrid field but now it’s lagging, at least in its offerings to the Australian car-buying public given that it still doesn’t offer a plug-in hybrid version of the Prius like in other countries.
I really enjoyed what this car brought to the table in 2012 but automotive technology accelerates at an incredible a pace and the Prius C has been left behind.
2018 Toyota Prius C i-Tech pricing and specifications:
Price: $26,540 (plus on-road costs)
Engine: 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol/electric hybrid
Transmission: Continuously variable
Fuel: 4.8L/100km (as tested)
CO2: 90g/km (ADR Combined)
Safety Rating: Five-star ANCAP (2014)
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2018 Toyota Prius c
- Fuel economy
- Lower price than regular Prius
- Hatchback versatility
- Easy-to-use multimedia system
- Highway acceleration
- Road noise
- Unnatural-feeling brakes
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2018 Toyota Prius c Review
from the Cars.com expert editorial team
What it is: The subcompact Prius c hybrid is a smaller alternative to the regular Prius. C stands for «city,» and the Prius c is a four-door hatchback that competes with high-mileage subcompacts like the Hyundai Accent, Ford Fiesta and Chevrolet Sonic.
A backup camera is now standard.
What drivers are saying
Read reviews that mention:
So cheap to run and all the modern conveniences.
by Joel from Fullerton, CA on July 15, 2020
A straight forward economy car to save money but it is very comfortable and fun to drive because it’s so light. The gas savings at almost 50mpg are amazing. Read full review
Cool little transportation unit is this.
by Mainer from Monroe, ME on June 20, 2019
So, our 2nd c. This little bugger has wheels (a 2), is sandstorm colored, has rails on the roof (like you’d ever carry much on it) and is just a great little car to drive. Our other car is a newish . Read full review
Recalls and crash tests
The 2018 Toyota Prius c currently has 2 recalls
Crash and Rollover Test Ratings
Based on 2018 Toyota Prius c One
IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.
Child Seat Anchors (Latch)
Head Restraints and Seats
Moderate overlap front
Small Overlap Front — Driver Side
New car and certified pre-owned programs by Toyota
New Car Program Benefits
36 months / 36,000 miles
60 months / 60,000 miles
24 months / unlimited distance
Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits
7 yrs./100k miles powertrain (whichever comes first)
Basic Warranty Terms
12 mos./12k miles (whichever comes first)
7 years/100,000 miles
Dealer Certification Required
Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?
Compare the Competitors
Latest 2018 Prius c Stories
2018-2019 Toyota Prius c: Recall Alert
Vehicles Affected: Approximately 460 model-year 2018-19 Toyota Prius c hybrids The Problem: The DC-DC converter may fail, resulting in the battery no longer receiving power from . Read more
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CARS.COM — If your New Year’s resolution includes plans to trade that ol’ rust bucket in on a new vehicle, you came to the right place. (If those plans also involve a . Read more
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What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?
Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.
What is a Powertrain warranty?
Don’t be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn’t promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don’t cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.
What is included in Roadside Assistance?
Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).
What other services could be included in a warranty?
Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.
What does CPO mean?
A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.
2018 Toyota Prius C
CREATED WITH THE BIG CITY IN MIND
As the smallest member of the Prius family, the new 2018 Prius c makes the most out of every situation. Its low centre of gravity design and 9.6 metre turning circle not only deliver agile and responsive handling but also make parking in the most challenging of spaces incredibly easy. Whether you’re heading out for a night of fun or you’re configuring the seats to transport all of your gear, Prius c will always make the most out of any situation.
Refreshed sporty exterior
Get behind the wheel and get away with a fresh look. Prius c’s smart tech and versatility will help you make your escape, while the expressive details and wide array of eye-popping colors are the perfect way to amp up any adventure.
Hatchback Utility & Cargo Capacity
Prius c serves up cargo space aplenty. With 484 L of cargo capacity — that’s enough for four golf bags or snowboards. For added flexibility, the Prius c Upgrade Package and Prius c Technology feature 60/40 split-fold rear seats.
AVAILABLE FEATURES: Display Audio System w/available Navigation | Multi-Information Display w/ECO Monitor | Available Touch Tracer Display | Backup Camera | Push Button Start/Smart Key System | Available Heated Front Seats w/SofTex® Trim | 60/40 Split Rear Seats | Available Power Moonroof | Power Adjustable Heated Mirrors
The available moonroof on the Prius Technology package sports both «tilt» and «slide» functionality with one-touch convenience.
Watch the Moonroof Video
The 2018 Prius c features an all-new front fascia that includes a far more pronounced front grille. A nimble athletic drive results from a wider base and sleeker roofline than previous generations. Delivering a drag coefficient of 0.28, an effortless experience when maneuvering through the city awaits.
Touch Tracer Controls
To help you easily see if you’re pressing the right button on the steering mounted switches, Prius c Technology adds the advanced convenience of touch tracer controls, displaying a duplicate image on the standard 3.5» LCD screen.
Choose Your Drive Mode
To help get the most out of every litre of fuel, Prius c offers two additional drive modes. ECO-mode reduces overall energy consumption by controlling climate control and throttle, while EV-mode lets you drive on electric power alone for up to a kilometre when traveling below 40 km/h.
2018 Toyota Prius C review
Pros and Cons
- One of the best real-world frugal runarounds
- Consumption claim is matchable in urban driving
- Decent comfort in different situations
- Too expensive in a class of frugal city cars
- Lacking some expected equipment
- Noisy inside – wind, rain, road and engine intrusion
How about that colour? I told you, guys – aqua is back, baby! No, I’m not referring to the JDM moniker for this car (it’s called the Toyota Aqua in Japan), but the Aquamarine paint on the just-updated 2018 Toyota Prius C, which actually gets more than just a lick of paint in this, its latest iteration.
The new-look Prius C model sees a raft of changes as part of its 2018 update – which can’t really be its mid-life update, since the car has been around since 2011… so it should almost be reaching the end of its life, eh Toyota?
Still, the changes to its styling – including a new front bumper, more aggressive grille, restyled headlights, new LED tail-lights and the addition of a rear spoiler – all work to freshen it up somewhat. There’s also the addition of two new hero colours: the Aquamarine you see here, and Hornet Yellow (like this C-HR).
The entry-level model still gets halogen headlights, which seems a bit dumb for a tech-focused car, and even more daft when the high-spec i-Tech has LEDs. And plastic wheel covers? Really? If I bought one of these, the first thing I’d do is pull those grey Frisbees off and roll along on black steelies.
That’s not all seemingly missing from this entry grade – or, in fact, any grade of the Prius C.
Unlike its little, non-hybrid brother, the Yaris, this newly updated variant still goes without active safety technologies such as autonomous emergency braking (AEB) and lane departure warning, both of which can be had in the Yaris… for less money. The Prius C has seven airbags (dual front, front-side, full-length curtain, and driver’s knee) and a rear-view camera.
On that topic, the 2018 Prius C also comes with a jump in price, now selling for $24,040 plus on-road costs for this entry grade version – so it’s still the most affordable hybrid you can buy in Australia, and while there are some shortcomings, there are some notable additions to the cabin. Read the full pricing and specs story here.
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The newly added 6.1-inch infotainment system with satellite navigation and SUNA live traffic updates, is a huge step up from the old system, though it pales in comparison to the best systems you can get around this price point.
It lacks the latest smartphone app mirroring technology, but does have Toyota Link apps, and the requisite Bluetooth phone and audio streaming with voice control tech. That system is simple enough to use, but doesn’t let you pair phones, choose contacts or input numbers on the move, a common bugbear with Toyotas.
Further, there’s a new 4.2-inch driver information screen with digital speedometer, and while the trims and finishes throughout the interior have been redone to make it feel a little less drab – the piano black finishes add a shiny aspect here and there – it still isn’t overly loveable inside, with hard plastics abounding.
There are some thoughtful points, like huge cupholders under the centre stack area, bottle holders in the front doors, and a small covered armrest between the front seats. But, in the back seat there is only one map pocket, and a flip-down cupholder that extends from the back of the armrest up front. No vents, no door pocket storage, no flip-down centre armrest integrated into the rear seat. However, the amount of space back there is pretty excellent for the class, with a six-footer easily able to slot behind someone of the same size.
But, if you’re paying this much for a car this small, you’d probably expect things like automatic wipers and headlights, both of which are absent here. You don’t even get daytime running lights.
And if you were thinking of spending this much money in order to save money on fuel, you’d be a bit of a fool. Not that the Prius C isn’t ultra-efficient – because its petrol-electric hybrid system (combining a 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine producing 54kW with a 45kW electric motor, for a maximum combined power output of 74kW) is super-duper efficient in the real world.
The claimed consumption remains at 3.9L/100km on the combined cycle, and in reality you will be able to achieve that in urban driving. We did, on numerous occasions.
Where the Prius C doesn’t make as much sense is for long-distance, open-road commuters. Fuel use tends to rise when you hit the open road, as the battery pack and regenerative brakes work less to lower the consumption of petrol.
For context, we saw 4.4L/100km on the open road – still respectable – but urban driving is where this thing does its thing.
Its performance is more suited to urban running, too – the little hatchback gets away from a standstill pretty quick, but once you hit 50km/h it starts to lose momentum. The continuously variable transmission is adept at dealing with getting to that sort of speed, and holding it up hills and down, but it’s a really noisy drivetrain.
The engine/CVT drone is accompanied by all manner of grunts, groans and buzzes from the car’s complicated electrical hardware, and the noise intrusion just gets worse the faster the car is moving. At 100km/h there’s an inordinate amount of noise in the cabin, be it from tyre roar, wind or drivetrain whinge. And when a storm hits, the rain noise is akin to being under a tin roof – one that just happens to be a few centimetres from your head.
Whether you’re going fast or slow, you can feel the road surface beneath you. In fact, it’s almost as though you can pick out every little rock in the hot-mix, such is the level of vibration that can be felt in the cabin. Some people – like me – may find this kind of comforting: it makes you feel connected to the road. Others may hate it.
Most, though, will likely take issue with the brake pedal feel, which is hard to judge at times, and the fact the Prius C can get blown around in crosswinds.
But there are some plusses to the way the Prius C drives. The steering is accurate and decently responsive, particularly when parking, and the ride is well sorted for a car that weighs in at just 1140 kilograms despite its hybrid hardware. There’s some body roll in tighter bends at higher speeds, and the stability control system is a bit over-active, but in all likelihood that’s not the sort of driving this car will encounter.
We’ve established that, for city-dwellers, it’ll run on the smell of an oily rag – and maintaining the Prius C is anything but costly.
Services are due every six months/10,000km, which may be something of an inconvenience, but with a capped cost of $140 per visit for the first three years/60,000km worth of maintenance, it’s an affordable ownership prospect. It is covered by a three-year/100,000km warranty, but the battery is covered by an eight-year/160,000km plan.
Look, it serves a very niche purpose in the market, one that will appeal only to a very niche buyer. And for that buyer, the Prius C is a likeable and honest little car.
But for the rest of us, there’s the Corolla Hybrid, or the regular Prius… and that’s if you need a hybrid. If you consider just how far petrol engine efficiency has come in recent years, it’s hard to find a truly compelling reason to buy a Prius C over a similarly sized city car like the Volkswagen Polo.
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