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2014 Toyota Prius c Preview

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Pros: When it comes to efficiency, maneuverability, low running costs and a solid reputation for reliable hybrid-car ownership, the Toyota Prius c is a tough choice to beat. A 4.8-meter turning radius helps make this model ideal for a city dweller after a nimble and flexible compact boasting premium features and a not-so-big pricetag. Prius c is one of the latest new models in the award-winning Prius lineup.

Cons: Prius c’s small size and limited output may scratch it off of the lists of some shoppers right off the bat. No manual transmission is available to help fans of shifting their own gears save money on the purchase price. Further, some must-have options, including split-folding seats and variable intermittent wipers aren’t standard.

Toyota Prius c
Photo: Toyota

2014 Toyota Prius c Pricing: Pricing starts from $20,440 with standard Bluetooth, power accessories, automatic climate control and USB audio input. An upgrade package is available, adding premium seats, a leather-covered dash, upgraded audio, cruise control, split-folding rear seats and more. With the Technology Package, Prius c will relieve shoppers of $23,145 in exchange for a Display Audio system with Navigation, 15-inch wheels, push-button start, keyless entry, satellite radio and more. From that basis, shoppers can devise the ultimate Prius c by adding the Premium package, which fits premium SofTex material over the seats and steering wheel, seat heaters, a power moonroof, fog lamps and more.

2014 Toyota Prius c Fuel Economy: With 99 hybrid horsepower on tap, Prius c sips its way along—using as little as 3.6L/100km and drastically reducing harmful emissions in the process.

Improvements and Changes: For 2014, the recently-launched Prius c carries over unchanged.

Don’t Miss: the drive modes. At the touch of a button, drivers can activate ‘ECO’ mode, which recalibrates climate controls and throttle response to help maximize fuel efficiency. Further, an ‘EV’ mode allows for all-electric driving for up to one kilometer if speeds stay below 40 km/h. The drive modes are employed to help drivers extract the most benefit from the Prius c’s Hybrid Synergy Drive powerplant.

2014 Toyota Prius c Powertrain: Toyota engineers revisited the award-winning Hybrid Synergy Drive system for its use in the compact Prius c, redesigning and down-scaling key components to be smaller and lighter for improved efficiency. Heavy powertrain components, like the engine, transaxle and power control unit, are strategically placed within the Prius c to optimize weight balance. At the heart of the system is a 1.5 litre Atkinson Cycle four-cylinder gasoline engine teamed with a smooth, fuel-saving CVT transmission.

Safety: Like all Toyota models, the Prius c includes the STAR safety system as standard equipment, regardless of trim grade. Toyota’s STAR safety system includes six active safety technologies: Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), an Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA) and Smart Stop Technology (SST). The various systems all play a role in maintaining driver control, helping to avoid altogether. Should one prove inevitable, advanced airbags and a crash-optimized body structure provide protection, as does instantaneous shut-down of high-voltage hybrid system components.

Comparables: Though Prius c has no direct competitors, it’s ideally cross-shopped with other city-friendly, high-efficiency compacts like the Fiat 500, Smart fortwo, Mini Cooper and Scion iQ.