- The latest addition to Toyota's rapidly expanding Prius family is the entry-level Prius C.
- The Prius C goes on sale in the U.S. in March.
- The base sticker price will be around $19,000.
DETROIT — The latest addition to Toyota's rapidly expanding Prius family is the entry-level Prius C, which makes its U.S. debut at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show and goes on sale in March with a base sticker price of around $19,000.
The Prius C is a subcompact five-door hatchback that is smaller than the standard Prius hatchback — Toyota now calls it the Liftback — and the even longer Prius V crossover. The series also is adding a Prius Plug-In Hybrid model in the first quarter.
The Prius C is 19 inches shorter than the familiar Prius Liftback, and is 542 pounds lighter. Projected EPA fuel economy is 53 mpg in city driving and 46 mpg on the highway.
Based on the Japan-market Toyota Aqua, the Prius C is aimed at younger customers, including first-time hybrid buyers, and will be available in four trim levels. Among the standard features are automatic climate control, tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel with audio and climate controls, multi-information display, hands-free phone capability and a USB port with iPod connectivity.
The Prius C is equipped with a smaller version of the Prius Liftback's hybrid drive system, including a 73-horsepower 1.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and a 45kW electric motor, providing total system output of 99 hp.
Edmunds.com says: Meet the junior member of the Prius family.