2012 Toyota Prius c Long-Term Road Test

2012 Toyota Prius C: Beyond Squishy

May 20, 2013

2012 Toyota Prius C

My brother drives a 2012 Toyota Prius V and loves it except for one thing: the driving experience is "squishy." By that he means the soft suspension and the disconnected feeling of the CVT. My brother says the squishy feeling doesn't bother him because he's getting amazing fuel economy.

I took our Prius C to reacquaint myself with the driving experience of this little hybrid and here's my open email to my brother.

Hey Pete: I took the Edmunds' Prius C and I agree with you about the squishy ride. It's not noticeable until you really ask it to accelerate hard or pass a slower car. Then the whirring is pretty irritating and makes it feel even slower than it really is. Your Prius V has a bigger engine so it's probably not this bad. But, like you, most people are going to use this as a commuter car and they'll be stuck in traffic with nothing to look at except the readout that says they're getting 51 mpg. That will make them feel good.

As you know, I've been commuting for the past two years in a Nissan Leaf and I like the ride quality of it a lot. Although both cars are "green" the Leaf couldn't be more different. It's not actually fast but it feels quick and responsive. And it doesn't have a CVT. In fact, it doesn't have any transmission at all. So, for the 75 miles of range I get, I'll really enjoy it. After that, I'll wish I had a Prius.

Safe driving, Phil

Philip Reed, Senior Consumer Advice Editor @ 15,556 miles

Research Models


Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2012 Toyota Prius c in VA is:

$131 per month*
* Explanation