2012 Toyota Prius c Long-Term Road Test


2012 Toyota Prius C: Compressed Carmax Closeout

June 18, 2013

2012 Toyota Prius C

I was aiming for a "three-peat" of selling long-term cars to employees (our Lexus ES300 and our Jeep Wrangler were the other two), but the 2012 Toyota Prius C broke the streak. Its private party True Market Value of $19,500 was a bit too close to the price of a new model. After a week, there were no takers among Edmunds employees and it was time to move on.

This meant it was time to take it to Carmax. The week prior, the trade-in TMV was $18,305. I re-ran the TMV appraisal to get a fresh number and was surprised to see that trade-in TMV had dropped by about $650. Edmunds adjusts its used TMV on a weekly basis to account for any changes in the market. In this case, the re-evaluation coincided with our selling process.

The new trade-in TMV was $17,649. Take a guess on what Carmax offered before you click over to the next page.

Carmax offered us $18,000, which was $351 above trade-in TMV. After a day of mulling it over, we decided to take the offer. The 18 grand that Carmax offered was about $1,000 less than the price of a new base model Prius C. Ours was a "Three" trim level with options, so it's not really an apples-to-apples comparison, but many people shopping for a car might not look at it that way. Unless we priced the car at $18,500 and held firmly to that price, it wouldn't be worth our time to handle this as a private party sale.

As far as depreciation goes, I would give the car a C+. Fitting isn't it? We paid $22,701 (plus tax and title) for the car, which means it depreciated about 21 percent. Our long-term fleet average is around 22 percent.

And so this compact city crawler leaves our fleet. It delivered on the promise of excellent fuel economy at a low price, but it never quite inspired our editors to take it out all that often. Consequently, we came up short on our 20,000 mileage goal.

Final Odometer: 16,664

Ronald Montoya, Consumer Advice Editor

Comments

  • jeepsrt jeepsrt Posts:

    We just sold my Brother's 2010 Raptor Supercab base with sunroof and the small 5.4L V8 with 20k miles to Carmax for $35,000. He paid $37,400 for it new 3 years ago so it held it's value really well.

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    I have no proof, but I pinky swear I mentally guessed $18K before I hit the jump.

  • throwback throwback Posts:

    I'm guessing Priuses retain their value better in Cali better anywhere else.

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    So are you factoring in the under-17k odometer reading in awarding your C+? 21% depreciation looks pretty damn ordinary for a Prius in Southern California. Plus there were no takers among Edmunds staffers or, I would extrapolate, their spouses, etc. Wow - I feel a change in the Earth's orbit.

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

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

$131 per month*
* Explanation
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