Feels Like the Original Honda Insight - 2012 Toyota Prius c Long-Term Road Test

2012 Toyota Prius c Long-Term Road Test

2012 Toyota Prius C: Feels Like the Original Honda Insight

April 16, 2013

2012 Toyota Prius C

Every time I drive our Toyota Prius C it reminds me of a long-term car from some time ago, the original Honda Insight. We had one back in those days and it was considered ahead of its time in terms of technology.

It was kind of fun to drive in an odd way. For one, it was a stick shift, so it would turn on and off as you depressed the clutch pedal at a stop. It was also very small and low, so you really felt like you were in the world's more elaborate recumbent bicycle.

But all those things were just minor quirks compared to the Insight's most noticeable feature, its lightness. Everything on that car was trimmed to the bone to boost the car's mileage. Our Prius C isn't quite so extreme, but it's pretty tinny as modern cars go. Whether you're closing the door or rolling over a pothole, this Prius feels like it's had every last ounce of weight sucked out of it.

The result is a car that feels a bit cheap even though it's well built. If you can put up with that in the name of great mileage, this Prius won't bother you a bit. Personally, I would rather give up some MPGs in the name of refinement.

Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor @ 12,597 miles


  • bc1960 bc1960 Posts:

    Probably a big reason why 'Consumer Reports' thinks you should buy a used Prius instead of a new Prius C. But with the hybrid power train it's still 200 lb heavier than the Yaris which has similar basic structure. TMV is higher than invoice, while a lot of ICE subcompacts are under.

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    I've never driven a manual transmission hybrid. I imagine that the car shutting down every time I depressed the clutch coming to a stop would make me think I stalled the thing. Is that how it is and you just get used to it?

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    " Personally, I would rather give up some MPGs in the name of refinement. " There in a nutshell is a major reason why cars use so much gas despite all the advances in engine and transmission technology. Refinement means more weight, either in the structure or soundproofing materials.

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