2012 Toyota Prius C Long Term Road Test

2012 Toyota Prius C: Fuel Economy Meter Accuracy

February 7, 2013

2012 Toyota Prius C

When we ran the Fuel Sipper Smackdown back in 2009, the 2010 Prius we used had an overly optimistic in-car MPG meter. On the soul-sucking city driving section of the test, that Prius' meter read 5.4 mpg over the actual results, which came to an 11-percent difference. On the backroad section, it reported 6.8 mpg over actual (14 percent).

Since there's not a lot to inspire me in our long-term Prius C, I invariably pay a lot of attention to its fuel economy. And that's the whole point of this car, right?

This weekend, I logged a decent amount of miles, with a lot of them on the hilly 5 Freeway north of Los Angeles. Because of our past experiences, I figured the Prius C was just as overly optimistic as the Fuel Sipper's Prius. The in-car meter read 45.7 mpg when I refueled Monday morning. Some quick calculations later, I found that the actual mileage came to 43.6 mpg. At about 5 percent off, that's not too bad in my opinion.

Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor @ 10,890 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