2012 Toyota Prius c Long-Term Road Test

2012 Toyota Prius C: It Really Does Do 50 MPG

April 22, 2013

2012 Toyota Prius C

Until I drove this long-termer, I hadn't driven a Toyota Prius since before 2000. It was a right-hand-drive, pre-production model, so back then the car was more a novelty than anything else. For the last few years my driving experience has mostly been with European machinery, and frankly, it's sort of made me a snob. I approached the Prius C looking down my nose at it.

My personal ride is a Volkswagen TDI that does no worse than 38 mpg in the city, which I always thought was pretty great, so I set out determined to prove that this hybrid wasn't so superior to my own car in terms of fuel economy. I mean, how much better could it possibly be?

I wasn't going for any kind of hyper-mile excursion to try and wring every last possible mile out of the gallon. I wanted to drive the Prius just like I'd drive my car: freeway driving and a lot of puttering around town. I logged 271.1 miles in the process of burning a half tank of fuel. Afterward, I topped the tank with 5.292 gallons of gas. By doing the simple math, you can see that my stint driving around town netted 51.228 mpg overall.

Simply put, the Prius whooped the TDI's butt and I stand corrected.

Karl Funke, Associate Vehicle Coordinator @ 16,040 miles

Most Recommended Comments

By motorstreet
on 04/22/13
3:41 PM PST

My TDI gets 55mpg on the highway, is a very high quality car, cost less than a loaded Prius c, doesn't feel dangerous, has tons of space, is fun fun to drive, has a real transmission, I could continue for pages. The Prius C might be more fuel efficient in the city, but that is literally the only thing it does better than a TDI. Good city mileage is this car's only strength and that is why it's a truly awful car.

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