2012 Toyota Prius c Long-Term Road Test

2012 Toyota Prius C: These Wheels Are Simple for a Reason

June 6, 2013

2012 Toyota Prius C

Most people don't realize how much time and energy manufacturers go through when it comes to selecting wheels and tires for a car. Appearance is way down the priority list after more important things like strength, durability, price, ride quality and noise.

Clearly, the wheels on our Prius C were selected for their cost (steel) and aerodynamic properties (relatively smooth plastic wheel covers) while the tires were all about durability, minimal rolling resistance and noise. They're not a pretty combination, but this car is about maximum efficiency right?

Well, judging from the numerous Prius models I see on my daily commute, efficiency is secondary to their owners as more than half the Priuses I see have aftermarket wheels and tires on them. Yep, their owners spent all that money to get the most efficient car possible and then torpedo the whole thing with bigger, heavier wheels and stickier, low-profile tires.

Can't blame them for wanting to make their cars look better, but I'm guessing they have no idea how detrimental their vanity upgrades are to the efficiency of their Prius.

Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor @ 16,245 miles

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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