2012 Toyota Prius C Long-Term Road Test

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2012 Toyota Prius C: 15,000-Mile Service

May 24, 2013

2012 Toyota Prius C

Our 2012 Toyota Prius C was due for its 15,000-mile service, so we dropped it off at the dealer yesterday afternoon. We called ahead to confirm the car could be ready for us by the end of the day. "Yes," we were told. Then we drove to Toyota of Santa Monica.

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2012 Toyota Prius C: Cheap to Keep

February 20, 2013

2012 Toyota Prius C

We recently brought in the Prius C for its 10,000-mile service, which essentially consisted of an oil change/filter and a 32-point inspection that included an eyeballing of other vital fluid levels and a check on brake wear.

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2012 Toyota Prius C: Feeling Free

September 20, 2012

Our Prius C was due for an oil change and tire rotation. We dropped it off at a local dealership without an appointment. It was ready about two hours later.

My favorite part was watching that rubber stamp come down on the invoice. Free is good.

Total Cost: Zero
Days Out of Service: Zero

Carroll Lachnit, Features Editor @6,980 miles

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2012 Toyota Prius C: Yeah, What Do You Want?

September 10, 2012

Upon start-up, the Prius C recently started showing this "Maintenance Required Soon" reminder message. Checking the maintenance guide book that came with the car, I see that it's essentially calling for the first (5,000 miles) service.

Because we opted to do the first oil change/tire rotation early (at 1,800 miles) and the Prius C's maintenance intervals occur every 5,000 miles, its "first" 5,000 mile service is therefore due at 6,800 miles. The latter consists of just a tire rotation and the visual inspections of fluid levels and brake pads/shoes.

Given how alarmingly few people actually look at their vehicle's owner's manuals, I'm all for these reminders.

John DiPietro, Automotive Editor @ 6,489 miles

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2012 Toyota Prius C: Early Oil Change

June 19, 2012

prius_C_service.JPG

Yesterday I took our 2012 Prius C to Michael Automotive Toyota (in Fresno, Calif.) for an early oil change/tire rotation (1,800 miles) before the first scheduled maintenance. This is something we're going to be trying out with more of our new long-term cars. The idea is that we'll be getting the oil as fresh as possible, as the first oil fill from the factory could collect metal shavings left over from either manufacturing or the break-in process.

We'll still be following the normal service schedule for the Prius, which incidentally doesn't have its first oil change until 10,000 miles. That change is also covered on the free Toyota Care maintenance program. However, we paid for this one. (It wasn't all that easy, either; the service department's computer wouldn't initially accept us paying for the first oil change.) Total for the oil change and tire rotation was $91.20.

So what do you think? Are we spending money on something that doesn't need to be done with this new procedure?

While my initial response would be "yes" to that second question, I also have to admit that I did an early oil change on my personal car at 1,000 miles, seeing it as a small price for extra piece-of-mind. Plus, we do a day of intrumented testing on all of our long-term vehicles early on in their service, and Mike Schmidt reminded me that all of our Blackstone first oil change samples came back saying we should have changed the oil sooner.

So from an actual ownership expense standpoint, it might not be all that far off the mark.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor

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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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