Used 2012 Toyota Prius c Hatchback

Used Prius c for sale
List Price Range:$6,590 - $10,988
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Toyota Prius c model years
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2012 Toyota Prius c appraisal values can range from $3,266 - $8,586.
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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Stellar fuel economy
  • favorable pricing
  • roomy interior
  • fairly sporty for a hybrid.
  • Ride can be stiff over some roads
  • poor interior materials quality
  • noticeable wind noise
  • slow acceleration.

With a smaller footprint and price to match, the 2012 Toyota Prius C should appeal to a whole new range of buyers. Not only does it drive more like a normal car, it's the only subcompact hatchback out there that gets 50 mpg.

Vehicle overview

The Toyota Prius is undoubtedly the poster child of hybrid vehicles. While it wasn't the first hybrid sold in America, it is the most popular and recognizable among the green car segment. Likely bolstering this trend will be the 2012 Toyota Prius C. The "C" stands for city, as this smaller and lighter Prius is touted by Toyota as "an urban-friendly vehicle with an engaging driving experience [and] hatchback utility." While we generally disregard manufacturer positioning statements like these as marketing speak, it's actually a pretty apt description.

The 2012 Toyota Prius C represents the fourth model in the family, joining the conventional Prius (now referred to as the liftback), the Prius Plug-in Hybrid and the larger Prius V. Compared to the Prius liftback, the new Prius C measures about 19 inches shorter lengthwise and 2 inches shorter in height and width, making it slightly bigger than the subcompact Toyota Yaris. It's also more than 500 pounds lighter, which is particularly advantageous for fuel economy and handling.

Under its skin, the Prius C utilizes a similar hybrid powertrain, but with less Prius to push around, it too, has been downsized. The gasoline engine has been reduced from 1.8 liters of displacement to 1.5, and the dual electric motors are also smaller, with reduced output. Combined, the system produces 99 horsepower, compared to the liftback's 134 hp. This all contributes to the Prius C's very impressive fuel economy rating of 53 mpg city/46 mpg highway and 50 mpg in combined driving.

It's worth noting that this is little different from the regular Prius liftback's 51/48/50 mpg rating. However, the C's sticker price starts in the $19,000 range, about $4,000 less than the Prius liftback. And for this outlay you still get a fairly roomy interior, decent utility and improved driving dynamics.

On the downside, the Prius C isn't quite as refined. The ride quality is a bit harsh at times, for instance, and the interior has an overabundance of hard plastics, giving the C a definite economy-car feel. But overall we think the 2012 Toyota Prius C's strengths outweigh its weaknesses. It handily beats its closest competitors in terms of price, it's ahead of the Honda CR-Z and Insight in terms of fuel economy, and it has a nice price advantage over the regular Prius. If you're looking for a budget-friendly vehicle with superior fuel economy and a city-friendly size, the Prius C should work out well.

2012 Toyota Prius c models

The 2012 Toyota Prius C is a subcompact hybrid that is offered in numbered trim from One to Four. The base Prius C One comes with 15-inch steel wheels, automatic climate control, power windows, remote keyless entry, a folding rear seat, a 3.5-inch multifunction display, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player with a USB/iPod interface.

The Prius C Two adds cruise control, a height-adjustable driver seat, a center console storage bin and armrest, 60/40 split-folding rear seats, a cargo cover and a six-speaker sound system. Upgrading to the Prius C Three gets you a 6.1-inch touchscreen with navigation, keyless ignition/entry, satellite radio and voice control. Also included is Toyota's Entune smartphone integration system that adds Bing search functions, streaming Internet audio and traffic, sports and stock information. Alloy wheels are available as an option.

The range-topping Four adds alloy wheels, heated mirrors, foglights, faux leather upholstery and heated front seats. Options for the Four include 16-inch wheels and quicker-ratio steering. A sunroof is available on both the Three and Four.

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2012 Highlights

The 2012 Toyota Prius C is an all-new model.

Performance & mpg

The 2012 Toyota Prius C is powered by a similar hybrid powertrain as its bigger Prius siblings, albeit downsized a bit. A 1.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine produces 73 hp and 82 pound-feet of torque, while a pair of electric motor/generators supply an additional 60 hp. The gas engine acts as a main propulsion source as well as a generator to charge the nickel-metal hydride batteries. The electric motors also contribute to propulsion and charge the battery under deceleration. Combined power output comes to 99 hp and is sent to the front wheels via a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

In Edmunds performance testing, the Prius needed 11.3 seconds to reach 60 mph, which is quite slow even for a subcompact car.

Of course with any Prius, the most important numbers relate to fuel economy, and the Prius C does not disappoint. EPA-estimated mileage stands at 53 mpg city/46 mpg highway and 50 mpg in combined driving, making it the most economical non-plug-in hybrid on the market.


Standard safety features on all 2012 Toyota Prius C models include stability control, traction control, antilock brakes (front discs, rear drums), hill start assist, front-seat side seat cushion airbags, a driver knee airbag and side curtain airbags. In Edmunds brake testing, a Prius C came to a stop from 60 mph in a better-than-average 118 feet.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Prius C the highest possible rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset, side and roof strength tests.


Thanks to smaller dimensions, a lighter weight and optimized locations of its hybrid components, the 2012 Toyota Prius C delivers a livelier driving experience than its stablemates. Acceleration is slow, but the C's power is perfectly acceptable for around-town driving and getting up to highway speeds. Around corners, this hybrid remains fairly flat and composed, and the optional quick-ratio steering noticeably improves responsiveness, serving up a level of alertness and sportiness that is sorely lacking in other Prii.

As expected, fuel economy is outstanding. Outside of a plug-in hybrid, you're not going to do better than with a Prius C. An unfortunate downside to the economy-focused mission, however, is a noticeable degradation in ride quality. Road imperfections are met with an uncharacteristic harshness and, combined with detectable amounts of wind noise, give the Prius C a budget-car feel.


Inside, the Prius C features a sleek, modern design with a mix of the familiar as well as the unconventional. Centrally located gauges are mounted high atop the dashboard, which can be a bit odd at first, but makes for easier reading. To its detriment, the cabin's plastics are several steps below the materials you'll find in other subcompacts like the Ford Fiesta and Hyundai Accent. The cloth seat upholstery is nothing special, but it's certainly better than the optional "faux leather." It may be made from eco-friendly materials, but it's probably the cheapest-feeling material we've felt covering a car seat in quite some time.

In terms of comfort, the Prius C presents a mixed bag, particularly for taller passengers. The driving position is slightly compromised by the lack of steering wheel tilt and telescoping travel, and the tall, upright dash can be hard to peer over. The front passenger may also take issue with the glovebox that intrudes into the footwell. Backseat occupants will likely fare better, as there's ample head- and legroom for adults, and the fully flat floor allows for even more flexibility.

The base Prius C One's rear seat folds down as one piece, but Two and above feature a 60/40-split for greater passenger/cargo versatility. With the seats in position, the trunk can hold up to 17.1 cubic feet, which is about what you'd expect from a hatchback in this class.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2012 Toyota Prius c Hatchback.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
Answer to MPG dream
One 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
This review will be only for someone looking for excellent MPG! I drive 1,350 miles a week. 5,400 miles a month. (Every month - IC Courier). I've had the car for 6 months, 22 days. It has consistantly averaged 51.3 mpg. ECO Mode gives you the best results in city. Regular mode (not ECO) gives best results on freeway. My best has been 59.1 in city driving, 47.8 on freeway. I owned a 2011 Corolla before this and at best only averaged 30 mpg. I drive 50% city, 50% freeway. I am saving $311.00 per month. Compared to the Corolla. Wish I would have bought the car when it first hit the market! These are "real-life" results. Hope this helps.....
3.75 out of 5 stars
Better than expected
Two 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
At six foot four, I expected to be ridiculously cramped. At 1.5 liters, I expected it to be ridiculously slow. Neither are true. I don't have an excess of room, but there's enough. It doesn't have an excess of acceleration, but it's enough. I just manage my drive carefully and am rewarded with 60+ mpg on my morning commute. I also own a BMW 740i that I bought used for 1/3 of what I paid for the Prius C. When I need to go fast, I take it out. Otherwise, I am very pleased with my little gas-sipper. Build quality is good, ride is quiet, and there is room for groceries. I'd buy it again tomorrow.
4.75 out of 5 stars
My First Hybrid
Three 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
I just put 500 miles on my Prius C Three. I traded my 2010 Toyota Matrix for it. I'm glad to report I'm getting exact EPA mileage, and then some. No regrets! This subcompact is not for racing. You want to race get something else. I have no problems merging in freeway traffic and its size and excellent steering allow me to maneuver in city traffic easily. The seats offer plenty of support and adjust in enough positions to allow me to drive comfortably. The AC cools the interior quickly and I live in South Texas where the daytime temperature is already at 90 degrees. This model is very well equipped for the price. This is an excellent little car that does everything its supposed to do well.
4.63 out of 5 stars
Two 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
Purchased this vehicle after doing homework on it for almost a month.I kept looking for positives reviews but all I found was the negatives,most were resentful of the fact that this is a Gas saving machine and doesn't have the muscle of a V8 or V6. One Friday afternoon, I was going home traveling North on the 5 FWY merging onto the 14 to Palmdale when on my left side observed a white Prius C speeding his way on the carpool lane going baldly about 80 miles per hour and said to myself all those comments about how fast these cars move on the FWY were just opinions not based on facts.That very same weekend went for mine and I am satisfied with the deal I got from Hamer Toyota at Mission Hills.


IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2012 Toyota Prius c
More About This Model

As the quintessential high-mpg hybrid, the Toyota Prius is certainly one of the most successful sales stories of the new millennium. Despite its being knocked for lifeless driving dynamics and a slightly elevated price tag, shoppers have flocked to the Prius for its remarkable fuel economy. With this sort of success in mind, it was only a matter of time until Prius spin-offs would debut.

The 2012 Toyota Prius C is the newest addition to the Prius lineup, with the "C" standing for city. It's smaller than the traditional Prius (now called the liftback) and the even larger Prius V. Besides being 19 inches shorter in length than the liftback, the Prius C also receives a downsized drivetrain. A 1.5-liter gasoline engine (the liftback has a 1.8-liter unit) and smaller motor-generators get the Prius C moving. Considering the C weighs about 540 pounds less than the liftback, performance doesn't take a significant hit from the less powerful unit.

What is more significant about the Prius C, however, is the bottom line. A base Prius C will cost you about $4,000 less than the liftback while delivering a very impressive 50 mpg EPA rating for combined driving. On top of this, the C is noticeably more fun to drive, with greater cornering abilities and improved driver feedback.

Of course, competition is still rather sparse in the hybrid segment, and the Prius C has few rivals. The Honda Insight is priced competitively, but we have found that there are far too many compromises to contend with. Conventionally powered hatchbacks like the Ford Fiesta and Hyundai Accent are more worthy adversaries. In the end, the 2012 Toyota Prius C represents an admirable choice among hatchbacks and hybrids alike.

Used 2012 Toyota Prius c Hatchback Overview

The Used 2012 Toyota Prius c Hatchback is offered in the following styles: Two 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), Three 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), One 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), and Four 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT). Pre-owned Toyota Prius c Hatchback models are available with a 1.5 L-liter hybrid engine, with output up to 99 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2012 Toyota Prius c Hatchback comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: continuously variable-speed automatic. The Used 2012 Toyota Prius c Hatchback comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 2 yr./ 25000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2012 Toyota Prius c Hatchback?

Price comparisons for Used 2012 Toyota Prius c Hatchback trim styles:

  • The Used 2012 Toyota Prius c Hatchback Four is priced between $6,590 and$6,590 with odometer readings between 144386 and144386 miles.
  • The Used 2012 Toyota Prius c Hatchback Two is priced between $10,988 and$10,988 with odometer readings between 103295 and103295 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2012 Toyota Prius c Hatchbacks are available in my area?

Used 2012 Toyota Prius c Hatchback Listings and Inventory

There are currently 2 used and CPO 2012 Toyota Prius c Hatchbacks listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $6,590 and mileage as low as 103295 miles. Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a prew-owned vehicle from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a used or CPO vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2012 Toyota Prius c Hatchback.

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Should I lease or buy a 2012 Toyota Prius c?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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