2012 Toyota Prius C: Not Intended For Mountain Use
June 18, 2012
I did a five-hour freeway drive in our Prius C last week, which included going over the Tejon Pass (the "Grapevine") on I5 and its 4,160-foot elevation. As you can probably guess, the C was not exactly an ideal companion. With 99 combined peak horsepower (73 hp with just the 1.5-liter engine), there's just not a whole lot of oomph to keep the Prius C comfortably moving strong up long grades.
But that's not to say the Prius Can't handle it. Pin the throttle, keep up the momentum and you'll be OK. It's just not a very relaxing experience. The C lets in a fair amount of wind and road noise, too. On the upside, the driver seat felt pretty comfortable during the drive.
Given that the C has been idealized for city use, I'll cut it a lot of slack here. I've found the best way to approach drives like this is just accept you're underpowered (relative to the motoring norm) and just enjoy the scenery.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 1,744 miles