2012 Toyota Prius C: To Riverside and Back
November 16, 2012
I'm working on a story about conversion vans for mobility-challenged drivers. Doing research for the feature required me to visit a couple of relatively far-flung mobility-conversion dealerships -- Better Life Mobility in Riverside, and Mobility Works in Van Nuys.
My vehicle of choice was the Prius C, and in all, I put more than 250 miles on the odo over the past two days. Some driving impressions follow after the jump.
The Prius C feels bouncy on uneven stretches of highway. There was a lot of vibration going on over a particularly rough stretch of the 405. And on surface streets, this refinement deficit was even more jarring. Coming back from lunch at Govinda's, I hit a patch of uneven pavement on Bagley, and it wasn't pretty. For me, not a deal breaker. But we get emails every day from readers seeking cars with a serene ride. If that's one of your key priorities, this isn't the choice for you.
Also, this isn't a car that just allows you to weave in and out of openings in traffic without a care in the world. While power is adequate for most situations, it's not abundant, so passing maneuvers, for example, require some forethought. It definitely forces you to interact with traffic in a different way than you would if you were behind the wheel of car with a stronger engine.
However, criticisms aside, the ride to and from these dealerships was pretty pleasant. And I'd easily recommend the Prius C to buyers, for one primary reason: gas mileage. I got a very real, very tangible sense of satisfaction from checking out the fuel-economy gauge as I cruised past traffic on the 60.
Exact mileage figures from my trip will follow in my next post.
Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor