2012 Toyota Prius C Long Term Road Test - Cargo Space

2012 Toyota Prius C Long Term Road Test

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2012 Toyota Prius C: Camping in the Cargo Hold

April 11, 2013

2012 Toyota Prius C

No, we didn't go camping in our long-term Prius C. Barbie did.

During the Easter holiday we loaded Barbie and her camper full of treats into the Toyota Prius C's roomy cargo area and delivered her to a sweet, little four-year-old friend.

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2012 Toyota Prius C: Needs Bumper Protection

February 28, 2013

2012 Toyota Prius C

The rear bumper of our long-term 2012 Toyota Prius C caught my eye this week and not just because it was dirty from recent rains. The bumper on our car is bare.

Toyota offers a bumper protector as a $79 port-installed accessory on 2012 models like ours as well as 2013 models. Although our Prius C's bumper remains pristine after nearly 12,000 miles in service, I consider a protector a necessity on any vehicle with a hatch and if I had it my way, this feature would be standard.

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2012 Toyota Prius C: Reminds Me of Other Subcompacts

February 18, 2013

2012 Toyota Prius C

Honestly, I could take or leave the hybrid drivetrain in our long-term 2012 Toyota Prius C. But the combination of a 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder and a front-drive electric motor powered by a nickel-metal hydride battery pack provides adequate acceleration most of the time.

And that's how it is in other subcompacts I've liked: The Honda Fit and Mazda 2 come to mind. Performance was never more than OK in those cars. The only difference was I felt like I had more control over it because they both had a five-speed manual gearbox.

Why bother declaring that three inexpensive hatchbacks are adequate? Well, our long-term Prius C is maybe the only hybrid I've ever driven that truly feels like one of the gang. Ours weighed in at 2,562 pounds, which is only 50 pounds heavier than our long-term 2009 Fit.

And so like the Honda, the Toyota goes down the road with a minimum of fuss and unwanted ballast. It feels pretty light and there's a directness to its responses, even if it's not sporty. Driving the Prius C doesn't feel like a game (and indeed I don't watch the efficiency displays much), it just feels like driving.

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2012 Toyota Prius C: The Kit Fits

January 9, 2013

2012 Toyota Prius C

I got invited to bring my drums to a little jam session this past weekend. The father of one of my kid's classmates is new in town and he plays guitar. He heard I play drums, so it was one of those deals. The older I get, the lazier I get about hauling around the drums. I'd rather buy 10 drumkits off Craigslist and spread them around at all my useless musician friend's houses. Since I had the Prius C, I figured I'd only take the bare minimum: a kick drum, a snare drum, some hi-hats, and the hardware.

To its credit, the Prius C could've handled the full kit and more hardware. There was room for at least two more drums (toms), maybe three, while the front seat remained available. I only had to remove the cargo cover and one of the headrests. I was pretty surprised. And the car performed better than you'd expect, laden with the extra weight. Acceleration didn't feel much different. Still slow, but that initial EV twist helps get that mass up to momentum quicker than you think.

A drummer buddy of mine plays professionally in New York and hauls his gear between the city and his Jersey home in a Focus wagon. He loves it, but I think even he'd appreciate the Prius C. I'd say it's a solid New York/LA/Chicago or any big-city musician's car. Small footprint, easy to park, enough space to haul gear for most rock/jazz gigs. Pretty impressive.

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2012 Toyota Prius C: Headed to Tokyo

September 28, 2012

I'm off to Japan to drive something new that I can't yet talk about. As for our 2012 Toyota Prius C, well, it's only going as far as the WallyPark at LAX.

I'm a serial over-packer in the best of times, and I've heard tell that a suit will be called for during this trip. So of course I'm using one of those large international suitcases. It just fits behind the rear seats and beneath the cargo cover, with just enough space for my laptop case to slide alongside.

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ I forgot to check miles

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2012 Prius C: Operation Dog Transport Revisited

September 7, 2012

In a previous post, I explained how much wrangling it took to get a 14 cubic foot dog crate into our 2012 Volvo S60 T5...so when planning a similar trip, we wanted to get something a little bit cargo friendly. The 2012 Prius C has a hatch and fold flat rear seats, so no problem, right?

No fault of the Prius, but on my initial look-see I failed to account for the 27 inch height of the crate. When it came to the morning of our departure it was just barely too tall to fit into the rear hatch. Not wanting to force or break anything trying, I reverted to the old system of taking the crate apart and reassembling across the two back seats.

Problem solved - and the cargo area was free to hold a couple bags and the rest of our stuff.

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2012 Toyota Prius C: SparklerMobile

July 05, 2012


You couldn't with a straight face call the Prius C a firecracker, bottle rocket or any other allusion to explosive power. But it's perfectly capable of hauling safe and sane Independence Day party favors.

Carroll Lachnit, Features Editor @3,215 miles

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2012 Toyota Prius C: Rolling Shoe Tower

June 11, 2012

I didn't even know what a rolling shoe tower was until this weekend. But the question is, will one fit within the compact rear confines of our Prius C?

Hmm, let's see...

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2012 Toyota Prius C: Will the Shower Fit?

June 06, 2012

Prius balloons.jpg

We had a car-themed bridal shower for IL Senior Editor Erin Riches today, and in the spirit of using every object in the office as the subject of a fitment test, Edmunds Senior Editor Bryn MacKinnon and I crammed the leftover party balloons into the hatch of our Prius C to see how many would fit.

After one popped, scaring the bejesus out us, it turned out to be an even dozen.

Carroll Lachnit, Features Editor, @ ~1,115 miles

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2012 Toyota Prius C: Cargo Area

May 29, 2012


I went to pick up a few things at the market this weekend but as usual came out with many more bags than I intended. I was pleasantly surprised to see the Prius C could handle my cargo without having to lower the rear seats.

With all seats in place the Prius C offers 17.1 cubic feet of cargo space. When you pop the hatch, the protective cover pulls up to allow easy access. With the hatch closed, it lowers to shield packages from the sun and prying eyes.

By comparison the regular Prius and the Plug-In Prius offer 21.6 cu.ft. while the Prius V offers 34.3 cu.ft. The Camry Hybrid only offers 15.4 cu.ft. with the rear seats up.

Does the Prius C number surprise you?

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor @ 1,011 miles

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Past Long-Term Road Tests