2013 Toyota Prius c Review

Pros & Cons

  • 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.
Other years
List Price Range
$7,499 - $10,495

Used Prius c for Sale
Select your model:
See all for sale

Get More For Your Trade-In

Get More For Your Trade-In

Edmunds shoppers get on average $235 more for their trade-in.
Receive offers from our dealer partners fast.
See your car's value

Edmunds' Expert Review

As the entry-level model, the 2013 Toyota Prius C represents a more responsive and affordable Prius. It has some drawbacks, but for top fuel economy on a budget, you won't do any better.

Vehicle overview

When it comes to all-out high-mpg cars, you can't overlook the venerable Toyota Prius. With four models to choose from, there's a good chance one might fit your needs. The smallest of the Prii, the 2013 Toyota Prius C, manages to distinguish itself on a number of levels.

As the entry-level Prius, the C model undercuts the standard Prius liftback's price by a considerable margin. In exchange, you'll have to sacrifice some refinement in terms of ride quality and interior materials, but we don't consider either of these deal breakers. On the plus side, the Prius C gains a bit more agility and responsiveness via its smaller dimensions and lighter weight.

Of course, the Prius C performs when it comes to fuel economy, too. With an EPA-estimated 50 mpg in combined driving conditions, there is simply no other subcompact hatchback that even comes close. In our long-term experience, the Prius C nearly meets that estimate.

Overall, we give the Prius C high marks, but we would advise a closer look at some features and options during the decision process. In particular, the 16-inch wheels and sportier steering has the unfortunate side effect of increasing the turning radius by a significant 6 feet. We'd also recommend trying out the "SofTex" faux leather seat upholstery beforehand, as it feels nowhere close to a material found in nature. If heated seats are a priority for you, however, there's no escaping this odd vinyl covering.

But even with these faults, we have no hesitation recommending the 2013 Toyota Prius C over its closest (but still distant) competitors. The 2013 Honda Insight is similarly priced, but is handily beat when it comes to miles per gallon. The same goes for the 2013 Honda CR-Z, which only seats two, though it does feature a sportier image. If power and acceleration are secondary concerns, we'd even suggest the Prius C to those shopping conventional gas-only-powered hatchbacks; it's that hard to overlook.

2013 Toyota Prius c models

The 2013 Toyota Prius C is offered in numbered trim levels from One to Four. The base Prius C One comes with 15-inch steel wheels, automatic climate control, full power accessories, 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 and 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 faux leather dash panel, a cargo cover and a six-speaker sound system. Upgrading to the Prius C Three gets you navigation with a 6.1-inch touchscreen, 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, a faux-leather-wrapped steering wheel and seat 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.

2013 Highlights

Besides some upper trim interior materials making their way into the lower trim levels, the Toyota Prius C returns unchanged for 2013.

Performance & mpg

The 2013 Toyota Prius C is powered by a similar but smaller hybrid powertrain than its bigger Prius siblings. A 1.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine produces 73 horsepower and 82 pound-feet of torque, while a pair of electric motor/generators supplies 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 pack 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 C 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.

Safety

Standard safety features on all 2013 Toyota Prius C models include stability control, traction control, antilock brakes (front discs, rear drums), hill start assist, front seat side airbags, side curtain airbags, a driver knee airbag and unique front seat cushion airbags that help prevent occupants from sliding under the seatbelts in the event of a collision. 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-impact and roof strength tests.

Driving

The Prius liftback has never been described as fun or engaging from behind the wheel, but the 2013 Toyota Prius C manages to liven things up. Its smaller footprint and more advantageous positioning of hybrid components allow for a bit more nimbleness, though it's still a far cry from conventional hatchbacks. Acceleration is comparatively slow, but power is perfectly acceptable for around-town driving and getting up to highway speeds.

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

Interior

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 preferable to the optional "faux leather." The latter may be made from eco-friendly materials, but it's probably the cheapest-feeling material we've sat on 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 enough extension for the steering wheel's telescoping function, 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 all the seats in use, cargo capacity stands at 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 2013 Toyota Prius c.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

All that I could want
sjg4,06/03/2013
I love my C! It is nimble, well-made, and fun to drive. Plus, unlike so many other hybrids, the mileage is no hype. I average 50 mpg and I've owned my car for about 4 months now. You go so long between fill ups that you almost forget about getting gas. Regarding the comments about acceleration, it's no Ferrari, but I've found it to be fine on on ramps and here in Philly that's no joke. Also, many of the comparable hybrids sacrificed reliability. I don't think I should have to choose between great mileage and being stuck by the side of the road. I picked the C, and am very happy with the choice.
Prius C One - The ultimate Econo-box
tk1971,09/19/2013
Most people see the C as a downgraded Prius. I see it as the ultimate Econo-box. Even in the basic trim (One) this car has built in bluetooth, turn signal indicators on the side mirrors, mp3/usb, a digital speedometer, and that 4" color screen chock full of information. Best part? 49-50mpg with A/C blasting in the summer and the heater blasting in the winter while driving it like a regular car (from stop & go to FWY speeds). Feels about the same as my previous car, a manual transmission Yaris Hatchback with a way more modern / techy feel and design. Price-wise, the cheapest C is comparable to the highest trims of the Yaris or Fit. Looking @ newspapers, I've seen the One advertised for ~$17k.
Super economy gas and maintenance
Richard,11/02/2016
Three 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
If you are looking for a super-cool one of a kind yuppie worship vehicle, don't buy this. If you are looking for super dependable, safe, reliable economical transportation, buy this. My purchase was made strictly because my new business required these features, not extra cup holders and lots of chrome features. In the two and a half years of ownership I have driven 160,000 miles and the car still runs like new. Maintenance has been synthetic oil/filter change every 5000 miles. Transmission fluid changed at 50,000 miles, tires every 55,000 miles. Tuneup at 100,000 miles, and brakes, rotor replacement at 135,000 miles. I was forced to drive over a wooden pallet at 70 mph on the interstate because I couldn't change lanes . Bent front steering arms , replaced and runs like new. Update at 190,000 miles.....4th set of tires installed last month. Replaced 12 volt battery as a maintenance thing. May change belts and hoses next month. Remarkably well running, economical vehicle. 220,000 mile update...just out of the body shop because an idiot didn't like the shape of a front fender. $2800 later ( insurance reimbursement) and I am glad to have my little go-cart back. Rented a Nissan Sentra for a week.....SO happy to have my Prius back!!! Last month had a shop do it's second tune-up, they said I should expect another 220,000 miles..... this from a hybrid specialty shop! Maintenance costs are no more than normal in frequency and cost. This is a work vehicle for me....so dependable and economical. Prius surprised me, because I didn't expect much from such a little car....I have nothing much to say about styling but I drive the snot out of this thing and it's like the Timex watch commercial...takes a licking and keeps on ticking. If it comes time to replace it, I will get another one with low mileage(75,000 miles) because it depreciates quickly in value but not in performance. Update....266,000 miles and running great until a snowflake in a BMW on a cell phone totaled the Prius. Only because of the hi mileage my insurance company called it a total. Thought I would go cheap and use the insurance money to buy a low mileage Toyota Yaris.....dumb move. Engine burned up in 5,000 miles. Replaced the engine and now looking for another Prius. No brainer what works best for my needs! Burned out the new engine in the Yaris at 10,000 miles!! Toyota dealer took it in trade on a new 2018 Prius C, like my 2014 but with the exception of a back up camera added. Bought it the end of December 2018, now have 26,000 miles on it by May 5 2019....runs just like my 2014 and no complaints at all!!!
A Hybrid Accessible to Everyone
lmj009,11/03/2013
Thanks to some great deals, I managed to get a new 2013 Prius C Two for $17k, which was comparable to the non-hybrids I was looking for and came with many more features. The Two has all features I could ask for. There is obviously some initial adjustment if you've never driven a hybrid, but the fuel economy is as promised. There were complaints about lack of power but I drove a V6 before and had no problem adjusting. The car is a lot roomier than it appears, particularly the backseat. Headroom is great, and the trunk space is good as well. Of all the cheaper hybrids, this had the best features and room, and with a good deal it can cost you less than many non-hybrids.

Features & Specs

MPG
53 city / 46 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
Hybrid
99 hp @ 4800 rpm
MPG
53 city / 46 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
Hybrid
99 hp @ 4800 rpm
MPG
53 city / 46 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
Hybrid
99 hp @ 4800 rpm
MPG
53 city / 46 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
Hybrid
99 hp @ 4800 rpm
See all Used 2013 Toyota Prius c features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat4 / 5
    Back Seat4 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover11.8%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2013 Toyota Prius c

Used 2013 Toyota Prius c Overview

The Used 2013 Toyota Prius c is offered in the following submodels: Prius c Hatchback. Available styles include 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).

What's a good price on a Used 2013 Toyota Prius c?

Price comparisons for Used 2013 Toyota Prius c trim styles:

  • The Used 2013 Toyota Prius c Three is priced between $8,450 and$10,495 with odometer readings between 33908 and90602 miles.
  • The Used 2013 Toyota Prius c Two is priced between $7,499 and$10,490 with odometer readings between 67739 and109308 miles.
  • The Used 2013 Toyota Prius c One is priced between $8,250 and$8,250 with odometer readings between 78260 and78260 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 2013 Toyota Prius cs are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2013 Toyota Prius c for sale near. There are currently 5 used and CPO 2013 Prius cs listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $7,499 and mileage as low as 33908 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2013 Toyota Prius c.

Can't find a used 2013 Toyota Prius cs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Toyota Prius c for sale - 5 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $21,690.

Find a used Toyota for sale - 2 great deals out of 5 listings starting at $20,569.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota Prius c for sale - 11 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $10,309.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota for sale - 9 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $24,769.

Should I lease or buy a 2013 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.

Check out Toyota lease specials
Check out Toyota Prius c lease specials