2015 Toyota Prius c Review
2015 Toyota Prius c Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- Stellar fuel economy
- favorable pricing
- roomy interior
- nimble and easy-to-park size.
- Ride can occasionally be stiff
- substandard interior materials
- noticeable wind noise
- slow acceleration.
For 2015, the Toyota Prius C gets refreshed front and rear styling with new headlights, the company's now-signature big-mouth grille and new taillights. There are also new color choices, slightly upgraded interior trim and for the top trim level, a few more standard features, specifically a sunroof and a rearview camera.
As the entry-level model, the 2015 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.
For entry-level hybrid cars, comfort and performance have to take a backseat to high fuel economy, affordability and practicality. But for many people who are shopping this segment, that's just fine. The 2015 Toyota Prius C embraces its station in life as a fuel-sipping, easy-to-park and practical little hatchback. Indeed, we came to that very conclusion when we spent a year testing our long-term Prius C.
As the smallest (19 inches shorter than a standard Prius) and lowest-priced member of the Prius family, the hybrid Prius C has specific good and bad points. The good is that it's one of the least expensive ways to get into a hybrid. And it's no watered-down hybrid either, at least for fuel economy. The EPA estimates that the Prius C delivers an excellent 50 mpg in combined driving. Plus, the C's diminutive size and lighter weight compared with that of the regular Prius allow it to be more agile and a snap to park. The downside, though, is that the C's entry-level status is pretty evident. The ride quality can be harsh at times, and the interior is full of uninviting hard plastic. Furthermore, the Prius C is kind of loud and rather slow.
But given this car's chief mission, we don't consider those demerits to be deal breakers. With that 50 mpg rating and Toyota's rock-solid reputation for reliability and low running costs, there's really no other hybrid out there that can get you around so inexpensively. Honda discontinued its Insight hybrid this year, so that leaves just the 2015 Honda Civic Hybrid or 2015 Honda CR-Z to think about. But really, neither can match the Prius C's fuel economy or practicality. To get the best fuel economy on a budget, the Prius C is your car.
Performance & mpg
The 2015 Toyota Prius C is powered by a hybrid powertrain that consists of a 1.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and an electric motor that's fed by a nickel-metal hydride battery pack. Combined power output comes to 99 horsepower, and it is sent to the front wheels through a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
In Edmunds performance testing, the Prius C needed 11.3 seconds to reach 60 mph, which is slow for a hybrid or even a subcompact car.
As with any Prius, however, the most important numbers relate to fuel economy, and the Prius C does not disappoint. EPA-estimated mileage stands at 50 mpg combined (53 city/46 highway), making it one of the most economical non-plug-in hybrids on the market.
Standard safety features on all 2015 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 front-seat cushion airbags that help prevent occupants from sliding under the seatbelts in a collision.
In Edmunds brake testing, a Prius C came to a stop from 60 mph in a better-than-average 118 feet.
In government crash testing, the Prius C received four stars out of five for overall crash protection, with four stars for total frontal-impact protection and four stars for side-impact protection. The government also posted a "safety concern" about rear passenger protection, although that concern is not reflected in the ratings.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Prius C the top rating of "Good" in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests. In the small-overlap frontal-offset test, the 2015 Prius C got the second-best score of "Acceptable." The Prius C's seat and head restraint design was rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts.
The 2015 Toyota Prius C feels a little more sprightly when driving through city turns than other Prius models, thanks to its smaller footprint and lower overall weight. It's also quite easy to park in small spaces (although you may want to skip the optional 16-inch wheels, as they significantly increase the car's turning circle). However, ultimate grip, agility and road feel through the steering wheel are notably missing when the Prius C is compared with some conventional small hatchbacks. Acceleration is comparatively slow as well, but as long as you keep your expectations in check, the C's power should be perfectly acceptable for around-town driving and getting up to highway speeds.
Naturally, 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 C, however, is its poor ride quality over broken pavement. Severe road imperfections cause uncharacteristic (for a Toyota) harshness and, combined with noticeable wind noise at higher freeway speeds, give the Prius C a budget-car feel.
Inside, the Prius C features a mix of the familiar with the unconventional. Gauges are mounted up high and in the center of the dash, which can be a bit odd at first, but actually makes for easier reading. Sadly, the cabin's plastics are rather mediocre in quality, especially compared with those in other subcompacts like the Ford Fiesta and Hyundai Accent. This year's addition of piano black and chrome accents on upper trims does lessen the effect somewhat. The cloth seat upholstery is nothing special either, but we actually prefer it over the SofTex vinyl that is used in the top trim level, the Four.
The C's top-of-the-line audio system features a suite of smartphone-connected services that include the Bing search engine, Pandora streaming radio and real-time sports and stock information. Getting started with the smartphone integration system can be a hassle, though, since you have to install an app on your phone and register for an account, plus you always need an active data connection to use it.
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 for shorter folks to peer over. The front passenger may also take issue with the glovebox, which intrudes into the footwell. Backseat occupants will likely fare better, as there's ample head- and legroom for adults, and the completely flat floor allows for even more flexibility.
The base Prius C One's rear seat folds down as one piece, but Two and above trims feature a 60/40-split seat 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.
2015 Toyota Prius c models
The 2015 Toyota Prius C is a four-door, subcompact hatchback offered in four trim levels named One through Four.
The Prius C One comes with 15-inch steel wheels, automatic climate control, full power accessories, a folding rear seat, a multifunction display, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a 6.1-inch touchscreen display, voice commands 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 cargo cover and a six-speaker sound system.
Upgrading to the Prius C Three gets you keyless ignition and entry, a navigation system, smartphone app integration, satellite radio and voice controls.
The range-topping Four adds alloy wheels, heated mirrors, foglights, a sunroof, simulated leather upholstery, a rearview camera and heated front seats. The Four can also be optioned with 16-inch wheels.
Options are few. On the Three you can get the 15-inch alloy wheels and sunroof. Sixteen-inch wheels are available on the Four.
Read what other owners think about the Used 2015 Toyota Prius c.
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
5 out of 5 stars
2015 Toyota Prius c One 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
The best words I can say about this car is AMAZING SAFTY!!! If for no other reason you could find, the safety of thus car should be the #1 reason to buy it. Not only is it beautiful, gas savings, roomy (for a small car) it also has great safety). My son got a 2012 modle. The other day him, and 3 passengers were in a wreak. The air bags came out from the front, at all doors, the back … seats and the trunk. Thank God, because all though the engine was all over the road from where it drops down for safety, NO ONE was badly hurt. All the pain was coming from the seat belts that kept them from bouncing around. I am so greatful that my son got this car and we will be getting another one. I wish there was a bigger way to express my graditude for the people who have worked hard for making this car safe. It's worth the price to buy this car.
5 out of 5 stars
Respect the Prius c !
2015 Toyota Prius c Two 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
I have previously driven Honda Fits (07 and 2012) but I didn't care for the new redesign. I never really considered the Prius (was leaning more towards a Crz or Golf) but that was before I saw the c at a dealership one night. It was shining in the moonlight and looked so edgy- futuristic. I test drove it the next day and it was mine within the week! I REALLY ENJOY my c. It hugs the road … through messy weather and brakes nicely. The interior is very stylish-blue instrumentation and a touchscreen light the front. The c is so quiet. One foggy night we left the movies and before we hit highway speeds it felt surreal - silently cutting through the fog, the futuristic interior/blue glow, and high powered LED lights- so memorable. The fuel economy is excellent! The acceleration takes some time getting used to but now I know how it handles- its not peppy like a Fit but it isn't a sluggard either. Because it is a Hybrid it is not a powerhouse but I never feel intimidated merging or traveling on the interstate as the engine does have a little kick when needed! The c holds quite a bit too-flatten the rear seats in any combo and it almost gives the Fit a run for its money in storage space. I do wish it had more hidey-holes and cup holders like the Fit though. I truly feel blessed to have and drive such an amazing little car. Respect the Prius!
3.25 out of 5 stars
MPG heavily dependent on velocity
2014 Toyota Prius c One 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
I bought my Prius C a couple years ago. It is a generally well-built car, but it is pretty slow to accelerate and is rather loud when the accelerator is pressed. Perhaps most importantly, it MPG is heavily dependent on the speed at which you travel. I mainly drive on the highway and if I drive 75-80 mph, I noticed that I only averaged about 40 mpg whereas if I drove 55-60 mph, I seem … to have gotten over 50 mph. I don't know how the reviewer on this site stated that he is getting 64 mpg. He must be driving REALLY conservatively on the hwy.
5 out of 5 stars
Ignore the snobby critics
Justin M. Chase, 11/10/2015
2015 Toyota Prius c Three 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
To be honest, since this is a hybrid car and its main purpose is to get you from point A to Point B while cheap on gas, I am totally pleased with this car. I got even better mpg than the claims. Acceleration is not neck breaking however it isn't slow like critics claim. If you mash the gas it will scoot so I'm not sure why anyone would buy a Prius to race it. This car is very nice and I … know that whoever chooses this car will love it like I do. I am convinced that the magazine and internet critics that rag on this car probably drive Mercedes to work and I can't help but feel as if they are biased in their opinions toward this car. They gave a good review of the Ford Focus and when I drove the Focus SE, the transmission kept slipping from 1st to 2nd during the test drive (it was a new car). Anyways, if you like the idea of a hybrid and want to save money on your gasoline, this car is the smart choice. Like I already mentioned, I love this car.
We have a limited number of reviews for the 2015 Toyota Prius c, so we've included reviews for other years of the Prius c since its last redesign.
2015 Prius c Highlights
- Combined MPG
- 50 MPG
- Cost to Drive
- 5 seats
- front wheel drive
- Engine Type
- 3 years / 36,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Rating4 out of 5 stars
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall4 / 5Driver4 / 5Passenger4 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall4 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall4 / 5Driver4 / 5Passenger4 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat4 / 5Back Seat4 / 5
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover11.8%
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Side Impact TestGood
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood
- IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front TestGood
More about the 2015 Toyota Prius c
Used 2015 Toyota Prius c Overview
The Used 2015 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), One 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), Three 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 models are available with a 1.5 L-liter hybrid engine, with output up to 99 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2015 Toyota Prius c comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: continuously variable-speed automatic.
What's a good price on a Used 2015 Toyota Prius c?
Price comparisons for Used 2015 Toyota Prius c trim styles:
- The Used 2015 Toyota Prius c One is priced between $14,998 and$20,990 with odometer readings between 23979 and99186 miles.
- The Used 2015 Toyota Prius c Three is priced between $15,997 and$20,589 with odometer readings between 19797 and113633 miles.
- The Used 2015 Toyota Prius c Two is priced between $14,998 and$19,990 with odometer readings between 22209 and107714 miles.
- The Used 2015 Toyota Prius c Four is priced between $16,998 and$16,998 with odometer readings between 95389 and95389 miles.
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Which used 2015 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) 2015 Toyota Prius c for sale near. There are currently 21 used and CPO 2015 Prius cs listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $14,998 and mileage as low as 19797 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 2015 Toyota Prius c.
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Should I lease or buy a 2015 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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