With its stellar combination of value, versatility and mileage-maxing potential, the Toyota Prius C easily rolled off with our 5-Year Cost to Own laurels in this increasingly significant market category. Boasting an entry price of less than $20,000, the smallest member of the world's best-selling hybrid family has much to offer for anyone seeking a stylish and capable subcompact.
Available in four ascending trim grades, all Prius C variants share a common Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain that matches a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine with an electric motor. The system's collective 99 horses head to the front wheels of this 5-door hatch via a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) automatic and help the car earn an EPA City-best 53 mpg rating and net a 46 mpg highway mark. Like its siblings, the Prius C features a dedicated ECO mode and also can function as a pure EV for short distances.
Even the base-level Prius C One offers a bounty of standards highlighted by automatic climate control, a Multi-Information Display, Bluetooth connectivity and remote keyless entry. Moving up through the model hierarchy brings a host of additional primo features that include Toyota's Display Audio with Navigation, Entune infotainment and leather-like Soft-Tex trimmed heated front seats.
Although acceleration and handling of the Prius C are skewed towards more conservative driving styles, this subcompact Toyota can hold its own in the city and on the highway. Most buyers find those to be worthwhile tradeoffs in return for its unflinching ability to travel an average of 50 miles on a single gallon of gas.
America's lowest-priced hybrid, the Honda Insight delivers value and economy in a stylish package that offers a paddle-shiftable CVT automatic on its top-line EX model.
The founding member of the automaker's thriving gas/electric lineup, the Toyota Prius remains the world's most popular hybrid.