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2013 Toyota Prius c

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2013 Toyota Prius c Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.8

The 2013 Prius C is the smallest vehicle in Toyota's family of hybrids. With a starting price under $20,000, this 5-passenger hatchback also represents the least expensive way to get into a Toyota hybrid. Yet like its bigger Prius brother, there's another number that's sure to impress: 50. That's the combined miles-per-gallon rating for the Prius C, which attains an even loftier 53 mpg in the city – the area for which this hybrid gets its "C" designation. The Prius C isn't the least expensive or most fun-to-drive subcompact out there, but its sterling mpg figures stand well beyond even traditional fuel misers in this segment such as the Ford Fiesta, Chevrolet Sonic, Mini Cooper Hardtop, and Hyundai Accent.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're seeking superb fuel economy at an affordable price, the Prius C is hard to beat. And with its hatchback design and tech offerings, Toyota's smallest hybrid won't penalize you when it comes to versatility or creature comforts.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Though the Prius C is competitively priced for a hybrid, some buyers may find a conventional alternative such as the Ford Fiesta, Chevy Sonic or Hyundai Accent a better return on their investment, especially if they don't drive many miles. Those wanting a subcompact with a bit more scoot might prefer a Mini Cooper Hardtop or Honda Fit.

What's New for 2013

Since it was just introduced last year, changes are minimal for the Prius C in 2013. All but the base model receive upgraded material for the dash, while the steering wheels in top-line trims are now wrapped in SofTex, a leather-like material.

Driving the Prius c

Driving Impressions While the Prius C is based on the Toyota Yaris, the hybrid has improved handling dynamics over its value-obsessed sibling. Credit for this goes to a reinforced...

body, optimally positioned battery and powertrain components, and a specially tuned suspension. But don't get the wrong idea: The Prius C is still about high mpg, not high mph. With a 0-60 mph of 11.5 seconds, this hybrid isn't agonizingly slow, but you will need to use discretion when engaging in any dramatic overtaking maneuvers. Meanwhile, cornering grip is acceptable and the electric power steering has a surprisingly positive feel, as does the C's regenerative disc/drum antilock braking system. Ride quality overall is on the firm side and can be a bit harsh on rough roads, especially in models with upgraded wheels and tires.

TOUCHSCREEN MULTIMEDIA SYSTEM
Upper trims of the 2013 Prius C come with a Display Audio system with a built-in navigation system that features real-time traffic/weather/sports/stocks/fuel prices. In addition to the usual audio and nav functions, the 6.1-inch touchscreen acts as a command center for downloadable apps, such as Pandora, that are part of Toyota's Entune infotainment technology.

50 MPG
That's the EPA combined city/highway fuel economy rating for the 2013 Prius C. With its "city" rating even higher at 53 mpg, you'd have to buy a plug-in vehicle to outperform the Prius C's fuel economy.

2013 Toyota Prius c Details
Interior

The C's Prius family resemblance is evident inside the hybrid's surprisingly spacious cabin. The most notable ties are in the offset positioning of the main gauge display and the multifunction steering wheel that carries over directly from the larger Prius liftback sedan. Up front, the Prius C has comfortable and supportive bucket seats. In back is a rear bench that can accommodate a pair of average-size adults or three kids. The rear seat folds to nearly double the capacity of the hatchback's already generous 17.1-cubic-foot cargo bay. Top-line models have leather-like SofTex seating, while the others feature fabric.

Exterior
2013 Toyota Prius c photo

Though based on the Yaris platform, the Toyota Prius C has its own identity and exterior traits that define it as a member of the Prius family, albeit one that's over a foot and a half shorter than the standard Prius liftback. Among those visual cues are sweeping headlights, long and vertical taillights, and window design that includes a stylish boomerang shape within the rear doors. The 2013 Prius C comes with 15-inch wheels, with One, Two, and Three trims shod with steel wheels and wheel covers. Top-line Four models wear 8-spoke alloy wheels and further distinguish themselves with fog lights up front.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2013 Prius C comes in four trims, simply named One, Two, Three, and Four. Even the sub-$20,000 One model is quite well-equipped with automatic climate control, a 4-speaker AM/FM/CD audio unit with auxiliary and USB inputs and Bluetooth streaming, and keyless entry. Prius C Two models add cruise control, 60/40 split folding rear seats in lieu of a one-piece design, a 6-speaker audio system, and a cargo cover. Prius C Three trims include Display Audio navigation unit with the Entune infotainment system, and top-line Four models have aluminum-alloy wheels, fog lights, SofTex-trimmed upholstery, and heated front seats.

Optional Equipment

The 2013 Prius C is essentially preconfigured in four equipment-specific trims, so options are minimal and confined to the upper two trim levels. Among the extras that can be had in Prius C Three and Four models are a power moonroof and upgraded wheels. For the latter, the Three model can be fitted with 15-inch, 8-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels, while the Four model can be upgraded with 16-inch versions.

Under the Hood

The Prius C is powered by a similar but smaller version of the Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive system used in the larger Prius liftback. The Prius C teams a 73-horsepower/1.5-liter Atkinson Cycle 4-cylinder gasoline engine with a smaller, lighter 60-horsepower drive motor energized by a compact nickel-metal hydride battery located beneath the rear seat. In total, the gas/electric pairing supplies an adequate 99 horsepower. All Prius C models have a CVT automatic transmission, are front-wheel drive, and use regular unleaded gasoline. The Prius C offers three drive modes: Normal, Eco, and EV. Eco mode adjusts throttle response and climate control to maximize efficiency, while EV mode allows you to drive short distances (less than a mile) at speeds below 25 mph on electric power alone.

1.5-liter inline-4 + 45-kilowatt Electric Motor and 0.87kWh battery pack
73 horsepower @ 4,800 rpm/60 horsepower (99 net system horsepower)
82 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm/125 lb-ft of torque
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 53/46 mpg

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2013 Toyota Prius c Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.3
Out of 10

Based on 73 Ratings for the 2012 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.5/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    9.8/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.7/10

Best choice I ever made for a car!

By on Wednesday, July 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 605

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great Gas Mileage, Easy to Drive, Fun, Comfortable"

Cons: "None right now!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I was not sure about switching from a Jeep Patriot to a Prius C because my Jeep did so well in the snow! However, I used to own a Yaris and I never got stuck in the snow so I think it is mostly about the driver with small cars (unless a massive snow storm hits). I will find out in the winter how it does. But from the month I have had this car I have only filled the gas tank once and I have 605 miles on it. So, I used a tank and 1/3 to get 605 miles, I think that is amazing! The EPA rating is pretty accurate if you drive fairly normal and go more than a couple miles each time you are in the city. However, if you are slow to accelerate (on purpose) you can get so much more. The best I have gotten in the few miles I do drive around to get to work was 83 mpg in the city. Also, the highway miles have not been accurate for me. I drive about 53 mph everywhere because that gets the best gas mile for me and the best I have gotten on the highway was 70 mpg. This is almost 30 mpg more than the EPA estimate!!! I will say the power would be noticeable to someone going from something bigger and with a nice engine in it, but since I have had small cars up until my jeep the power did not seem bad. It has good get up and go even compared to having my jeep. The interior is very comfortable. I am an average height of 5'6 and the seat fits my back perfectly so it supports it. I had to get used to kind of "hopping" down into the car instead of just hopping in, but it is not so low you are struggling to get in and out. When I test drove it I had myself, my fiance and the salesman in the car and everyone had decent leg room. Even if you are in the passenger seat you can pull the glove box down and not be cramped for space. That is without the seat being all the way back either. I loved the color options being so bright! In my old yaris is was black so at night it was hard to see me coming and cars would often cut me off or almost push me off the road. However, now with the sun fusion yellow paint people see me coming and often slow down or wait for me to pass instead of cutting me off! I have the Prius C Two and from what I had before it was such an upgrade! I have a touch screen that has bluetooth for my phone to make calls, read text messages, and play music. The system to make calls works great I never fell like I am yelling and when I say a name it gets it right the first time, all the time! I would say that if you want to save gas and/or help the environment but do not want an all electric car this is the way to go! It is super reliable and has great warranties on the parts and the hybrid battery (8 years for your battery alone)! This was the best decision I made and I am so happy with everything about the car! I am going to keep this car until it cannot run anymore and then probably get another prius c if they still make them that is!"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Love my Prius C!

By on Wednesday, July 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Great gas mileage. Fun to drive."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Totally dependable. Great gas mileage. Consumer Reports has rated the dependability at the top of its category for three years now. Also...and this is something people miss when they talk about this model...it is great fun to drive. This is our running around car...and we have done a lot of running around with it."

Excellent choice for small fuel efficient vehicle

By on Sunday, July 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Very reliable, very fuel efficient, easy to drive"

Cons: "No rear cabin lights or vents"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"If you're looking for one of the most fuel efficient cars on the market, and not needing the size to accommodate more than two people with luggage, this is an excellent choice. It's not powerful but works fine for everyday driving. Very reliable. Good visibility. Dash and ignition more like a conventional vehicle than a hybrid."

10 people out of 22 found this review helpful

Sporty Feel, Great Handling, Avg. 50mpg

By on Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,100

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "50+mpg, good sound system, fun drive overall"

Cons: "plasticky feel to interior, slow to accelerate"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I'm really happy with this purchase. I'm kind of evangelical about the Prius line in general, but this is my first C, and it's a much sportier-feeling car than the Prius sedan. It doesn't have the best highway-ramp pickup, but once it gets to the 60-70mpg range it feels great and stays high in fuel economy. My only small complaint is that the interior feels more plasticky and has an overall lower-quality build than the Prius sedan (e.g. no lights in the visor mirrors, a hollow sound to the doors when they close, etc."

11 people out of 18 found this review helpful

OVER 100K miles and no problems

By on Wednesday, June 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 105,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought my red c in April 2012. I deliver pizza and now have over 100k miles. My maintenance? Tire rotate every 5k and synthetic oil every 10k. Do NOT spend extra money fro the warranty. This lil trooper is a TANK! I will drive it til the wheels fall off and then I will get another one. Very peppy from 0-35 due to electric motor kick. 40-70 kind of a bummer, especially with passengers, but I'll take that trade for 50 mpg. It is the best car I've ever had."

7 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Great for my driving situation

By on Sunday, June 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Mileage, reliability, fun to drive"

Cons: "Complicated electronics controls. Wimpy horn."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"We have had this car for three years and 25,000 miles. We drive 99% of the time in the city, so the "C" (city) designation fits our driving needs. The mileage is great, even though I don't baby it. I never thought I'd like a subcompact, but the size makes parking, washing/waxing, and fueling a snap. Adequate storage space. The only problem is that other drivers have no respect for a small car when it comes to cutting in, etc. Overall the Prius C fits our lifestyle (retired city dwellers)."

5 people out of 8 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?