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  • 3/4 Front Glamour 2017 Toyota Prius c
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MPG

48 City / 43 Highway
Automotive Editor -

They may share the name and the technology, but the Toyota Prius c is distinct from – and in meaningful ways more attractive than – its more popular and recognized Prius relative. It aims to fit that Prius paradigm into the space-challenged complexities of urban life, combining the benefits of a hybrid drivetrain – excellent fuel economy, smooth stop-and-go operation, green credentials – with tight dimensions for quicker reflexes and better odds in the parking game.

What's New for 2017

The Toyota Safety Sense C system (collision warning and automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, automatic high-beam headlights) is now standard across the line. Alloy wheels are now also standard on each trim level, and the nose, rear bumper, and lower sills have been subtly restyled. Otherwise the Prius c makes its high-efficiency, low-emissions way into 2017 essentially unchanged.

Toyota Prius c

Choosing Your Toyota Prius c

The Toyota Prius c (note: yes, lower-case c) is a five-door hatchback whose small footprint – sizewise it is nearly identical to the Yaris – and comparatively conventional styling set it apart from its larger, more radical Prius sibling. A 1.5-liter inline-four and an electric motor work together to send a maximum of 99 horsepower through an continuously variable transmission to the front wheels. EPA fuel economy tests return estimates of 48 miles per gallon city, 43 mpg highway and 46 mpg combined.

In a market saturated with cliché trim level names, Toyota has refreshingly labeled the Prius c's different levels as One, Two, Three, and Four:

One

The Prius c starts at an $21,045 (all listed prices include the $895 delivery fee). The standard equipment roster is on the light side, but it does include automatic climate control, LED headlights and taillights, a full-width folding rear seat, and Siri Eyes Free functionality via the 6.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system. There are no standalone options or packages for the entry-level Prius c.

Two

The interior trim is upgraded, and the buyer has a choice of two-tone patterns for the seat fabric. The folding rear seat receives a 60/40 split arrangement and a cargo cover now conceals items which fit behind those seats. An immobilizer anti-theft system is fitted, cruise control is added, and two more speakers are wired into the sound system for a total of six. The starting price increases $800 to $21,845. Once again, don't look around for optional extras

Three

The Entune infotainment system now includes navigation, an App Suite, and receivers for HD stations and SiriusXM satellite radio. Toyota's Smart Key System includes a remote starter. A moonroof is available for $850 on top of the Three's $23,270 sticker price – it represents the only available option on this mid-range model.

Four

The moonroof is standard. External features now include heated mirrors with turn signals and LED foglights. Seats are upholstered in Toyota's SofTex synthetic material, and the fronts include seat heaters. MSRP is now $25,860. The only significant option is a set of 16-inch wheels which add $300.

CarsDirect Tip

The middle of the range makes for a two-car sweet spot. The Two's functional and quality-of-life enhancements more than justify its marginal price increase over the One. For those who want more from the sun and sound departments, the price difference between the Three with the moonroof and the Four means the foglights, SofTex interior, and seat heaters of the latter essentially cost a hard-to-justify $1740. Be advised that an updated (if mechanically identical) Prius c is due for 2018.

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Best Toyota Deals & Lease Offers: February 2018

New car deals from Toyota carry on mostly unchanged for February. We find that rather surprising given that Presidents' Day is around the corner. Count on some sort of holiday... View All Toyota Lease Deals »

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