Unlike other websites and magazines, our ratings are not based solely on a singular road test, but rather a more encompassing batch of criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value. When comparing vehicles using our Rating System, it's important to note that the rating earned by each vehicle correlates only to the models within its class. For example, a compact car cannot be compared to a SUV—They are different vehicles altogether.
You can interpret our ratings in the following way:
5-Star: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.
4-Star: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.
3-Star: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.
2-Star: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.
1-Star: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.
2018 Toyota Prius c OVERVIEW
Since its US-market introduction in 2001, the groundbreaking Toyota Prius has paved the way for mainstream acceptance of the once unfamiliar hybrid technology. Today, the proliferation of mass-market cars coupling gasoline engines to electric motors in the quest for better fuel economy has left the Prius less of a unique proposition, but it is still very much a competitive and compelling choice. The distinctly styled 2018 Prius c is the smallest and most affordable of the available Prius models (c, regular Prius, V, Prime), but delivers low emissions and efficient motoring - hallmarks of the Prius lineup - in a big way.
What's New for 2018
For 2018, the baby Prius borrows a few aesthetic tricks from the crossover's playbook. As a result, the Prius c gains black rocker panels, wheel well moldings and roof rails, while a body-colored spoiler and silver-accented lower front and rear bumpers complete the subtle styling refresh. Two new colors, Sandstorm and Tide Pool Pearl, and new 15-inch eight-spoke wheels finish it all off. Rounding out the notable changes for 2018 is a now-standard rearview camera.
Choosing Your Toyota Prius c
Toyota makes it surprisingly easy to select a Prius c. With hardly any standalone options and four trim levels simply numbered one through four, choosing one of these tiny Prii is easier than ordering off a fast food menu.
For all versions, power comes courtesy of a 1.5-liter four-cylinder that works in tandem with an electric motor and battery. Combined output from this setup is 99 horsepower, which is routed to the front wheels via a continuously variable transmission. Considering it's a member of the fuel-sipping Prius family, fuel economy is unsurprisingly impressive – the EPA rates the Prius c as being good for 48 miles per gallon city, 43 highway and 46 combined.
For those hypermilers who might get a little too intent on drafting and coasting, Toyota has made standard their Safety Sense-C, which is a suite of doodads intended to prevent a collision from occurring. These features include the pre-collision system (which provides audible and visual warnings of an impending accident), brake assist, lane departure alert and automatic high beams.
The first rung on the Prius c ladder is the One, with an MSRP of $21,525 (destination charge included). Among the One's standard features are a tilt and telescope steering wheel, automatic climate control and remote keyless entry.
A standard 3.5-inch display lets drivers scroll through a laundry list of information readouts, ranging in scope from the outside temperature to the hybrid system monitor. A 6.1-inch touchscreen in the center stack controls the audio, with AM/FM/CD/Aux functionality and, for Apple iPhone users, the ability to verbally cue up songs via Siri Eyes Free.
Next up is the $22,325 Two. It builds on the One by adding niceties such as two-toned seats, a six-way power driver's seat, cruise control, rear 60/40 split-folding seats and a cargo cover. The cabin is dressed up a bit over the One through the use of piano-black trim along with a smattering of chrome accents and soft-touch materials.
Opting for the $23,750 Three furnishes the Prius c with a few more amenities, including a navigation system and a push button start. It also comes with two additional speakers (for a grand total of six), weather and traffic updates, and SiriusXM radio. A $700 power tilt/slide moonroof is available.
At the top of the hierarchy sits the Four, for which Toyota wants $25,860. It adds to the fray LED foglights, a moonroof, specially trimmed seats, heated front seats and heated outside mirrors. For $300 buyers can upgrade to 16-inch wheels.
Two is not as bad as One, but Three is where you want to be, offering the best mix of features at a reasonable price point. Buyers stuck in the Snowbelt or other cold weather locales should consider the Four, if only for the heated seats and heated outside mirrors.
March brings little change to Toyota's incentives. Offers favor financing over leasing as many models are eligible for low interest rates or cash rebates. For the sporty 2020... View All Toyota Lease Deals