Stellar fuel economy; appealing price; hatchback convenience
Firm ride by Prius standards; ponderous acceleration
The Prius c makes two changes for 2016. One is Toyota's Safety Sense option package, which includes several new safety features. The other is the addition of a new Persona Series Special Edition trim level, which allows Prius c owners to stand out a little more than usual.
The Prius c Three is definitely the best deal. For under $23,000 with shipping, you get keyless access with push-button starting, a navigation system and Toyota's Entune infotainment system. We'd also opt for the new Safety Sense package in order to have several of today's latest safety gadgets. Find a Toyota Prius c for sale
The 2016 Toyota Prius c subcompact hatchback comes in four trim levels: Two, Three and Four, along with a new Persona Series Special Edition trim positioned between the Two and the Three. Last year's Prius c One is no longer available.
The entry-level Two ($21,200) includes power accessories, automatic climate control (an unusual luxury at this price point), a 3.5-inch color display with a real-time power-flow diagram, a 6-speaker audio system with iPod/USB and Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control, variable intermittent wipers, 2-tone seat fabric with driver's-seat height adjustment, SofTex dashboard trim, a 60/40-split folding rear seatback, cruise control and a center console with an armrest.
The new Persona Series Special Edition ($21,400) adds 15-in black alloy wheels and unique exterior color choices.
The Three ($22,700) adds voice-command recognition, a navigation system, the Entune smartphone-based mobile app interface and keyless entry and ignition with push-button starting (lesser models have a traditional twist key).
The Four ($25,200) tacks on LED fog lamps, 15-in alloy wheels (optional on Three), heated front seats, a backup camera, a power sunroof and SofTex trim for the seats and steering wheel.
In terms of options, the Prius c doesn't have many. A sunroof can be added to the Three, and sunroof-equipped Fours are eligible for 16-in alloy wheels and a quicker steering ratio. Newly optional for 2016 is Toyota's Safety Sense C package, offered on the Three and Four, which adds automatic high beams, lane-departure warning and forward-collision alert.
|Basic||3 Years/36,000 Miles|
|Drivetrain||5 Years/60,000 Miles|
|Corrosion||5 Years/Unlimited Miles|
|Hybrid/Electric Components||8 Years/100,000 Miles|
|Roadside Assistance||2 Years/Unlimited Miles|
|Maintenance||2 Years/25,000 Miles|
2016 Ford C-MAX -- Though the C-MAX is more expensive than the Prius c (and it doesn't tout the same excellent fuel economy numbers), it also offers more interior room and cargo space.
2016 Honda CR-Z -- If you don't need a back seat but could go for a more engaging drive, the 2-seat CR-Z is about the only game in town, delivering superior dynamics (but considerably worse fuel economy) for similar money.
Used Chevrolet Volt -- The Volt is a plug-in hybrid -- and that means regular access to a charging station is important. If you have that, you might want to consider a used Volt, which offers impressive fuel economy and a range-extending gasoline engine that kicks in once the electric motor is out of juice.
Used Toyota Prius -- If the Prius c doesn't seem like enough, keep in mind that the regular Prius starts under $25,000 and comes well-equipped. Used models are even less expensive, so you might be able to get a 1- or 2-year-old Prius for about the same money as a new Prius c.