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2012 Toyota Prius cView 2018 Model Price, Photos, Reviews & Features

2012 Toyota Prius c Exterior

2012 Toyota Prius c Overview (See Available Styles)

Toyota adds yet another member to the Prius family: the compact 2012 Prius c. The Prius c joins the Prius, Prius plug-in, and Prius V, meaning there are now four available varieties of the world's best-selling hybrid.

While the Prius V added cargo room and extra space, the Prius c does the opposite and downsizes. It’s a full 19 inches shorter and 500 pounds lighter than the standard Prius – think of it as the compact car version. Another important thing that the Prius c has downsized is the price, starting at $18,950 (before destination charges) which means it competes directly with the Honda Insight.

The Prius c has styling that makes you think “Prius,” but it also has enough distinguishing features that it won’t be confused with its larger sibling. The exterior contains more creases and folds, especially in the front bumper and down the sides which give it a more car-like look. Also notable are the rather large taillights that flank the rear liftgate and spill over onto the side pillars as well.

Under the hood the 2012 Prius c features a 1.5-liter four-cylinder gas engine that combines with an electric motor to produce 99 total horsepower. An efficient, electronically controlled CVT drives power through the front wheels.

It wouldn’t be worthy of its name if fuel economy wasn’t stellar but we’re glad to report that the Prius c does, to the tune of 53 mpg in the city and 46 mpg on the highway. The Prius c’s lower weight accounts for its superior city mpg when compared to the standard Prius, but the Prius c is also less aerodynamic which is why the highway number is a bit lower. In any case, the two match up when it comes to combined mpg: 50.

Inside, the four-door Prius c still offers seating for five, albeit in a more cramped back seat (those 19 shortened inches had to come from somewhere). It also opts for a more conventional dashboard layout. There’s still the digital speedometer and car information display which sits atop the dash between the driver and the center stack, but otherwise it looks much more like a standard car than the Prius’ more futuristic layout. It even opts for a conventional type of shifter instead of the joystick. For a car in this price range, the 2012 Prius c really piles on the standard features, including automatic climate control, Bluetooth® connectivity, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, USB/auxiliary audio input jacks, and power windows and locks. Options include a smart key system with push button start, Toyota’s Entune connectivity suite, and a navigation system.

Safety features include nine airbags, vehicle stability and traction control, LATCH seating, and antilock brakes.

The 2012 Toyota Prius c offers plenty of features inside and unbeatable fuel economy in a package that starts south of $19,000, making it one of the best bargains on the road today.

EPA Fuel Economy

  • City: 53 MPG
  • Highway: 46 MPG

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Vehicle crash and safety data is provided by NHTSA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The NHTSA testing was established by Congress to reduce highway deaths and injuries. Read an article on the current NHTSA crash test program.

Safety Rating

  • Overall Safety: *****
  • Frontal Crash: ****
  • Side Crash: *****

Consumer Reviews Summary

Overall Rating:

70 of 76 (92%) consumers said they would recommend this vehicle to a friend.

Read Toyota Prius c Consumer Reviews