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in Affordable Small Cars

MSRP: $19,080 - $23,360
Invoice: $18,127 - $21,746
MPG: 53 City / 46 Hwy
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Toyota Prius c Review

The 2014 Toyota Prius c ranks 18 out of 41 Affordable Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Toyota Prius c, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2014 Toyota Prius c is ranked:

The 2014 Toyota Prius c offers class-leading fuel economy and reviewers praise its roomy cabin and low base price, but say rival cars offer sportier handling and a more comfortable ride.

Reviewers say the 2014 Toyota Prius c’s four-cylinder engine and electric motor provide adequate power around town. However, they point out that, as with most subcompacts, it takes time to get up to highway speeds and the engine feels fatigued when climbing steep grades. The Prius c comes with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and gets an EPA-estimated 53/46 mpg city/highway, which is superb for a small hybrid. Test drivers say the Prius c is a cinch to park and maneuver in tight spaces thanks to its tight turning radius. It’s not very exciting to drive, but it corners and steers adequately, they say. However, several critics point out that the Prius c’s ride can feel uncomfortably stiff on rough roads.

Critics report that the Prius c’s cabin is characterized by budget materials but that higher trims offer some nicer fabrics and trim. The front seats are supportive, they say, and the rear seats have plenty of head- and legroom for the average adult. The Prius c has a competitive amount of cargo space behind the rear seats and even more room with the seats folded. The base Prius c comes with a four-speaker CD audio system, Bluetooth, a USB port, an auxiliary jack, automatic climate control and remote keyless entry. Available features include a power moonroof, a six-speaker audio system with a 6.1-inch touch-screen display, satellite radio, HD Radio, navigation and access to mobile apps like Pandora Internet radio through Toyota’s Entune infotainment system. Reviewers say both the standard audio system and optional touch-screen navigation are easy to use.

  • "Overall, while the Prius c isn't a full Prius substitute, it's undoubtedly the cheapest way to hit the 50-miles-per-gallon milestone in a new car today. That's the formula that propelled the Prius c to instant stardom, and we expect it to maintain its appeal in these consumption-conscious times." -- AutoTrader
  • "Truly, you'll find no better combination if affordability and fuel economy are priorities. But as any Jedi master can tell you, there's also a dark side to the Prius C. For one, Toyota, in its quest for making the cheapest Prius yet, chose to cut back on refinement. As a result, the C can seem like less of a car for what you paid, at least in the way it drives." -- Edmunds
  • "If you thought a hybrid car was out of your price range, the 2014 Toyota Prius C will surprise you with its affordability and wealth of standard features." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The Prius c might be short on acceleration and quietness, but it's big on fuel economy. Very big, actually as it recorded some of the highest fuel economy we've ever seen. Toss in decent versatility, passenger room, and a price tag that rivals many non-hybrid small cars, and you have an ideal choice for those who place a high value on frugality in all forms." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

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Other Cars to Consider

Though it can’t match the Prius c’s gas mileage, the gas-only Ford Fiesta is very efficient for the class when equipped with the Super Fuel Economy package. Unlike the Prius c, test drivers say the Fiesta has an upscale interior. They also praise its ride quality, saying it easily absorbs bumps and road imperfections and has nimble handling.

The Honda CR-Z doesn’t get as good fuel economy as rival hybrids like the Prius c, but auto writers are impressed with its sharp steering and responsive brakes, saying it’s one of the best-handling hybrids on the market. The CR-Z also comes with more standard features, including rearview camera.

Compare the Prius c, Fiesta and CR-Z »

Details: 2014 Toyota Prius c

The 2014 Toyota Prius c is a five-seat hatchback and has front-wheel drive. There are four trims, named One, Two, Three and Four. All models have a four-cylinder engine, an electric motor and a continuously variable transmission. The Prius c was introduced for the 2012 model year and hasn’t changed much since then. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2012, 2013 and 2014 model years.

See the full 2014 Toyota Prius c specs »

Review Last Updated: 5/12/14

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