First Look: 2012 Toyota Prius C

By Brandon Turkus

November 17, 2011

Toyota has taken the wraps off of the smallest member of the Prius family, the Prius c. Set to make its official debut at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the c is expected to net 50 miles per gallon in city driving.
From what we can of the few pictures, the Prius c isn’t quite so edgy as the concept that debuted at last year’s NAIAS. It has an element of the new Yaris to it, bundled with some added aerodynamic features. It’s not a bad look, just not as exciting as what the concept promised.
We’ll have more on the Prius c when it hits the showstand in Detroit.
Please scoll down for the official press release from Toyota.
Toyota Prius c Provides a Subcompact Entry Point to Prius Family of Hybrid Vehicles
TORRANCE (Nov. 15, 2011) –Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., will offer a fuel-efficient hybrid at a more accessible price when the Prius c joins the Prius Family of vehicles in the spring of 2012. The U.S. debut of the Prius c will be next January at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
This highly anticipated subcompact member of the Prius Family will bring Toyota’s renowned Hybrid Synergy Drive® technology to a new segment of buyers when it joins the third-generation Prius Liftback hybrid vehicle, the versatile new Prius v midsize hybrid vehicle and the Prius Plug-in Hybrid model, which will also debut next spring. Positioned as an entry into the Prius Family appealing to youthful shoppers seeking fuel efficiency, technology, and spirited driving dynamics in the subcompact segment, the Prius c will offer:
Expected class-leading fuel economy better than 50 mpg in the city, which is the highest city mpg of any non-plug-in vehicle.
Proven hybrid technology, with 14 years of heritage, available at a more accessible price.
A high degree of convenience features and premium in-car electronics, uncommon in a five-door configuration, creating a less compromised compact-car experience
As with other Prius models, Prius c combines its revolutionary Hybrid Synergy Drive® with excellent aerodynamics to achieve outstanding fuel efficiency. The new Prius c is unique in the Prius Family with a more youthful expression and a sportier dynamic character that offers a more fun-to-drive experience. The vehicle’s five-door format and flexible packaging will adapt to a broad range of owners’ needs.
The Prius c offers an unexpected level of convenience, capability and technology in a compact hybrid-electric at an attractive price. Bluetooth® hands-free phone connectivity, steering-wheel audio controls, and nine airbags will be among the standard features on the 2012 Prius c.
In addition,owners will enjoy a new dimension of connectivity courtesy of the available Toyota Entune™ multimedia system. Entune™ leverages the mobile smartphone to provide a richer in-vehicle infotainment experience with fully integrated access to navigation, entertainment, and information services. It allows users to connect with popular apps such as Bing™,, and Entune™ also provides access to real-time information services, such as live weather, traffic, fuel information (location and price), stocks, and sports. The Prius c also offers voice recognition, music streaming, and email/text to speech capabilities.
Toyota Entune™ brings one of the largest selections of music options available to a vehicle, including iheartradio’s 750+ stations and Pandora® internet radio’s personalized music. In addition, the driver’s personal songs from portable media players and iPods (via USB or Bluetooth® audio streaming), and more than 170 stations from SiriusXM™ satellite radio are also available.
Making premium technology available to compact-car shoppers, the Prius c offers superior fuel economy in a stylish, user-friendly package.
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Prius Family Specifications
        Prius c
   Prius v
Prius Plug-in
Length (in.)
Width (in.
Height (in.)
Wheelbase (in.)
Gasoline Engine
1.5-liter DOHC four-cylinder, 16–valve with VVT-i
1.8-liter DOHC, four cylinder, 16-valve with VVT-i
1.8-liter DOHC, four-cylinder, 16-valve with VVT-i
1.8-liter DOHC, four-cylinder
, 16-valve with VVT-i
Emission Certification
SULEV with