Now in lite
Toyota’s grip on the hybrid market – the Prius nearly outsells all other hybrids combined – is about to get tighter. The latest Prius offspring is the “c”, the smallest, cheapest and most efficient Toyota petrolelectric.
Based on the compact Yaris platform, the c relies on a downsized Prius powertrain. The petrol engine is smaller (1,5 litres instead of 1,8), as are the CVT and the nickel-metal-hydride battery pack. Consequently, the c is about 245 kg lighter than the regular Prius (now called the Liftback). Peak power, including the electric boost, is just 74 kW – enough to maintain highway speed, but it’s leisurely off the line. The c is sufficiently nimble in tight urban confines, but it doesn’t have the beguiling dynamics of, say, a Chevy Sonic.
For those who delight in monitoring fuel saved (the c is stellar in this regard), the trip computer provides plenty of entertainment. There are several ways to view efficiency, and drivers can even input fuel-economy data from other cars to obtain a real-time measure of litres and loot saved.
Plus, the c is the first Toyota hybrid available with the cloud-based Entune mobileapp software. All of this gadgetry points to the fact that the joys of a Prius have little to do with actually
driving it. – Larry Webster