Thursday, July 5, 2018

Toyota Prius-C [Short-take review]

Performance: The 1.5-liter four-cylinder produces 73hp but with electric motor the total output raises to 99hp. With these numbers the Prius-C isn’t a rocket between traffic lights, but it does get you to point B very efficiently.

Ride & handling: The steering doesn’t really offer much feedback which is typical in a Toyota. Ride is comfortable for the most part but the suspension is more aimed towards comfort so there will be plenty of body roll in corners and those eco-tires don’t offer much grip either on slippery surfaces. Thankfully ESP is standard because things would’ve been a lot worse.

After you’ve decided to not drive like a hooligan in a vehicle not designed to be driven that way. The Prius-C is quite comfortable commuter car but again there are cheaper rivals that are more engaging to drive and are as efficient; unless you have to have a hybrid look elsewhere.

Buying & owning: Pricey but it would work well if you do tons of driving and can make up for the purchase price. However, trying to get the best gas mileage means you’ll have to drive it a certain way which can be tricky. Luckily in eco-mode it helps you alter your driving habits, but again if highway driving is what you do the most of a diesel engine would suit you best.

Reliability: The interior feels a bit disappointing in some areas. You can tell there was some cost cutting in the plastics which feel cheap and drab. But at least you’ll have the peace of mind knowing that it will last forever thanks to Toyota’s rock solid reliability record.

Final Verdict: Picking this over a Ford Fiesta, Nissan Versa Note and even the Toyota Yaris is all a mere matter of taste. The rivals listed above may not offer hybrid tech but they feel more engaging to drive and are just as efficient. They are even cheaper to buy than the Prius-C which begs the question is it really worth considering? As a company car it is a quite compelling option which will do tons of miles a year. However, as a privately owned vehicle it’s quite hard to justify.

We want to like the hybrid but for the premium and the fuel advantage we’d rather stick with either a diesel engine or one of the many cheaper rivals that offer similar running costs and even a more compelling package for less cash.

 Likes: Hybrid tech at an affordable price, compact size yet offers plenty of practicality. Low running costs.

Dislikes: There are cheaper rivals that are just as efficient and more engaging to drive. Interior quality is a bit of a letdown. Exterior looks are on the bland side. You’ll have to climb all the way to the top of the range trim to get alloy wheels fitted standard.

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