Perhaps the the "c" in the Prius C stands for ka-ching. According to reports, Toyota in Japan received 10 times its monthly sales target in pre-orders for the compact version of its Prius hybrid within the first five days of the model's debut, leading to what's likely to be a shortage and long wait times for the car.

HybridCars.com, citing the Japanese publication Nikkei, says the Japanese automaker received about 120,000 orders for the Aqua between December 26 and 31, adding that Toyota had targeted sales of about 12,000 units a month. Toyota had already received about 60,000 orders prior to the launch of the model, which will be called the Prius C when it debuts in the U.S. later this year, and had estimated a four-month wait time between order and delivery. Toyota's current production capacity is limited to 30,000 Prius C units a month.

The glut of pre-orders is likely to create yet another supply shortage situation for Toyota, whose production of the Prius and other models was hampered by the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan last March. This led, in part, to Toyota's U.S. Prius sales falling 3.2 percent last year, though last month's sales were up 8.7 percent from a year earlier.

The Prius C, whose fuel economy is estimated at about 50 miles per gallon, is scheduled to start sales in the U.S. in March and will be priced at just under $19,000. Toyota also started recently started selling the Prius V wagon – which is also incredibly popular so far – and will debut a plug-in hybrid version of the Prius this year.


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  • 54 Comments
      DRstrangelove
      • 3 Years Ago
      Another nail in the coffin of the Chevy Volt.
        Nick
        • 3 Years Ago
        @DRstrangelove
        Drstrangeglove You are a true idiot. The Volt is a completely different, much more advanced car. If anything this puts a nail in the coffin of the Insight.
          Ford Future
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Nick
          OUCH! The Insight gets bad press, but, it hit's it's mpg numbers, and is fun to drive.
        Grendal
        • 3 Years Ago
        @DRstrangelove
        What's your beef with the Volt? Did one run over your grandmother?
        marcopolo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @DRstrangelove
        marcopolo @Drstranglove, Ah well, I tried.....
        marcopolo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @DRstrangelove
        @Drstrangelove. This can't continue! These annoying little comments, are becoming as irritatingly repetitive, as DF's "not green'".! So rather than be rude to you, I would invite you to take the opportunity ABG provides, to explain rationally and logically why you dislike GM's Volt, with such ardour? Remember that many ABG readers are Volt owners, so be respectful, but by all means say exactly how you feel, and why. This is your chance to gain some creditability. If not, do yourself,f and everyone else a favour, and forget posting these meaningless jibes. (leave that to DF). I await your explanation?
      pudgie_child
      • 3 Years Ago
      I was considering a Prius C as my next car, but was disappointed primarily by two things: 1. The dowdy appearance. I do, however, like the production version of the car with the body kit, but am concerned about how much $$ that was going to add. 2. Disappointing fuel economy. I was hoping for a car with at least 55 MPG combined, certainly NOT the same MPG as the standard Prius liftback.
      Mr. Sunshine
      • 3 Years Ago
      If Toyota is going to create a whole sub family of Priuses/Prii, at least have a consistent or logical naming scheme. Isn't it a bit confusing that there's a Prius v/alpha/+/wagon as well as a Prius V/five/5/? I know Toyota used to use roman numerals for Prius trim levels because I test drove at a Prius IV. And why isn't there a Prius 1 if there's a Prius 2, 3, 4, and 5? And why is the Prius c called the Aqua in Japan? I know Toyota often has special names for their models in Japan but it's not a good marketing approach for the Prius. Out of all brands, Prius should be promoted in a logical, coherent, dare "technocratic," universal campaign. That's part of the appeal of a Prius. It's as heart-warming as the periodic table.
        EZEE
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Mr. Sunshine
        Surprised that in Japan it isn't called, 'Happy Go Far Stupendous Go Go Action Vehicle'
      PeterScott
      • 3 Years Ago
      As soon as this was announced I figured it would be years before you could get one without getting on a wait list. 50MPG for sub $20K is a breakthrough. That lets you have superlative fuel economy without a high price, making this a near ideal commuter car.
      super390
      • 3 Years Ago
      180,000 total orders? Is this the point where Toyota begins to phase out regular small cars like the Corolla in Japan for an all-hybrid slate?
        Ford Future
        • 3 Years Ago
        @super390
        Since Japan imports all it's oil, that would be a great idea. But EV's would be even better.
      Nick
      • 3 Years Ago
      At this point they could afford to bump up the price.
      wobrown10
      • 3 Years Ago
      Very attractive little car and price right.kudos Toyota.
      dellrio
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why is the MPG not higher for a smaller version of the prius? Smaller Size, Less weight, Same MPG?
        mapoftazifosho
        • 3 Years Ago
        @dellrio
        Smaller battery...relying on the ICE more...
        Sasparilla Fizz
        • 3 Years Ago
        @dellrio
        While the battery is undoubtedly smaller, with less mass, you shouldn't need as big as one to do the job just as well. I'd put my bet on the lackluster range because the engine in the smaller Prius is a cheaper modification of an existing ICE that doesn't get nearly as good as mileage for its size as the expensive custom engine in the Prius Liftback. An example here is that a couple of years ago I was looking at the Honda Fit and the Civic, this Civic had an engine that was 1/2 liter larger in size and a significantly heavier car but got significantly better gas mileage - because the little engine in the Fit wasn't as advanced as well as cheaper to produce (which was needed for the price point) and the Fit didn't get the mileage. For the Prius C's price point they probably weren't able to afford a super efficient ICE comparable to the full size Prius's. Course, for the price you can't beat the mileage even with slightly lackluster ratings. They'll sell a ton of these things.....I hope they have a significant amount of extra battery production capacity ready to go.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @dellrio
        Gen 2 powertrain, that is why. That's also why the car is cheaper..
        PeterScott
        • 3 Years Ago
        @dellrio
        It does get better city MPG - that is where weight most affects MPG. It gets worse highway MPG - that is were aerodynamics most affect MPG, and the truncated hatch of the C is not as aerodynamic.
        DaveMart
        • 3 Years Ago
        @dellrio
        You gain a bit in the city from less weight, and loose a bit on the highway as it is tougher to get good aerodynamics in a shorter car.
          MTN RANGER
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          Ding, ding, ding. You are correct, sir.
      EZEE
      • 3 Years Ago
      $19,000 base price for a Toyota Hybrid? What's not to like? One of the very few cars that earns a Happy Dan :) for price. If the Ranger was being replaced (and no boat) this would be mine in a heartbeat.
        Dan Frederiksen
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        except for the minor detail that it's a gas only car.. hardly worth mentioning : ) Dan is not happy. not even a little : ) I hate it with a passion because it's Toyota holding on to the combustion engine as best they can to avoid doing the right thing.
          MTN RANGER
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Dan Frederiksen
          EZEE, ICE is always a no,no!
          EZEE
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Dan Frederiksen
          The :) would be on pricing. The full rating would be :| hybrid (not plugin) :( performance :( light weight :) cheap :( aero (by your high standards)
          EZEE
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Dan Frederiksen
          At MTN Yea, it is the 'Happy Dan' rating...not happy EZEE's rating. I guess I figure that a hybrid that can run in EV mode (full hybrids from Toyota and Ford, for example) should at least get a :| opposed to a :( . But again, not my standard...
      DaveMart
      • 3 Years Ago
      I was thinking that they were unlikely to offer this as a plug in for some time due to engineering difficulties in the smaller form factor. On second thoughts though the battery space must be around the same size as on its bigger brother, so the issue must be the difficulty of charging a high enough price on a smaller car to make it viable. You just get a lot more petrol savings by making a big heavy car which would otherwise get lousy fuel economy a plug in.
        Mike Dimmick
        • 3 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        The Prius C and Yaris Hybrid will have the battery under the rear seat, in order to increase the luggage compartment size. The regular Prius has it behind the rear seats, under the cargo floor, with an under-floor storage tray above the spare wheel. The plug-in Prius uses the whole area under the floor from behind the rear seats to the rear bumper and has no spare wheel. The Auris Hybrid, which follows the regular Prius pattern, is quite compromised on storage space compared to the regular Auris, due to the higher rear floor level required. The regular Auris has 354L of storage space while the Auris Hybrid has 233L. The US Prius v has the NiMH battery under the floor, as the regular Prius Liftback does, and no third row of seats; the Prius + (Europe and Japan) has a Lithium Ion battery in place of the centre console, between driver and front passenger, and a third row of seats that fold into the rear floor.
        Nick
        • 3 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        True, but you get more publicity by going from 50 to 60mpg than going from 19 to 24mpg.
        DaveMart
        • 3 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        Thanks Mike. I gather from that that a plug in Prius C is unlikely until higher energy density batteries are available. Am I reading what you said right?
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 3 Years Ago
      No surprise. In my eyes, this is one of the most desirable cars that's came around in a while. Basically butts heads with the Honda Insight and steals it's lunch money. :)
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why doesn’t Toyota consider single people in the US without children living in the city’s needs? After all, we are the biggest population! I bought my 1997 Rav4 in 1998 and love it. But I have been waiting for the same in HYBRID version of my little 4 door Rav4! What single person wants the largeness of the HIghlander (no children and I rarely schlep 7 people around!) and who wants the inconvenience of looking for a darn plug for the EV when you don’t have a house?? Who wants to sit and wait for your car to charge after you hunt down a charging station?? I am upset that they made the newer Rav4 as large as the Highlander, and NOT a HYBRID! There are many who enjoy the toughness and ease of parking in the city with the little Rav4 4 door. (I fit into most parking spots!) PLEASE toyota, make your smaller Rav4 version in a HYBRID for us many childless, city dwellers! Otherwise, I’m holding on to my current RAV4 until you do!
        marcopolo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @jo Jo, no disrespect intended, but I'm genuinely curious. Even though the RAV 4 is smaller than most SUV's, it does seem an inappropriate design for what is primarily urban vehicle. What is it about the design of a imitation off-road vehicle that appeals to you, as opposed to say, a Prius or Volt?
          DaveMart
          • 3 Years Ago
          @marcopolo
          Surely you have already been told? 'There are many who enjoy the toughness and ease of parking in the city with the little Rav4 4 door. (I fit into most parking spots!) ' Here in the UK short tall vehicles are popular too providing a roomy cabin but easy to park for the same reasons. If they can get the price right I think Mitsubishi may be on to a winner with their small SUV plug in hybrid: http://www.mitsubishicars.com/MMNA/jsp/company/concepts.do Volkswagen are also coming out with a CUV plug in hybrid, although it is still at concept stage: http://www.greencarcongress.com/2011/11/vwtokyo-20111130.html
          DaveMart
          • 3 Years Ago
          @marcopolo
          @Marco: And I appreciate your reply. I was however simply pointing out that jo, who does not appear to be online and checking this thread, has already given his/her reasons. The fact that you happen to disagree with them is neither here nor there. As for the supposed falsity of the notion that faux off roaders are any tougher than conventional cars whilst it is true that they don't have true off road capability rather higher ground clearance is often handy, and they often come with various extra rubbing strips and so on. I can't really comment on your supposition of extra difficulty in parking this sort of vehicle as they would appear to be reasonable, and the lack of fast slope aways in the bonnet makes at least knowing where the bonnet ends easy. For reversing the mooted compulsory provision of rear cameras in the US would render difficulties moot. As for practicality a high square shape always gives you more space than any other, which is important to some. I agree that the high vehicles are a nuisance to others, including me, but then they don't buy their car for my benefit and I find staying the proper distance behind reduces any visibility problems. If I needed more space I would certainly go for something high and square, considering the limitations of Bristol parking.
          marcopolo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @marcopolo
          @Dave Mart, I appreciate your contribution, but I was really asking Jo. But in reply to you, I would ask, how on city paved roads is a ersatz 4WD, 'tougher' (except image)? Anyone observing a supermarket parking lot, will come to the conclusion, (along with the National Insurance council) that most drivers find parking considerably more difficult in such vehicles, despite the illusion of 'higher' position. I have a dislike of non-rural SUV's. (especially imitation 4WDs). These vehicles add considerably to the lack of visibility in city streets and the dynamics of such an inappropriate vehicle are clearly at a disadvantage over the more functional and efficient sedan/lift back and station waggon. Although, I have no wish to tell others how they can spend their money, I do like to learn what motivates the purchasing decisions of vehicle owners. That's why I was interested in Jo's opinion.
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