Consumer Reports has panned the 2012 Toyota Prius C in a new video review that urges car shoppers to get a used regular Prius over the new baby model, "it's a much better car overall," said Mike Quincy in the review.

The problems Toyota ran into in creating the Prius C appear to be in making it cheaper, according to Consumer Reports. The list of adjectives during the video review included: "lackluster," "hard plastic," "cheap materials," "dead steering" and "slow."

Toyota may see those words as misplaced modifiers compared to the glowing recommendations the larger mainstream Prius has received in its decade-long Synergy drive to becoming the eco-poster child for hypermiling greenies out to save the Earth and ride in California HOV lanes with a single person aboard. (HOV access for most gas-electric hybrids has been discontinued in the Golden State.)

While the Prius C may start at $18,995, its price climbs quickly and its value does not, Consumer Reports said. A new regular Prius starts at $24,000.

However, the bad news from Consumer Reports hasn't hurt Prius C sales, which began in April. During its first month, Toyota sold 4,782 Prius C models, outpacing the other Prius variant, the family-minded Prius V, as well as the subcompact Yaris, which donates its platform for the Prius C.

Scroll down to watch Consumer Reports' full Prius C video review or read more at the source link.



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  • 116 Comments
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Avinash Machado
      • 2 Years Ago
      What a disappointment.
      thealiakbarali
      • 2 Years Ago
      My C gave me an average of ~56.5 MPG (city/highway combined) for 1400 miles. I drove it carefully though and tried to be on the green side most of the time. I drive 36 miles/day. I already have ~1770 miles on it. It's the most decent car I have ever driven. The fact that it saved me $5-6000 by avoising a regular Prius, and the fact that it will save more money than any other hybrid car on the planet, I am a very satisfid buyer. I agree with a alot of folks here about CR missing the point on this one. Man, if I wanted to drive a fast car I would go buy a Camaro, Lamburghini or somethng like that. I wanted the best gas ileage for the best price point. Thsi car has nothing less than Corolla when it comes to the actual design and platform architecture, let alone similarities to a Yaris, which is a reliable car. So far, and based on my research, no car beats Prius C when it comes to price, gas mileage, and overall look (whihc is even better tha regular Prius = more sporty and not boxy).
      sskleh
      • 2 Years Ago
      I love my Prius C. Perfect commute car with great gas mileage, at least 55 through traffic, fwy, local, hills combined. I do 100 miles per day and this car is a great pleasure. No lacking in power or comfort. The seats are good enough, for the pricing.
      techie69
      • 2 Years Ago
      We don't use CR for subjective matters since we are getting opinions like "it looks cheap", we care whether the damn thing is reliable, interior holds the test of time, etc. Looks that look expensive but can't hold the natural lifespan of the vehicle are useless. Toyota is trying to make hybrid affordable irrelavant of which platform it borrowed out of its stable, this analysis gets an F from the so called auto specialist who is very biased and subjective. If I want subjective factors to read I will use the regular a auto publishingbsites like Motortrend, CarandDriver, etc not Consumer Reports!
        techie69
        • 2 Years Ago
        @techie69
        People don't buy this car for hot rod driving, they buy for economy Mr. Quincy! It was engineered from the beginning as an affordable and economical car, not for the sports car driver or the speeding commuter.
        Donny Hoover
        • 2 Years Ago
        @techie69
        I get so tired of them complaining about how bumpy the ride is when they test a Miata or how the Wrangler's suspension travels excessively. Of course they do. They'd be worthless at what they were built for if they didn't. Same with this car. Of course its cheap. They designed it to get good gas mileage and save people money, which I'd say it does very well.
      Kristopher Spencer
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm sorry, but that cheap seat skirt is a deal breaker. That's the most important part of any car! ;)
      richar5795
      • 2 Years Ago
      I have a 2010 Prius C and I remember you gave negative comments about ride, wind noise and steering. Well, neither my wife or I notice. And we are getting 52 to 55 MPG in town and 50 to 51 on the highway where there are a lot of hills....and you failed to mention the power button that gets you up those steep hills. I also have a 2012 Prius 5 and get 45 to 47 in town and 44 to 46 on the same highway. Now weigh the price of gas against the milage I am getting and ask me if I miss leather interior, heated seats, cloud nine ride, and Indy 500 steering...when gas is now hiting near $4.00 a gallon .
      Razgriz
      • 2 Years Ago
      The maintenance in the long run won't be "cheap and economical" when the battery's capacity drops below 60% of the originals and need a replacement. Diesel engines are build to last a lot longer because of the compression ratios and boost pressure they run at. Even when you account for replacement particle filters it is still a lot cheaper to run over the car's life time. If they both achieve approx. the same fuel consumption, there is no economic advantage in buying a hybrid other than for lower GHG emissions and a "eco-friendly" impression. The truth is all road vehicles combined only account for ~15% of the total GHG emission; power generation, industrial/manufacturing and agriculture accounts for most of the other 85%. Even if the whole world stops using cars with IC engines it will only cut GHG output by 15%, significant portion at the cost of the whole world standing still... not going to happen. Adding to that.. recycling an old diesel engine is easier than batteries. I am not against design for a cleaner environment and I am definitely NOT saying I am an eco-friendly hipster, far from being one; but there is a better way to do it than lithium-ion and current battery technologies.
        Mark Schaffer
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Razgriz
        Please provide the sources for your assertions so reader can properly judge your credibility, rather than bloviating such as "lokestreachery" has done.
      JonZeke
      • 2 Years Ago
      $19,000 is an awful lot of change for a penalty box automobile, especially considering the choices of both nearly-new and new efficient options at that price. The exaggerated "Altezza" lights are aesthetic reason enough to shop elsewhere. If you can stomach the lack of performance, just drive any host of better-finished hatchbacks slower - hypermiling can get you MPG numbers very close to C out of a conventional car.
        ishmaelcrowley
        • 2 Years Ago
        @JonZeke
        Penalty box automobile? I don't know what that's supposed to mean but it sounds cool. "Hey that's my penalty box car right over there."
      Erie_Glass
      • 2 Years Ago
      That interior looks absolutely hideous.
      ELG
      • 2 Years Ago
      "hypermiling greenies out to save the Earth" buying a new vehicle is one of the worst single actions an individual can do to the Earth. And a toxic battery laden hybrid among the worst of all vehicles. perhaps you should replace that line with "Smug trendy greenies who are out to feel superior to others"
      imoore
      • 2 Years Ago
      "The problems Toyota ran into in creating the Prius C appear to be in making it cheaper, according to Consumer Reports. The list of adjectives during the video review included: "lackluster," "hard plastic," "cheap materials," "dead steering" and "slow." Doesn't this describe most of Toyota's current lineup?
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