A year after Toyota first showed at the Detroit auto show a concept for a new small Prius, it showed today the production Prius c (for “city”) due on sale in March.
Toyota also announced the starting price would be “below $19,000” and its estimated city gas mileage rating will be 53 mpg — the best ever for a conventional hybrid and 3 better than the regular Prius sedan (now known as Prius Liftback).
The urban-aimed c’s highway mileage, however, is 46 mpg, 2 fewer than the regular Prius and its 50 mpg combined rating is the same.
The smaller Prius is about the size of a Toyota Yaris, and about 20 inches shorter than the Prius Liftback. The c will seat five, but the smaller size shows up most in a limited 17 cubic feet of cargo space aft of the rear seat.
The gas engine in the gas-electric powertrain is 1.5 liters, vs. 1.8 in the larger Prius, and it puts out 73 horsepower. The c will offer four trim levels, and options will include a touch-screen navigation system and Toyota’s advanced Entune voice-activated infotainment system with smartphone integration.
The c, along with the bigger Prius v wagon, are expanding the Prius brand into a line of hybrid cars.