Toyota Prius C to Bite the Dust, Pass Torch

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
toyota prius c to bite the dust pass torch

Toyota’s Prius C, introduced in North America in 2012, was a good idea that didn’t generate much consumer (or reviewer) acclaim. As an entry-level hybrid slotted below the Prius and wagony Prius V, the Prius C was no powerhorse. Its 1.5-liter four-cylinder/electric motor combo cranked out a combined 99 horsepower, a figure that still stands today. Journos found it lacking in both performance and ride quality.

Around these parts, I can’t recall the last Prius C I saw that wasn’t part of a Vrtucar fleet.

Well, kiss the Prius C goodbye, as it’s on its way to the automotive afterlife. Unlike other passenger car discontinuations, however, there’s a replacement waiting in the wings.

It was generally known that the Prius C would cede its space in the Toyota lineup this year, and comments made by Ed Laukes, group VP of marketing at Toyota North America, to Motor1 this week hammered that fact home.

“You’re probably not going to see Prius C for long,” he said. “The Prius C has served its purpose well.”

Poised to replace the little hatchback is a compact sedan with a famous name — the 2020 Toyota Corolla, more specifically its first-ever hybrid variant. A larger and likely pricier vehicle, the new Corolla hybrid boasts a combined 121 horsepower, a new platform, and better fuel economy. While the Prius C rates a combined 46 mpg, the Corolla Hybrid manages 52 mpg.

“The transition to Corolla Hybrid (should be) in the next couple of months,” a Toyota spokesperson told Autoblog, adding that the automaker has about 700 of them left in stock.

Peaking in its second year on the market (41,979 units sold in the U.S.), the Prius C began a precipitous decline, with only 8,399 sales recorded in 2018. That latter figure represents a 32.6 percent drop from a year earlier.

[Images: Toyota]

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4 of 35 comments
  • Liam Gray Liam Gray on Feb 21, 2019

    Prius C is one of the most unpleasant cars I've ever driven, and I'm a guy that drives a completely stripped base model Kia Soul. The Prius C has a garbage interior, is surprisingly cramped, and has the worst Rubber band CVT I've ever encountered. Ever throttle input results in some actual change in forward momentum about 30 seconds later. Its like driving a car underwater. Horrible.

    • Gtem Gtem on Feb 21, 2019

      "worst Rubber band CVT" FWIW it's not a traditional "CVT" mechanically speaking.

  • Heycarp Heycarp on Feb 21, 2019

    i have 4 of these - typically salvage - try to buy rear or deer hits - for some reason the guys that rebuild these are all skin headed Russians / eastern Europeans - doesn't seem to matter where in the country i get em - mich , oh , carolinas , weird huh ? anyway , they are somewhat different compared to std. priii in many ways - much easier to service / maintain + i feel will be the modern day low $ cockroaches - With 4 daughters + all the son in laws & 10 grandkids and other needy fam / friends I rejoice at their killing - Now i can buy even more -

    • Gtem Gtem on Feb 21, 2019

      "for some reason the guys that rebuild these are all skin headed Russians / eastern Europeans" LOL those are just normal blue collar Russians and Eastern Europeans fyi

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