2012 Prius C offers style and economy

There was a time when the mere mention of the word “Prius” brought forth the image of a plain-jane, basic hatchback that got great gas mileage. It was far from a mainstream automobile.

With a recent redesign, and now an expansion, Toyota wants to change that. With gas prices continuing to rise, and car buyers shifting to fuel efficiency, they may very well be able to do so.

Toyota’s new Prius lineup has something for everyone. The all-new Prius C will be the company’s entry-level model with a price slightly less than $19,000. Consumers who once shied away from hybrids due to premium prices will no longer have an excuse.

It’s expected that the Prius C will primarily compete with the Honda Insight, a similarly priced but less efficient hybrid.

The Prius C, which looks something like a combination of a smaller Toyota Matrix and a standard Prius, is rated at 53 mpg in the city, the best in its class.

It’s also well-equipped, even in entry-level form. The standard Prius C has nine airbags, a smart key, steering-wheel mounted audio controls and Bluetooth; not to mention typical features like power windows and locks. It’s also equipped with Toyota’s Entune personal connection system.

Expect to see the Prius C — which is known as the Toyota Aqua in Japan — hit showrooms sometime in┬áMarch.


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