Toyota has been confusing us lately with their new lineup of Prius vehicles, and they added another one, the Prius c to the mix this morning at the Detroit Auto Show. The automaker revealed its new compact car, which is similar to the current Prius model but is 157.3 inches long, 66.7 inches wide, and 56.9 inches tall with a wheelbase of 100.4 inches. Translation: The Prius c is bigger than the Toyota Yaris, but smaller than a traditional Prius. Also called Aqua in Japan, the Prius c can manage between 83.3 and 94 mpg.
The Prius c has the same basic bits you find in any small Toyota–nothing special here other than a digital nav screen that is necessary to monitor the hybrid system but seems slightly upmarket for such a compact car–but we are excited about the efficiency this new model promises. Toyota told us that the Prius c comes at a $4,000 hybrid premium, which they claim is the smallest in its class for the package delivered. More exciting (and verifiable) is that the Prius c has the shortest charging time of any plug-in hybrid and a 10-15-mile all-electric range before switching to its gas engine/generator. Toyota expects 15,000 of these little guys to sell in the first year, and will be releasing them alongside the short-range iq EV with a 50-mile total range and a second-gen RAV4 EV that will use a Tesla system for upwards of 100 miles of all-electric range. The upshot is that if you have been waiting to buy a hybrid, EV, or plug-in hybrid, this year you will have choices.