Despite all the buzz surrounding the Toyota Prius family of cars, which together were the second best-selling model in the U.S. for the first quarter of 2012, the news is not all good. The most recent addition to the Prius family, the comparably inexpensive Prius C, fell short of expectations according to Consumer Reports magazine.
The 2013 Prius C, which starts at $18,950, before delivery and processing fees, was not good enough to be recommended by the publication.
"This subcompact hatchback, which is related to the lackluster Toyota Yaris, suffers from a stiff ride, very noisy cabin, slow acceleration, and cheap-looking interior trim," said Consumer Reports. "In Consumer Reports Ratings, the Prius C’s overall test score puts it slightly under its chief competitor, the mediocre Honda Insight, and is too low for us to recommend the model," the publication continued. Consumer Reports ultimately suggested that buyers' money would be better spent on a used regular Prius model than on a new Prius C.
Despite the low rating, the sub-compact hybrid's more affordable price tag may make it appealing to eco-conscious city dwellers. Its considerable fuel economy (37 mpg in the city and 43 mpg overall) and parking-friendly size may outweigh its limitations.
Watch Consumer Reports' video review of the Prius C: