Toyota is calling the debut of its latest fuel-efficient vehicle, the Prius C, a win after the automaker sold 1,201 of the cars during its first three days on the market—besting total February sales of both the Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf in that brief period, Toyota said.
The Prius C is Toyota’s attempt to lure customers with a lower-budget to what it calls the Prius “family.” As we noted, the car retails for right around $19,000, a fairly competitive price for a brand-new hybrid vehicle. And as for the “C” it stands for “city,” perhaps as a way to appeal to younger consumers who are hip to abbreviations.
A five-door hatchback, the Prius C has an EPA-estimated city fuel economy rating of 53 mpg, the highest of any vehicle on the market—other the plug-in hybrids or all-electrics, of course. The high fuel efficiency comes, in part, from the Prius C being smaller size (19.1 inches shorter) and lighter (by 542 pounds) than standard Prius.
The car started as a concept that was introduced at the Detroit Auto Show last year, and also has a slightly smaller engine than the regular Prius, down from a 1.8 liter and 80-kilowatt (kW) electric motor to a 1.5 liter, four-cylinder gas engine and 54-kW electric motor. The combination system has a 99 horsepower output and 82 pound-feet of torque with three separate drive modes to save on gas or electric power.