Long-Term Test Intro: 2012 Toyota Prius C

Manufacturer’s web site
Toyota Canada

By Chris Chase
Photos by James Bergeron

Photo Gallery:
2012 Toyota Prius C

Two years ago, I did a series of articles about a long-term Volkswagen Jetta TDI diesel , a car I was interested in spending some extra time in to see what kind of real-world fuel economy it was capable of.

On that front, the results were impressive: I regularly saw fuel consumption figures of less than 7.5 L/100 km, but the car shone on the highway, where it would easily sip less than 5.5 L/100 km at a few ticks over 100 km/h.

A hybrid like the Prius C will tend to show its good side in city driving, however, where the best of these gas-electric powertrains will exploit the ability to run on electricity alone for short distances under light throttle. With that in mind, I’m not surprised that the Prius C (which I keep wanting to call a Yaris Hybrid, because that’s kind of what it is) has so far performed at its best while puttering around the city.

2012 Toyota Prius C
2012 Toyota Prius C. Click image to enlarge

I had the keys to this car for the first couple of weeks after it joined our test fleet, and had a chance to add more than 400 km to the 2,000 already on the car’s odometer. I covered that distance on about 18 L of gas, for an average consumption of 4.3 L/100 km.

Then James Bergeron took the Prius C for a week, during which time he made return trips to Toronto and Peterborough, Ontario. The Toronto drive, which comprises a fair bit of freeway driving on Ontario’s Highway 401, netted him an average of 4.8 L/100 km. The Peterborough trip takes you down Highway 7, a more scenic secondary road with an 80 km/h speed limit; this time, his average was 4.2 L/100 km.

For some further context, a Prius V I tested not long before we picked up this Prius C averaged 5.1 L/100 km no matter what I did with it, between city slogging and a trip from Ottawa to Burlington, Vermont via downtown Montreal. Blame that car’s more powerful powertrain and heavier curb weight for its extra thirst.

Following our collective seat time in the car, James and I have made some observations about this car: some positive, others not so much.

Connect with Autos.ca