The versatile Prius hatchback not only pioneered hybrid technology but also proved “green” cars could appeal to those outside a narrow niche of environmentally conscious buyers. Toyota has widened the vehicle’s scope even further with the Prius v and Prius c variants. The v has a tall rear hatch that certifies it for Costco duty. The c, which rides on the same platform as the Toyota Yaris and has a smaller engine, is the least expensive hybrid on the market. The v and the c both exhibit the competent—if not quite engaging—dynamic qualities of the regular Prius, with good body control and decently weighted steering. On the other hand, they’re also very slow. The heavy v puts out the same 134 hp as the hatchback, and the lighter c squeaks out just 99 hp. The c manages the same 50 mpg combined rating as the regular Prius, with the v hitting only 42 mpg. Toyota has also rolled out a plug-in version of the Prius hatchback that uses lithium-ion batteries. Its promised fifteen-mile electric range isn’t quite in the Chevrolet Volt’s league, but the Prius Plug-in returns better mileage than the Chevy in hybrid mode and thus receives a higher mpge rating from the EPA. The Toyota is cheaper, too.
Front, side, side curtain, and driver’s knee air bags; traction and stability control; and a tire-pressure monitoring system are standard.
- Good fuel economy
- Decent driving dynamics
- Proven and popular
You won't like:
- No longer the greenest choice
- Even with more flavors, it’s still vanilla
Key Competitors For The 2013 Toyota Prius
- Chevrolet Volt
- Honda Insight
- Nissan Leaf
- Volkswagen Jetta TDI
A hybrid for every need.