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2018 Toyota Prius CPosted On November 18, 2018
Toyota’s most affordable hybrid, the 2018 Toyota Prius c, is also one heck of a versatile compact car, with cutting-edge safety features and the latest in Toyota Entune audio and multimedia. And to boot, an EPA-estimated 48 city/43 highway/46 combined miles-per-gallon make it a low-cost, fuel-efficient means of transportation.
The 2018 Prius c features a new crossover-inspired design, including a standard black roof rail accent that’s complemented by front and rear, silver-accented lower body guards and a color-keyed rear spoiler. The updated black side rocker and wheel arch moldings beautifully frame the new 15-inch 8-spoke machined alloy wheels with dark gray-painted accents and P175/65R15 tires. To round out the updates for 2018, Toyota Prius c adds two new colors to the color palette: Sandstorm and, new for Toyota, Tide Pool Pearl.
All grades now come standard with an integrated backup camera for 2018, complementing the existing Toyota Safety Sense C (TSS-C) driver-assist technologies standard on all grades, equipping the hybrid with Pre-Collision System (PCS), Lane Departure Alert (LDA), and Automatic High Beams (AHB). TSS-C is designed to help address three key areas of driver assistance: helping to prevent or mitigate frontal collisions, helping maintain driving within their lane, and help to enhance road safety during nighttime driving.
In line with its strategy, Toyota is on track to have automatic emergency braking systems standard on nearly all its models by the end of 2017. That will put Toyota four years ahead of the model-year 2022 industry target announced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
What Does the “c” Stand For?
Although the “c” in Prius c stands for “city,” Toyota’s smallest hybrid is at home just about anywhere. Where the Toyota Prius c is not small is in the cabin. The design maximizes interior space with some surprising results. The 35-inch rear seat legroom assures comfort, and the 17.1-cu. ft. cargo volume behind the rear seatbacks is on par with some midsize sedans’ trunks. The available 60/40 split seatbacks maximize versatility.
It’s not just a smart size that makes Prius c highly maneuverable and fun to drive in city spaces. Optimal location of the compact gasoline engine, transaxle and power-control unit make the most of the car’s compact dimensions. Locating the hybrid battery and fuel tank beneath the rear seat puts their mass within the car’s wheelbase, which contributes to handling agility.
Because the Toyota Prius c body has such high torsional rigidity, engineers tuned the suspension to deliver a smooth ride and predictable handling. The Prius c rides on all-new 15-inch 8-spoke machined alloy wheels with dark gray painted accents on all grades. A 16-inch aluminum alloy wheel option with P195/50R16 tires is available for the Prius c Four.
The body covering that tight structure slips through the air with a low 0.29 coefficient of drag (Cd). For a sporty look, the Toyota Prius c’s lower-body styling is wider below the beltline and features sculpted rear flares.
Whether driving in the city or exploring the country on a road trip, the standard single LED projector low- and Automatic High Beam headlights and LED tail and brake lights brighten the road ahead. And in daylight, sophisticated exterior color choices like Absolutely Red, Blue Streak Metallic, and Tangerine Splash Pearl are bound to brighten someone else’s day.
Prius c Hybrid Technology
The Prius c hybrid system integrates a gasoline engine, an electric motor within a continuously variable transaxle, a nickel-metal hydride battery, a power control unit (inverter), a DC-DC converter, and a step-up converter. A hybrid control computer governs the seamless application of gasoline engine and electric power depending on driving demands and selected drive mode.
The Toyota Prius c’s SULEV (Tier 3, Bin 30)-rated 1.5-liter inline four-cylinder gasoline engine utilizes an Atkinson cycle to help increase efficiency. The engine produces 73 horsepower and 82 lb.-ft. of torque, contributing to a total hybrid system output of 99 horsepower.
Like many luxury and sport vehicles, the Prius c offers different drive modes to inspire performance response. Normal mode works for everyday driving. ECO mode reduces overall energy consumption by governing the climate control system and throttle operation to help enhance vehicle efficiency. Under certain conditions, EV Mode allows the Toyota Prius c to be driven solely by electric power for up to a mile – perfect for quick stints around the neighborhood.
Big News in Safety
The Prius c is built to protect. Extensive use of lightweight, high-strength steel contributes to the vehicle’s ability to absorb and disperse impact energy, helping to enhance occupant safety.
The 2018 Prius c is equipped with nine airbags and features the standard Star Safety System, which includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), and Smart Stop Technology (SST).
Toyota Safety Sense-C (TSS-C) featuring Automatic Emergency Braking
The Toyota Safety Sense-C system standard in the 2018 Toyota Prius c combines a trio of driver-assist technologies anchored by automatic emergency braking.
Pre-collision System (PCS), which operates at vehicle speeds of approximately 7 to 85 mph, is designed to use a camera and laser beam to detect the vehicle ahead. If PCS determines there is a possibility of a collision, it uses audio and visual alerts to prompt the driver to take evasive action and brake. If the driver notices the hazard and applies the brakes, PCS may provide additional braking force using Brake Assist. If the driver does not brake in a set time, and PCS determines that the possibility of a frontal collision with another vehicle is extremely high, the system may automatically apply the brakes, helping reduce speed by approximately 19 mph in order to help the driver lessen the impact and, in certain cases, avoid a collision.
Lane Departure Alert (LDA) is designed to use a camera to detect visible white and yellow lane markings in front of the vehicle and the vehicle’s position on the road. If LDA determines that the vehicle is starting to unintentionally deviate from its lane, the system alerts the driver with an audio and visual alert.
Automatic High Beams (AHB), using an in-vehicle camera to help detect the headlights of oncoming vehicles and taillights of vehicles traveling ahead, automatically switches between high and low beams as appropriate to enhance forward visibility.
Toyota Value in Four Grades
The Toyota Prius c cabin looks as expressive as the exterior and delivers renowned Toyota value. Four model grades make it easy to choose the ideal Prius c for any budget or taste.
The Toyota Prius c One comes well equipped with standard color-keyed power outside mirrors with turn signal indicators; tilt/telescopic steering wheel with steering wheel controls; auto climate control; remote keyless entry system with illuminated entry; power windows; and more. The standard 3.5-in. full-color TFT Multi-Information Display provides the driver with outside temperature display, clock, fuel economy information, cruising range, odometer, trip distance, EV miles driven, Hybrid System Indicator, ECO Savings, ECO Score, and energy monitor.
The Prius c One comes ready to play music any way the driver wants. The standard Entune Audio system includes the Entune Multimedia Bundle with a 6.1-in. touch-screen display; AM/FM CD player (with MP3/WMA playback capability); four speakers; auxiliary audio jack; USB 2.0 port with iPod connectivity and control; advanced voice recognition and Bluetooth for hands-free phone capability, phone book access and music streaming. Apple iPhone users can speak requests using Siri Eyes Free.
Stepping up to the Toyota Prius c Two brings two-tone fabric-trimmed seats; six-way adjustable driver’s seat; 60/40 split fold-down rear seats; cruise control, a cargo area cover and engine immobilizer. The cabin shows a premium touch with piano black, chrome and soft-touch upgraded accents, shared with the Three and Four grades, as well.
Technology gets the spotlight in the Prius c Three, which adds the Smart Key System on the front doors and liftgate; Push Button Start and remote illuminated entry; and Entune Premium Audio with Integrated Navigation and App Suite. This comprehensive multimedia system includes everything from the standard setup and adds two more speakers (six total), plus the Entune App Suite; HD radio; HD predictive traffic and Doppler weather overlay; AM/FM cache radio; SiriusXM All Access Radio with three-month complimentary trial; and Gracenote album cover art.
For a taste of luxury, the Toyota Prius c Four adds LED fog lights and, on the inside, a power tilt/slide moonroof with sliding sunshade; SofTex-trimmed seats, plus heated front seats and outside mirrors.