A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Toyota Prius C

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Car buyers in the market for a sub-compact car with a low price tag should really take a look at the 2012 Toyota Prius C. Toyota led the way with hybrid technology when they first introduced the Prius, and now they are continuing to expand their line, adding the smallest and most fuel-efficient model yet in this five-door hatchback.

Key Features

The Multi-information Display in the Prius C gives you more information on fuel usage and economy than ever before, making it easier for drivers to calculate their fuel efficiency, when they’ll need to fill up, and what they can do to improve their gas mileage. In addition to this, the C Three and C Four trim levels also come standard with Toyota’s advanced Entune infotainment system, including a 6.1” LED touch screen, SiriusXM satellite radio, navigation, and Real Time traffic and weather information, as well as fuel prices and other key information.

Changes for 2012

2012 was the first year that Toyota offered the Prius C, so essentially the entire car changed for this model year. This model is smaller and sleeker than the original Prius and appeals to younger drivers. It also comes in four trim levels (conveniently named One, Two, Three, and Four) to accommodate different drivers’ needs.

What We Like

We like that the 2012 Prius C is compact and sleek, and we love that it’s both practical and has a sporty feel, too. Plus, you can’t argue with the low price tag. New models started at less than $20,000.

What Concerns Us

While it definitely has a great price for a hybrid, there are still gas-powered models with more features at lower prices. While those won’t have the 50 MPG combined rating that the Prius C has, they might be tempting for a lot of drivers.

Available Models

You’ll get different comfort and luxury features at the different trim levels for the Prius C, but all of them have the same engine/electric motor:

  • Engine – 1.5-liter inline 4-cylinder
  • Electric motor – 45kW with 0.87kWh battery pack
  • Power – 99 HP (net system)
  • Torque – 125 lb-ft (net system)
  • Fuel economy (MPG city/highway) – 53/46

Major Recalls

There has been an investigation into an issue with drivability and braking, but no recalls have been made on the 2012 Toyota Prius C.

Common Issues

The most common issue with these cars is that a few models have had issues with the “ready” screen failing to appear and the car being unresponsive. This issue can be addressed with a software update at a dealership.

toyota prius c 2012 interior


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Attila

18 years of experience
573 reviews
Attila
18 years of experience
Volvo XC90 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Passaic, New Jersey
Excellent, knowledgeable, hands-on, and experienced mechanic. Polite, helpful, focused and answers any questions. Examines everything thoroughly and explains what he is doing and offers immediate insight. Great energy, hard-working and provides great support for pre-purchase inspection. I'm a professor and do my own research but wanted the added confidence of a good mechanic who could see and inspect every detail that mattered. This is the guy I want to be working with as far as cars are concerned. I'll be hiring him to do all my inspections, until I get my car. Then I'll hire him as the mechanic for my car. Then I'll repeat when its time for my daughter's car etc. When he found a problem, he showed me, and explained, and then had me test it out. Then he would show me the variations. At the same time, he was efficient. He did his job well and moved from task to task, and didn't linger over random discussion, and conscientiously moved from one inspection to the next in a timely manner. He was looking for everything that might be wrong and made a good remark when something was right and showed me what he meant. When we went for a test-drive he felt out the entire set of behaviors that should matter to a person interested in a good engine, in good performance, and in safety. At the end of the day, people who love their work do it extremely well. I would say Atilla represents that kind of person and he was a pleasure to work with.
Volvo XC70 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Plainfield, New Jersey
Attila was very throughrout with the inspection of the car and confirmed my suspicions about the breaks

Michael

15 years of experience
554 reviews
Michael
15 years of experience
Honda Odyssey - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Decatur, Georgia
Wonderful experience with Mike! He was punctual, thorough, and professional. Would definitely choose to work with him again!
Lincoln Mark V - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Alpharetta, Georgia
Mike was very professional . His inspection was detailed and to the point. I avoided a major headache. Thank You!

William

18 years of experience
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William
18 years of experience
Toyota Tacoma - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Scottsdale, Arizona
Very detailed, honest and knowledgeable mechanic. Saved me from buying a lemon. Will be returning to Your Mechanic to hire William in the future.
Infiniti FX35 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Tempe, Arizona
William was excellent and really helpful as we were buying from away. We highly recommend him. Thanks

Jason

14 years of experience
130 reviews
Jason
14 years of experience
Toyota Corolla - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Jamaica, New York
I recommend Jason. I know little about cars and needed him to check out a car for me. Jason did a pre purchase car inspection for me. He explained what looked good and what looked to be of concern about the car. If it was a concern, he explained what needed to be done to get the car in good shape before the purchase. He had all the equipment to check out the car. I would book him again for any other services as he knows what he's doing and is friendly.
Kia Rio - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Brooklyn, New York
Jason did a thorough job inspecting a car I was considering buying and answered all my questions after the inspection

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