A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Toyota Prius C

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

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Attila
19 years of experience
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Attila was great! Very knowledgeable and actually detected a fault during a pre-purchase inspection that would have cost me later.
Lexus ES350 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Fords, New Jersey
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Chevrolet Impala V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Shawn was prompt, professional, and delivered the promised service as expected. This was a used vehicle pre-purchase inspection. Shawn also had to drive to multiple locations to perform the inspection, as the address listed that I provided him with was not accurate, but he still made it to the correct location within his time window and completed the inspection.
Toyota Sequoia - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Akron, Pennsylvania
Shawn was very prompt in communicating with me and was good at helping me decide whether to purchase a used car. He help me avoid a car with a repaired rusted frame that could be a danger to my family's safety since we were planning on using the car to tow a travel trailer!

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18 years of experience
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Luis was great. He showed up on time, acted professionally, and gave me confidence with a pre-purchase car inspection.
Acura RDX - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - South Hackensack, New Jersey
Luis did a thorough pre-purchase inspection for me, and found several major issues that made me pass on buying the car. Had I purchased the car, I almost certainly would have ended up paying thousands in repairs down the road. Thanks Luis!

Robert

20 years of experience
1089 reviews
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Hyundai Elantra L4-2.0L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Englewood, Colorado
He did a pre-purchase inspection for me. He was knowledgeable and fast, and knew what he was looking for. I really appreciate all the pictures and documentation he took of the state of the car before purchase. He noted potential issues with the car that I wouldn't have been able to notice. Would recommend.
GMC Savana 1500 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Golden, Colorado
I trust Robert. He gave me a list and we will take care of it the week of June 29. I will know then that my vehicle is ready for the winter and is safe to drive. I look forward to getting things ready for another winter of careful driving.

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