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2013 Toyota Prius c review

Prius city 2013 mileage compact
zhitanshiguang 04/08/2022 Hatchback 585
If you want to know what the "c" in Prius c stands for, you can think of it as compact, commuter or urban. If you are looking for a good city vehicle, then the 2013 Toyota Prius c is worth a look. If...

If you want to know what the "c" in Prius c stands for, you can think of it as compact, commuter or urban. If you are looking for a good city vehicle, then the 2013 Toyota Prius c is worth a look. If you read any recent report in Consumer Reports, you will get a different perspective here. The Absolutely Red 2013 Prius c we will test is a high mileage compact hatch, ideal for urban residents who want a four-door hatch.2013 Toyota Prius c review

What’s new for 2013?


Loaded with standard features for the price

Excellent city fuel mileage2013 Toyota Prius c review


What’s new for 2013?

The Toyota Prius c gets some minor changes to trim materials, but otherwise remains unchanged for the 2013 model year and is an entry-level compact. With that said, don’t expect a Lexus quality interior and materials. It is what it is and it does have some plastic and lower quality materials inside. But think of the Prius c as a smaller, cheaper version of the popular Prius liftback. Prius c is nearly 20 inches shorter than a Prius and 500 pounds lighter.

Specs2013 Toyota Prius c review

And with that smaller size comes great maneuverability and the ability to fit in smaller spaces. It features room inside for four adults, or five with kids in the back. The airy cabin of this tester included automatic climate control and Bluetooth phone book and streaming audio. Upper trim levels have connectivity to keep a new generation of millennial buyers connected.

Loaded with standard features for the price

Pricing as tested, this Prius c tester came in at $23,360 and it included a host of standard features like Display audio w/ Navigation and Entune, HD radio w/iTunes, and Adv Voice recognition. Outside it comes with Halogen headlamps, integrated fog lamps and door handles with touch-sensitive lock/unlock. Another big plus for those of us in cold climates, it also came standard with heated front seats.

Prius c is powered by Toyota’s excellent hybrid technology. The c powertrain mates a gasoline engine and electric motors. The 1.5-liter four-cylinder produces 73 horsepower, and paired with two electric motors, it has a combined output of 99 horsepower. Power is delivered to the front wheels via an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission (eCVT). The batteries are nickel-metal hydride, the same type found on the original Prius.2013 Toyota Prius c review

Once inside, I pushed the one-touch start, selected D and off we went. There is a useful on-board display where I could see fuel mileage data and driving efficiency. It was easy to become distracted by watching the readings, and I needed to be careful to keep eyes on the road.

Excellent city fuel mileage

The most compelling reason to be looking at the Prius c is fuel mileage. EPA estimates put it at 53/46 mpg city/highway. That’s better than the competition which comes mainly from the Honda Insight, but while pricing is similar, the Prius c wins with its 50 mpg combined rating, versus the Insight’s 42 mpg.

For city dwellers, the 2013 Prius c offers some compelling reasons to give it a serious look. Sure there are gas-powered competitors like the Honda Fit, Chevrolet Sonic, Ford Fiesta, Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio and Volkswagen Golf diesel, but non will come close to the city mileage.2013 Toyota Prius c review

The Prius c definitely has some advantages to offer those living in the city. If you are mainly doing city commuting, the c will save you money on fuel. The small compact will run up to 1.5 miles on battery alone while staying under 25 mph if you have a light foot on the gas. We were able to achieve that and also about a half mile of moderate hills and start/stop before the gasoline engine kicked in.

Don’t expect the Prius c to have sports car performance, but that isn’t why people are interested in the four-door hatch. We experienced plenty of power to get in and out of traffic and for entering traffic and getting up to highway speeds. The downside we see in the c is that it tends to be a bit stiff on rough roads and there is some noticeable wind noise at higher speeds inside the cabin.

But despite its small size, the Prius c gets high marks for safety. This is a big plus in the city as the IIHS gave the compact hatch the highest rating of Good in frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests.


In general, the 2013 Prius c has city-friendly dimensions and the ability to fit in smaller spaces, making it an excellent car for use in cities. As more millennials enter major cities in the United States, it is an ideal hatchback for a new generation of buyers. Compared to the standard Prius, the Prius c has a lower price tag and you have the most economical (non-plug-in) hybrid car on the market.