Toyota Prius c: 53 MPG city / 46 MPG Hwy; Under $19,000

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by Danny, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

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    I think there are certain essential technologies, though. For example, push button start is still an option on a lot of cars, but not on the Prius. I can't see it being an option on the c, either. It's possible they cheap out and save $50 by not having cruise, but I hope not.

    My essentials now are cruise, push button start (won't live without it again if I have any say in the matter), power windows (believe it or not the new Nissan Versa is available without them). I don't personally care about bluetooth.

    Obvious essentials like ABS, stability control are standard across the board now anyway.
     
  2. frodoz737

    frodoz737 Top Wrench

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    Apx $5K less and same mileage. That's a win win for many people, even if they cut back on a few toys.
     
  3. Boo

    Boo Boola Boola Member

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    The Prius c weighs more than 500 pounds LESS than the Prius, yet they get the SAME Combined gas mileage of 50 MPG.

    I am very disappointed. I understand the scientific explanations for the non-improvement in the Combined MPG and Toyota's goal of lowering the hybrid premium. But I still consider this a major FAIL.
     
  4. HTMLSpinnr

    HTMLSpinnr Moderator
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    The lower-powered ICE will contribute to lower highway MPG. We already know the 1.5L powertrain has a highway disadvantage (though the lighter weight may offset that somewhat). I wouldn't imagine there's a ton of changes to that engine over what we saw in the GenII platform (other than the lower peak RPM, which may be an MG1 limitation - we won't know until the NCF is published). I do hope that for maintenance sake, they upgraded to hydraulic lifters though, and that it will keep a 10k oil interval.

    144 volts = 20 cell battery. Wonder if the size of the cells are the same...

    How long, I wonder, until someone with stupid amounts of disposable income "tries" to shoehorn the 1.8L package into this as a "performance mod". Give up the back seat and you could have the 3rd Gen battery pack too.

    The price point puts this car into the upper-middle class "This will be my kid's first car" range as well. I'd be curious to know how insurance rates will fare on the Prius c over it's non-hybrid competition - that may be a deciding factor in this market segment when smarter buyers are conidering total cost of ownership longer-term.

    One more consideration - no mention of price spread was made (and won't be until just before launch), but let's hope TMS reigns in the top-end cost of the higher package. If the price creeps too far into lift-back territory, some folks may be willing to give up some features for for the bigger model and instead, pick up a highway MPG benefit.

    Danny - will you be "testing" 0-60 performance? Buyers at this price-point may actually care about that.
     
  5. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    "The price point puts this car into the upper-middle class"

    The AVERAGE msrp selling price in the US is $25k.
     
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  6. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Senior Member

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    he meant upper-middle class "My kid 1st car".

    Looks like the gas savings will make Prius C on par or cheaper then Hyundai Accent and Ford Fiesta.
     
  7. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    I must say that I am disappointed in the MPG. When talking non-hybrids, the smallest car made by an automaker is usually the most fuel efficient. This here just seems to indicate that Toyota have plateaued at 50+/- MPG.

    But, the price point will put this car in high demand. Considering all factors: mpg, maintenance, resale value, etc., it is likely the best bang for the buck for people that put on a lot of miles. Hybrid premium begone.
     
  8. nerfer

    nerfer A young senior member

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    Think of a canoe. I was surprised many years ago to learn that making a canoe longer does not increase its drag. Making it wider does, however. Once you've pushed the water out of the way, it doesn't matter how much canoe passes by before the water closes up again. And a longer shape allows more space to be used for optimal entry/exit aerodynamics.

    This is the problem with the Smart car in particular (41mpg hwy), and even the Fiat 500, Yaris, Versa and Honda Fit (all under 40 mpg). To fit the people in the small space, you're compromising aerodynamics. The lighter weight and smaller engine generally isn't enough to compensate for that. But prices are lower, and they're easier to park and maneuver in a city.

    I thought that the people who were expecting 60mpg out of this car were being overly optimistic (and I said as much, many months ago), but even so I did expect a combined value of something like 52-53, so I'm slightly disappointed.

    I think for a lot of 2-car families, having a Prius c and a Prius v in the garage would be the optimum scenario. It would work for me. (Except I'm not selling my current Prius any time soon).
     
  9. wick1ert

    wick1ert Senior Member

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    I think this is what their goal was all along.

    Continuing to push for higher MPG eventually will price the car out of the price point that buyers would spend for it. I get a feeling, that we are at the tipping point in terms of MPG right now, that you'll either turn to plug-ins, BEVs, or a really expensive hybrid to get higher. I always viewed the c as a competitor for the CR-X(Z) whatever the small Honda one is. I think it'll blow that out the window, and take sales from the Accent/Civic/Elantra crowd considering the price.

    I also get a feeling, they're going to implement the next generation of their hybrid system on the GEN IV Prius in a couple years. Either way, Toyota is still way ahead overall in the hybrid game, and this should just further their overall lead.
     
  10. Boo

    Boo Boola Boola Member

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    You can still get a base Nissan Versa 4-door sedan for $11,000: 2012 Nissan Versa Sedan | Nissan USA.

    It's a bit of apples & oranges. Still, I'd like to see someone reduce the hybrid premium based on THAT non-hybrid price.
     
  11. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    We saw how the larger engine contributed to improved highway efficiency. That's was counter-intuiative, but real-world results confirmed it. We also already knew that shorter vehicles have less of an aerodynamic benefit at high speeds. So, the estimates aren't a surprise.

    Sure, a slightly higher highway MPG would have been nice, but that has nothing to do with the biggest deep-market penetration barrier: PRICE

    Toyota certainly delivered in that category. Wow!

    Coming in at "nicely under $20,000" sure gives the competition something to worry about. Pricing that low is a red-flag, marking the end of traditional vehicle dominance. The technology has achieved a level only academics had taken seriously for over a decade. Now, it's a reality.

    Prius genius...

    [​IMG]

    .
     
  12. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    Boo, I had the same thought. But on the other hand, with similar features of the regular prius, one's purchasing dollar does go farther ... and thus more sales by virture of appealing to those who only have so many car buying dollars. The real goal of any auto manufacturer is increased sales, first.
     
  13. DeadPhish

    DeadPhish Senior Member

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    This was my feeling exactly. At <$19000 this could be a killer in the market. There is no other vehicle anywhere that costs less than $19000 MSRP and gets 50 mpg combined. It's in a class by itself.
     
  14. stevemcelroy

    stevemcelroy Active Member

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    To me it makes me realize what a great job Toyota did with the original Prius - it seems that wit the v and the c we see that a bit bigger and the mileage drops off quickly and a bit smaller does not make such a big difference - they seem to have found the sweet spot with the original.

    I guess that a less expensive will help to get some people into it, but you have to think that they could have figured out how to down-content the existing Prius (perhaps with some Gen II bits) and create a sub $20k version. I know that is a bit of a different beast, but how much are they spending on the c in terms of engineering, tooling, marketing, testing, etc - tens of millions, hundreds of millions? Heck - the hybrid version of the Yaris (not US bound) would have done the same thing at likely a lower cost.

    Perhaps they are thinking that it might appeal to a younger generation, but Toyota has proven that no matter what they do they just sell to older folks - I rarely see anyone in a Scion who is younger than I am (mid-40's) and that was supposed to be their youth brand.
     
  15. PriQ

    PriQ CT+iQ

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    I wonder how much the small battery has affected the city MPG. Less than 1 mile on battery alone is very little compared to the standard Prius. It would be nice if Toyota were to offer a higher trim level model with a larger battery rather than larger engine.
    I am very impressed with the packaging, so packing more kWh might only be feasible using better battery tech, but I can have my dreams :)
     
  16. DeadPhish

    DeadPhish Senior Member

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    You touch on a key component of this vehicle's strategy. One of the key groups that have been excluded from driving a Prius 'til now have been those who are limited by their circumstances or self-limited ( my kid's 1st car ) to a price range under $20000. For whatever reason these buyers simply walked past the $24000 or $26000 Prii.

    This is a HUGE segment of the market. It's a HUGE segment of buyers that might need and want to buy a 50 mpg auto but simply can't....at this time. This HUGE segment now has an opportunity to get into a Prius ( and maybe become Prii owners for life ).

    The typical demographic of the Prius buyer was a well-educated, older, stable, middle-to-upper-middle class buyer who expected to spend $25000+ for any vehicle. Now the size of that Prius demographic can be expanded several times to include well over 50% of the buying public, maybe even 60-70%.

    Come graduation time in May/June each year I think that this vehicle will be sold out. If they decide to make it in Mississippi for example then it will be a huge seller like the Corolla IMO.
     
  17. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney EditProfOptInfoCustomUser Title

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    However:
    - Remote Keyless Entry != Smart Key System.
    - The press release does not mention Smart Key at all.
    - The c is meant to be a "city" car where cruise control is considered less essential.
    - Bluetooth is quite likely to be more important to many drivers than cruise.
    - In the Prius the cruise control is on a separate stalk so it's easy to drop it
    - Bluetooth is more integrated so dropping it would mean dropping other components.
    - A low base price is important for headlines but a higher price for profits.

    They could have 1-door SKS and cruise control as a convenience bundle added to turn a One into a Two and then the normal Prius upgrades.

    Then they'd kind of match Honda's Insight, Insight LX and Insight EX.

    I'd need cruise to be a buyer.
     
  18. DeadPhish

    DeadPhish Senior Member

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    Toyota always looks long term in its marketing schemes. This vehicle won't appeal that much to the well-situated buyer who can comfortably afford a Gen III or even a Prius v. There's nothing much to attract that buyer to the Prius c.

    But that buyer isn't being targetted with this vehicle. If you are already a Gen III owner or Prius v owner then it makes sense that you're not that interested.

    But if you haven't ever been able to afford a Prius since they became popular in 2004 and you've had to suffer through $4 - $5 gas with somebody's hand me down....now all of a sudden BLAM the Prius c is definitely in your sights.

    Once a driver gets a taste of skipping gas stations on a regular basis it becomes very hard to drop down from a 50 mpg vehicle back to a 30 mpg vehicle...or God forbid a 25 mpg vehicle.
    [ $30 to fill my Prius every 400 miles now; $55+ to fill my wife's Highlander every 350 miles; OUCH ]

    This is simply marketing to get more fannys into Prii now and then 5+ yrs from now. The new fannys sitting in the Prius c are going to be hard pressed not to 'buy up' to a bigger more expensive Prius when they shop for their next vehicle.
     
  19. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    Both the v and c are underpowered, which hurts there fuel economy. The v is under powered because the prius drive train was simply the most efficient toyota had at the time. The c seems to skimp on the drivetrain for cost. It would be really nice if the c had a 1.8 hsd option with a lithium battery for acceleration and economy, but this may not fit.

    This shape and price will hit a younger demographic, and may get more people in a prius. A deconted prius would not reach these people, only cut down asp of the prius and make it less profitable.
    I would guestimate hundreds of millions. This will be a really high selling car in japan, and profitable for toyota. They are also doing the yaris thing.

    handling styling acceleration. Its not that younger demographics don't like toyota, it is that toyota does not like them. We will see in the reviews if toyota made the prius more fun to drive.:D

    Toyota has this battery tech, its called lithium. It might require different programming and inverters. They also down sized mg2 and mg1, which is a more difficult change, so I'm unsure if more battery power will help much. The biggest improvement would be a more efficient engine, and toyota has the tech to make the 1.5L more efficient with more power, but this costs money.
     
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  20. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney EditProfOptInfoCustomUser Title

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    There's a smaller engine and motor doing that test of harsh acceleration to speed.

    However, just because the EPA says one thing doesn't mean drivers can't do better. Of course, I'd not be the main driver. I'm hoping it will:
    - have as good rear visibility as conventional cars
    - have a bit better response than the Prius liftback
    - generally satisfy my wife's vehicular demands as a commuter.

    Sell if for $20,000 or less before taxes (ST + VET = 14.15% over 10 years) and it's a candidate to replace a Civic.
     
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