Looking at price, the 2012 Honda Insight is perhaps closest to how the Prius C is positioned—although the Insight feels like a different kind of car.
With its 'kammback' roofline, which sacrifices backseat and cargo space for better aerodynamics, the Insight (which costs slightly less) should achieve better mileage ratings than its 42-mpg Combined rating.
The Volkswagen Golf costs a bit more in its TDI turbo-diesel trim, and achieves 42 mpg on the highway, although its city gas mileage isn't nearly as impressive.
However, the Golf does feel like a more sophisticated car with superior ride and refinement, compared to these other models.
Otherwise, we can't help but think that much of the competition for the Prius C is going to come from within the Toyota lineup—including from those considering the subcompact Yaris or compact Matrix hatchbacks, or those opting for a well-equipped Prius C Four instead of a base Prius Liftback.
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|2012 Toyota Prius CBrowse Used Listings||2012 Honda InsightBrowse Used Listings||2012 Toyota MatrixBrowse Used Listings||2012 Toyota PriusBrowse Used Listings||2012 Toyota YarisBrowse Used Listings||2012 Volkswagen GolfBrowse Used Listings|
|53 MPG City / 46 MPG Hwy||41 MPG City / 44 MPG Hwy||20 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy||51 MPG City / 48 MPG Hwy||30 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy||23 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy|
|Gas/Electric I4||Gas/Electric I4||Gas I4||Gas/Electric I4||Gas I4||Gas I5|
|Compact||Compact Cars||Small Station Wagon||Midsize Cars||Subcompact||Compact|
|5-Door HB One (Natl)||5-Door CVT PZEV||5-Door Wagon Manual L FWD (SE)||5-Door HB One (SE)||3-Door Liftback Manual L (SE)||2-Door HB Manual|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive|
|Hatchback||Hatchback||5 Door Wagon||Hatchback||3 Door Hatchback||2 Door HB|
|Continuously Variable Ratio||Continuously Variable Transmission||Manual||Continuously Variable Ratio||Manual||Manual|