2013 Toyota Prius C vs. Its Competition

2012 Toyota Prius C
John Voelcker John Voelcker Senior Editor

The closest comparison to the 2013 Toyota Prius C would seem to be the Honda Insight, but its mild-hybrid system can't propel the car solely on electric power--and its combined EPA rating of 42 mpg is lower than the smallest Prius.

Its rear seat and luggage space are also smaller than the Prius C's.

Shoppers in the Toyota showroom may also consider the Toyota Yaris subcompact hatchback, which tops out at 33 mpg; the larger Prius Liftback, which gets the same 50 mpg as the Prius C but is $5,000 or more pricier; and also the aging and somewhat grim Matrix five-door compact hatchback, with gas mileage below 30 mpg.

One comparison we think more buyers should make is to the Volkswagen Golf hatchback, with its TDI diesel engine, which is rated at 34 mpg but customarily delivers better real-world mileage than that.

2012 Toyota Prius C2013 Toyota Prius CBrowse Used Listings2013 Toyota Matrix2013 Toyota MatrixBrowse Used Listings2013 Toyota Yaris2013 Toyota YarisBrowse Used Listings2013 Volkswagen Golf 4-door HB Auto PZEV Angular Front Exterior View2013 Volkswagen GolfBrowse Used Listings
Quick Specs
7.2
The 2013 Toyota Prius C has all the gas-mileage virtues of larger Prius models, but it's smaller, more fun to drive, and--crucially--almost $5,000 cheaper.
7.4
With the frugality of a Corolla and hatchback versatility, the 2013 Toyota Matrix delivers on practicality but falls short if you expect a hot hatch.
7.2
The 2013 Toyota Yaris holds true to its promise as a maneuverable, economical car for city commuting--with a cheerful, well-designed interior--but highway refinement and weak performance are major drawbacks.
7.8
The 2013 Volkswagen Golf masterfully balances frisky performance, fuel-efficiency, and refinement in its GTI and even TDI editions, but as such it's priced as a premium model.
MSRP From   
$19,080$19,275$14,370$18,095
Gas Mileage   
53 MPG City / 46 MPG Hwy20 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy30 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy23 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy
Engine   
Gas/Electric I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I5
EPA Class   
CompactSmall Station WagonSubcompact CarsCompact
Style Name   
5-Door HB One (Natl)5-Door Wagon Manual L FWD (SE)3-Door Liftback Manual L (SE)2-Door HB Manual PZEV
Drivetrain   
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity   
5555
Passenger Doors   
N/AN/AN/AN/A
Body Style   
Hatchback5 Door WagonHatchback2 Door HB
Transmission   
Continuously Variable RatioManualManualManual
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2013 Toyota Prius C vs. 2013 Toyota Matrix2013 Toyota Prius C vs. 2013 Toyota Yaris2013 Toyota Prius C vs. 2013 Volkswagen Golf