2013 Toyota Prius vs. Its Competition

2013 Toyota Prius 5dr HB Three (Natl) Angular Front Exterior View
John Voelcker John Voelcker Senior Editor

For the first time, the 2013 Toyota Prius has direct competition--and it's a worthy competitor.

The Ford C-Max Hybrid delivers an EPA-rated 47 mpg combined, it's a dedicated hybrid too (no gasoline-only version), and its quieter, more powerful, and far more luxurious inside than the Prius.

The subcompact Honda Insight shares a shape with the Prius and is $5,000 cheaper, but it's much smaller inside and only delivers 42 mpg.

The Lexus CT 200h is also a hybrid hatchback, though it's a compact and several thousand dollars pricier.

But it adds back the fun-to-drive factor, not to mention a larger dollop of luxury, and still delivers 40 mpg.

Two other competitors sit in Toyota's own showroom, both new for 2012: the new Prius V wagon, at 42 mpg, which is larger inside and will appeal to families; and the more conventional Camry Hybrid four-door sedan, at 41 mpg.

Finally, for drivers who do most of their miles on the highway, the clean-diesel VW Jetta TDI (offered as a four-door sedan and a Sportwagen) is far more rewarding to drive.

Its highway mileage approaches the Prius figure, though its city mileage isn't even close.

2013 Toyota Prius 5dr HB Three (Natl) Angular Front Exterior View2013 Toyota PriusBrowse Used Listings2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid, Los Angeles, August 20122013 Ford C-MaxGet Your Price2013 Honda Insight2013 Honda InsightBrowse Used Listings2013 Lexus CT 200h2013 Lexus CT 200hBrowse Used Listings2012 Toyota Prius V 5dr Wagon Five (Natl) Angular Rear Exterior View2013 Toyota Prius VBrowse Used Listings2013 Volkswagen Jetta Sedan 4-door Auto S Front Exterior View2013 Volkswagen JettaBrowse Used Listings
Quick Specs
7.4
The 2013 Toyota Prius is a spacious, practical mid-size hatchback that will hold five people and their gear, while remaining the highest-mileage car sold without a plug.
7.8
The 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid is the first head-to-head challenger for the Toyota Prius since that car grabbed the green mantle a decade ago--and in many ways, the Ford's a better daily driver.
7.0
The 2013 Honda Insight falls behind other hybrids in gas mileage, and has less space than other subcompacts.
7.8
The 2013 Lexus CT 200h remains the only compact luxury hybrid hatchback, and it's more stylish, fun, and economical than that blend might indicate. It's got (mostly) Lexus levels of luxury and refinement, with a fun Sport mode and a combination of good value and great fuel economy.
7.4
The 2013 Toyota Prius V is by far the roomiest Prius in the lineup, and its 42-mpg combined mileage is hard to beat. It's far from the fastest or most powerful family wagon, and it faces a new competitor, the Ford C-Max Hybrid--but it's still a capacious, comfortable, and highly fuel-efficient family wagon.
7.6
The Jetta draws drivers looking for a taut driving feel and delivers superior interior space; we'd pass on the low-cost base models, and aim for the standout TDI and GLI editions.
MSRP From     
$23,215N/A$18,600$32,050$26,650N/A
Gas Mileage     
51 MPG City / 48 MPG Hwy41 MPG City / 44 MPG Hwy43 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy44 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy
Engine     
Gas/Electric I4N/AGas/Electric I4Gas/Electric I4Gas/Electric I4N/A
EPA Class     
Midsize CarsN/ACompact CarsCompactMidsize Station WagonN/A
Style Name     
5-Door HB Two (Natl)N/A5-Door CVT PZEV5-Door Sedan Hybrid5-Door Wagon Two (GS)N/A
Drivetrain     
Front Wheel DriveN/AFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveN/A
Passenger Capacity     
5N/A555N/A
Passenger Doors     
N/AN/AN/A4N/AN/A
Body Style     
HatchbackN/AHatchbackHatchbackWagonN/A
Transmission     
Continuously Variable RatioN/AContinuously Variable TransmissionContinuously Variable RatioContinuously Variable RatioN/A
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2013 Toyota Prius vs. 2013 Ford C-Max2013 Toyota Prius vs. 2013 Honda Insight2013 Toyota Prius vs. 2013 Lexus CT 200h2013 Toyota Prius vs. 2013 Toyota Prius V2013 Toyota Prius vs. 2013 Volkswagen Jetta