Wednesday, March 2, 2016

A Most Backhanded Compliment (Peppered With Many Insults)

It's pretty well known I'm not a big fan of Prius c. I owned a 2012 and drove it for three years. This article does a good job of pointing out why I don't look back fondly on that time (whereas, I would kill to have my 2010 third gen Prius back).

The Prius C has been just as unpopular with buyers while also managing to become the subject of several negative reviews, including a one-out-of-five-star recap from Car and Driver.

Out of the box with that? It's got to get better, right?

“This is the perfect car for the person who doesn’t care about what, exactly, he’s driving,” quoth AutoWeek, but over the past year The Littlest Prius has become quite popular with a section of the American driving population that really cares about what they drive — because it’s how they are making a living.

Unlike the “real” Prius, the Prius c isn’t a clean-sheet design. In fact, it’s just a reskin of the current Yaris with a low-power, 1.5-liter variant of the Toyota Synergy Drive powertrain. The overall vibe is less Toyota-of-the-future and more cheapest-car-they-had-in-stock.
So yeah, uh, ouch. And the sad part is, it's all true.

Now, my usual caveat on this subject. If you've never owned a Prius before and the Prius c is your first, then welcome happy new friend. Chances are most of the criticisms here seem just mean and pointless to you. But if you have some experience with Toyota's halo nameplate, the c is, well, it is cheap. It is flimsy and not super Priusy. It is a hybrid Yaris, or Auris, depending on which country you're reading this in.

Suffice to say, the rest of the article details why the Prius c is so popular with Uber drivers (read: cheap to buy, maintain and fuel) and still so unsatisfying to actually own. I hate to say it but I think they're right. I have no driven the latest iterations. So maybe the new ones are better. Maybe.