From C to V: The Differences between Prius Models

2016 Toyota Prius C

Many know that Toyota led the charge with developing a practically priced, and attractive hybrid car, but what most people don’t know is all of the different models Toyota now offers of their hybrid, the Prius.  There are a lot of letters floating around out there attached to vehicle models, and often it just adds up to the equivalent of a jumble puzzle.  The letters attached to the different models can make it somewhat difficult to differentiate what car you actually want to buy, as it’s easy to become confused about which features are offered with each model.

There are three different models of Toyota’s best-selling hybrid offering.  First, there is the Prius.  This is the standard model; the continuation of what they initially released back in 2000 for U.S. sales.  Next up on the list is the Prius c, a sportier and smaller model of the regular Prius, with a slightly smaller price tag as well.  Finally, last on the list is the Prius v, the super-sized version of Toyota’s hybrid offering.

Now that we’ve got the letters down and we’ve figured out the smaller and obvious differences between each Prius model, we can delve further into the more subtle nuances of each particular vehicle.  Each one of the three models offers different standard features, varying gas mileage estimates, and an array of seating accommodations that set each one apart from the others.  Choosing your Prius is going to be largely based on exactly what you’re looking for in terms of carrying capacity and what comes standard.  While it still may seem somewhat overwhelming, it’s easier than it looks to select your vehicle.

The base model Prius comes in four different trim levels numbered two through five, seven different colors, and a pretty expansive array of options.  Each model, from Prius Two to Prius Five, comes equipped with a 4 Cylinder, 1.8L Hybrid Engine.  Leading in its field in terms of aerodynamics, the Prius offers one of the lowest drag coefficients on the market.  Perhaps this is part of the reason for the outstanding gas mileage that the Prius offers in comparison to others in its class.  Made to carry up to five passengers, head clearance and leg room shouldn’t be an issue in this model, as it offers up nearly 43 inches for your legs.

The Prius c is the fun-sized version of the hybrid darling.  Offered in ten fun and youthful colors, the c is clearly made for a good time.  Now, it features a smaller engine, weighing in at 1.5 liters, and gives up a little bit of space in terms of leg room, but it’s not any less than its predecessor.  Released on the Prius scene in 2011, this model is offered in four different trim levels.  What you give up in space and engine size, you’ll make up for with the gas mileage and price point.  The lowest priced vehicle in the Prius family, and the highest gas mileage on the road, the c is meant for maneuvering in tight spaces.

If you’ve always wanted a Prius, but there was never enough space, 2011 was a lucky year, as Toyota released the Prius v.  The v is the big daddy in the Prius family, offering nearly thirty-five cubic feet of cargo space, and folding seat to allow for even more storage if need be.  The backseat is clearly a priority, as the seats not only recline but slide forward and backwards to get more leg room or give more cargo space.  While you would think that upping the size of your Prius would sacrifice major numbers when it comes to gas mileage, you would be wrong.  Averaging 44 plus mpg, the v will have you passing gas stations left and right.

When you’ve made the decision to go hybrid, Toyota would be a safe bet, as they possess the distinction of being the first mass-marketed hybrid vehicle.  Each member of the Prius family boasts their own particular traits that make it desirable.  Depending on what you need, there’s a Prius out there.  Whether you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint or simply reduce the amount of times you’re filling up, you can’t go wrong with a Prius.

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