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2015 Toyota Prius c Review

The 2015 Toyota Prius c places in the top third of our subcompact car rankings, thanks to its roomy cabin, large cargo area, and stellar reliability rating.

Pros & Cons

  • Superb reliability rating
  • Class-leading fuel economy
  • Spacious back seat
  • Large cargo area
  • Mixed crash test ratings
  • Sluggish highway acceleration
  • Noisy powertrain at higher speeds
  • Unexciting cabin materials

New for 2015

  • Updated interior and exterior styling
  • Touch-screen infotainment system became standard 

8.4

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 7.7
Performance: 6.4
Interior: 6.9
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.2
Safety: 8.7
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2015 Toyota Prius c Overview

Is the 2015 Toyota Prius c a Good Used Car?

Yes, the Prius c is a great used car. This hatchback leads the class with its great fuel economy, and it has one of the highest reliability ratings in our subcompact car rankings. You also get an adult-friendly back seat and lots of cargo room. Built for an urban environment, the Prius c can easily navigate tight spaces, but it won't provide quick highway acceleration.

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Why You Can Trust Us

Our Toyota Prius c review includes far more than just one person's opinion. We collected professional evaluations from more than 50 sources and combined them with concrete data like fuel economy estimates, safety scores, and performance specs to help you make an informed buying decision.

The Best Cars team – a division of U.S. News & World Report – has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007. With more than 75 years of combined automotive experience, our editors, writers, and analysts rank a wide variety of new and used cars and issue three annual awards: Best Cars for the Money, Best Cars for Families, and Best Vehicle Brands. To keep our recommendations unbiased, we decline expensive gifts from carmakers, and a third party handles our advertising.

How Much Is the 2015 Toyota Prius c?

Based on listings for the 2015 Prius c on our site, the average price is $15,400, which is slightly higher than average for the class. Prices range from $12,000 to $18,000 and vary depending on the vehicle details such as condition, mileage, features, and location.

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How Much Does the 2015 Toyota Prius c Cost to Own?

The 2015 Prius c’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be about $19,500, or $3,900 per year. That’s below average for a subcompact car.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Prius c?

The 2019 Toyota Prius c hatchback is part of the car's first and only generation, and it has similar styling to the 2015 model. Side by side, the new car comes with more standard safety features, including many that the 2015 model doesn’t offer, such as forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warning. On the other hand, the 2019 model is no longer available with luxe upgrades like synthetic leather upholstery, and its fuel economy rating is a little worse than that of the 2015 model.

Opt for a newer model if you want the added advanced safety features. Otherwise, you can save a lot of money with a used model. The 2019 Prius c starts at $21,530.

Read about the new Toyota Prius c »

New subcompact cars have some of the lowest prices you can find on the new-car market. That's good news if you're shopping for a vehicle in the $15,000 price range, which is close to the average list price of a 2015 Prius c. Highly-rated new cars at this price point include the 2019 Chevrolet Sonic, Kia Rio, and Toyota Yaris.

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Which Model Year of the Toyota Prius c Is Best?

There is only one generation of the Prius c hatchback, which spans the 2012 through 2019 model years. After its launch, the Prius c received few changes until the 2015 model year, when Toyota updated the exterior and interior styling. This is also the first Prius c model that came standard with a touch-screen infotainment system in every trim level. The Toyota Safety Sense C package became available for 2016 and standard in 2017. This safety package includes a pre-collision system, lane departure warning, and automatic high-beam headlights.

For the best set of features, we recommend selecting a 2016-or-newer model that's equipped with Toyota Safety Sense C suite of safety features.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Prius c »

How Reliable Is the 2015 Toyota Prius c?

The 2015 Prius c has an excellent reliability rating of five out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about Prius c reliability »

2015 Toyota Prius c Recalls

There is one recall for the 2015 Prius c at the time of this review. The recall addresses a problem with the tire pressure monitoring system. Before buying any used vehicle, make sure all recalls have been addressed.

See more information on Toyota Prius c safety recalls »

Which Used Toyota Prius c Is Right for Me?

The 2015 Prius c is available in four trims, aptly named One, Two, Three, and Four. Of these trim levels, we recommend the midlevel Three for the best blend of features and affordable pricing.

The base trim is nicely equipped for an entry-level subcompact car. Its standard features include automatic climate control, Toyota’s Entune infotainment system with a 6.1-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, a USB port, an auxiliary input jack, and a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel.

The Toyota Prius c Two has cruise control, two-tone seat upholstery, and 60/40 split-folding back seats. Added features in the Toyota Prius c Three include a navigation system, proximity keyless entry, and push-button start.

The range-topping Toyota Prius c Four comes standard with a rearview camera, synthetic leather upholstery, heated front seats, a moonroof, 15-inch alloy wheels, and fog lights.

See 2015 Toyota Prius c trims and specs »

Certified Pre-Owned Toyota Prius c Warranty

Toyota offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 85,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale’s date. Toyota provides a one-year/12,000-mile limited warranty on all its certified pre-owned vehicles, and it extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years or 100,000 miles. Each CPO Toyota must pass a 160-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Toyota warranty page carefully.

According to our analysis, Toyota has a good certified pre-owned program. Kia, Chevrolet, and Hyundai offer more comprehensive CPO programs, however.

See the best CPO programs »

Read more about the Toyota certified pre-owned program »

How Safe Is the Prius c?

This hybrid hatchback earned mixed crash test results. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2015 Prius c the highest rating of Good in four categories, as well as the second-highest rating of Acceptable in the driver-side small overlap front test. The organization gave models built after May 2015 the Top Safety Pick designation, which is its second-highest safety label.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2015 Prius c an overall safety rating of four out of five stars, and it earned the same score in the frontal crash, side crash, and rollover tests. The NHTSA noted a safety concern regarding the 2015 Prius c's performance in the side crash test.

No advanced safety features come standard in the Prius c. A rearview camera is available.

See Prius c safety scores »

2015 Toyota Prius c Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2015 Toyota Prius c or 2015 Toyota Prius?

The 2015 Toyota Prius is a compact car with roomier front seats and a much larger cargo area, measuring 21.6 cubic feet to the Prius c's 17.1. Although its list price is an average of $2,000 higher than the smaller hybrid's, the Prius saves you about $100 a year because of its lower insurance and maintenance costs. Out of the two, the Toyota Prius offers better performance – it's slightly more powerful, and it has a comfortable ride. In this comparison, the Prius is the better hybrid overall.

Which Is Better: 2015 Toyota Prius c or 2015 Honda CR-Z?

The 2015 Honda CR-Z is a sporty subcompact car that combines nimble handling with a hybrid powertrain. It's more dynamic than most hybrids, thanks in part to its peppy acceleration, though it isn't as fuel-efficient as the Prius c. It's a good pick if you want a small hatchback that is fun to drive, gets great fuel economy, and has lots of cargo space. Skip this Honda if you carry more than just a spare passenger though, as it has no back seat.

Compare the Prius c, Prius, and CR-Z »

2015 Prius c Performance

How Does the 2015 Toyota Prius c Drive?

The Prius c’s hybrid powertrain and braking systems feel a bit different than that of a traditional car. It's well-suited for driving around town, with adequate acceleration from a stop and a tight turning radius that is a blessing in parking lots. The Prius c isn't as pleasant on the highway, though, as it drones loudly and takes its time to merge with faster-moving traffic.

The hybrid powertrain in the Prius c consists of a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that produce a combined 99 horsepower. A continuously variable automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard. The Prius c is not a plug-in hybrid, so you never need to charge it. Its regenerative brakes help to recharge the nickel-metal hydride battery pack as you drive.

Does the 2015 Toyota Prius c Get Good Gas Mileage?

The Prius c gets exceptional fuel economy, boasting the best gas mileage in its class. It earns an EPA-estimated 53 mpg in the city and 46 mpg on the highway.

Read more about Prius c performance »

2015 Prius c Interior

How Many People Does the 2015 Prius c Seat?

The Prius c seats five people. It has comfortable front seats, and its back seat is roomy enough for tall passengers, with more rear-seat legroom than most subcompact cars offer. Cloth upholstery and a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel are standard.

The base trim comes with quite a few hard interior plastics, though that isn't unusual for this class. Higher trims get additional soft-touch materials, along with upgrades such as synthetic leather upholstery and heated front seats.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2015 Toyota Prius c?

The Prius c has two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the rear outboard seats and an upper tether on the rear middle seat. Its lower anchors are challenging, as the hardware is mounted deep in the seat cushions and requires a lot of effort when attaching car seats. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave its LATCH system the second-lowest rating of Marginal for ease of use.

2015 Toyota Prius c Features

The Prius c's standard Entune infotainment system features a 6.1-inch touch-screen display. The system's menu layout is straightforward and user-friendly, though the screen feels undersized. Some users find the optional smartphone app integration to be challenging.

Additional standard technology includes a four-speaker audio system, Bluetooth hands-free phone capability and audio streaming, a USB port, and an auxiliary audio jack. Every model also comes with a secondary 3.5 inch multi-information display for hybrid system and fuel economy details. 

Available features include a six-speaker audio system, a navigation system, satellite radio, HD Radio, a higher-resolution 6.1-inch touch screen, and smartphone app integration via the Entune App Suite.

See 2015 Toyota Prius c specs »

Read more about Prius c interior »

2015 Toyota Prius c Dimensions

Toyota Prius c Cargo Space

Thanks to its hatchback body type, this Toyota provides a generous amount of room for a subcompact car. Underneath its liftback is a 17.1-cubic-foot cargo area. The base trim level comes with a fold-down rear seat. In all other trims, the rear seat folds in a 60/40 split.

2015 Prius c Length and Weight

The Prius c is 13.1 feet long. It has a curb weight of 2,500 pounds.

Where Was the 2015 Toyota Prius c Built?

The 2015 Prius c was built in Japan.

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