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2017 Toyota Prius c Review

The 2017 Toyota Prius c places near the bottom of our hybrid and electric car class. The Prius c gets terrific gas mileage and earns a good predicted reliability rating, but its weak engine and cheap-feeling cabin leave it looking up at its classmates in our rankings.

Pros & Cons

  • High predicted reliability
  • Outstanding fuel economy
  • Standard advanced safety features
  • Weak acceleration
  • Firm ride
  • Low-quality interior materials

New for 2017

  • Refreshed exterior design
  • Toyota Safety Sense C features and alloy wheels became standard




Critics' Rating: 7.0
Performance: 5.1
Interior: 5.8
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.2
Safety: 8.7
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2017 Toyota Prius c Overview

Is the 2017 Toyota Prius c a Good Used Car?

Yes, the 2017 Toyota Prius c is a good used car. Like most hybrid and electric cars, this Toyota is incredibly fuel-efficient. It can easily maneuver through busy city streets, but it's plagued by weak acceleration and a rough ride. Inside, you'll find a good amount of passenger and cargo space, along with plenty of standard features. However, this hatchback has one of the most low-rent cabins in the class.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve analyzed 52 Toyota Prius c reviews, as well as fuel economy estimates, reliability ratings, crash test results, and more, to give you all the information you need to make a smart car-buying decision.

U.S. News & World Report has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. To remain impartial, we do not accept extravagant gifts from automakers, and an outside source handles our advertising.

How Much Is the 2017 Toyota Prius c?

Based on nearly 20 listings on our site for the 2017 Toyota Prius c, you can expect to pay between $12,000 and $22,000. The average list price is $18,100. The price you pay depends on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

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How Much Does the 2017 Toyota Prius c Cost to Own?

The 2017 Toyota Prius c's estimated five-year ownership costs are about $20,260 – or $4,050 per year. By comparison, estimated costs for the 2017 Toyota Prius are about $2,000 lower, while the 2017 Toyota Yaris iA’s projection is around $700 lower.

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

The 2018 Prius c is nearly the same car as the 2017 model. For 2018, Toyota refreshed the Prius c’s exterior styling. If you can do without the cosmetic updates, we recommend the lower-priced 2017 model.

Read about the new Toyota Prius c »

The 2018 Toyota Yaris iA is a great alternative to the 2017 Toyota Prius c, and it costs less. It isn't a hybrid, but the Yaris iA has great fuel economy, many standard features, and a quality interior. Additionally, it has sporty handling and a smooth ride.

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Which Model Year of the Toyota Prius c Is Best?

The 2017 Toyota Prius c is part of a generation that debuted for the 2012 model year. For 2015, Toyota updated the Prius c’s interior and exterior styling, and a touch-screen infotainment system became standard. The 2016 Prius c gained more advanced safety options and a limited edition Persona trim. The 2017 model received a refreshed exterior design and additional standard equipment, including the Toyota Safety Sense C package and alloy wheels. Your best bet is to look through each model year to find out which one fits your needs the best. Older models will cost less, but they won't have the features of newer models.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Prius c »

How Reliable Is the 2017 Toyota Prius c?

The 2017 Toyota Prius c has an above-average predicted reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about Prius c reliability »

2017 Toyota Prius c Recalls

At the time of this writing, there are two safety recalls for the 2017 Toyota Prius c. The parking brake cable may disengage and leave the transmission in a different gear, and the spare tire air pressure may be incorrect. Make sure these recalls are addressed before purchasing the Prius c.

See more information on Toyota Prius c safety recalls »

Which Used Toyota Prius c Model Is Right for Me?

The 2017 Toyota Prius c comes in four trim levels: One, Two, Three, and Four. Most shoppers will be pleased with the base trim. It offers a good list of standard safety features, such as forward collision warning and automatic braking. You’ll also get a healthy dose of technology features, including a 6.1-inch touch-screen Entune infotainment system and Siri Eyes Free.

The Toyota Prius c Two trim adds features like two-tone fabric seats, cruise control, and a larger six-speaker audio system. The Toyota Prius c Three trim gives you HD Radio, satellite radio, navigation, voice recognition, and push-button start. The Toyota Prius c Four trim adds a rearview camera, leatherette upholstery, heated front seats, and a moonroof.

See 2017 Toyota Prius c trims and specs »

What Does Toyota's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

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 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 from the initial sale date or 100,000 miles. Each CPO Toyota must pass a 160-point inspection. Additional benefits like a CarFax vehicle history report, towing, and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Toyota warranty page carefully.

Toyota’s CPO program is about average for an affordable carmaker, according to our research. Hyundai and Kia both have better programs.

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How Safe Is the Prius c?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2017 Toyota Prius c the highest rating of Good in four crash tests, and the second-highest rating of Acceptable in driver-side small overlap front test. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Prius c four out of five stars overall, with four stars in the frontal, side, and rollover crash tests.

The Toyota Safety Sense C package comes standard. It includes a pre-collision warning system with forward collision warning and automatic braking, lane departure warning, and automatic high beams. Some models also come with a rearview camera.

See Prius c safety scores »

2017 Toyota Prius c Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2017 Toyota Prius c or 2017 Toyota Prius?

The 2017 Toyota Prius has a higher average price than the Prius c, but it's worth the extra money because it's a better car. The Prius has more interior space and is even better on gas than the Prius c. Additionally, the Prius' extra horsepower makes for much quicker acceleration than its smaller sibling. Both vehicles earn high predicted reliability ratings and come with a good number of standard features.

Which Is Better: 2017 Toyota Prius c or 2017 Toyota Yaris iA?

The 2017 Toyota Yaris iA is a better choice than the 2017 Prius c. The Yaris has a marginally higher predicted reliability rating, livelier driving dynamics, a nicer interior, and lower ownership costs. The Prius c does get better fuel economy ratings, which is its main advantage over the Yaris iA.

Compare the Prius c, Prius, and Yaris iA »

2017 Prius c Performance

How Does the 2017 Toyota Prius c Drive?

The 2017 Toyota Prius c comes with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder and an electric motor that combined make a meager 99 horsepower. A continuously variable automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are also standard.

The Prius c has decent power in the city, but this little Toyota struggles to keep up on the highway. It also has a harsh ride over bumpy surfaces. However, the Prius c has a tight turning radius and direct, responsive steering.  

Does the 2017 Toyota Prius c Get Good Gas Mileage?

The 2017 Toyota Prius c delivers an EPA-estimated 48 mpg in the city and 43 mpg on the highway, which are some of the best fuel economy estimates in the class. The larger 2017 Toyota Prius delivers an even higher 54/50 mpg city/highway. The non-hybrid 2017 Toyota Yaris iA delivers 32/40 mpg city/highway.

Read more about Prius c performance »

2017 Prius c Interior

How Many People Does the 2017 Prius c Seat?

The 2017 Toyota Prius c can fit up to five people in two rows of comfortable, supportive seats. It has a good amount of room up front, and there’s enough space for two adults in the rear seats. Cloth upholstery comes standard; leatherette upholstery and heated front seats are available.

Inside, the Prius c's low-grade cabin materials are off-putting. There are a lot of hard plastic surfaces and a decent amount of road noise throughout the cabin.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2017 Toyota Prius c?

There are two sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the Prius c's rear seats, with a tether-only connection on the middle seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Prius c’s LATCH system the second-lowest rating of Marginal for ease of use. Some lower anchors are too deep in the seats, and they require too much force to attach.

2017 Toyota Prius c Features

Standard features include a 6.1-inch touch-screen Entune infotainment system, a four-speaker audio system, a USB port, Bluetooth, and Siri Eyes Free. Some models add a six-speaker audio system, HD Radio, satellite radio, navigation, voice recognition, push-button start, and a moonroof. The infotainment system is easy to use with large, intuitive icons.

See 2017 Toyota Prius c specs »

Read more about Prius c interior »

2017 Toyota Prius c Dimensions

Toyota Prius c Cargo Space

Thanks to its hatchback body style, the 2017 Toyota Prius c has an abundant 17.1 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats. A one-piece, fold-down back row is also standard. Some models come with split-folding rear seats.

2017 Prius c Length and Weight

The 2017 Toyota Prius c is about 13.2 feet long. Its curb weight is roughly 2,530 pounds.

Where Was the 2017 Toyota Prius c Built?

Toyota built the 2017 Toyota Prius c in Japan.

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