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2018 Toyota Prius c Review

The 2018 Toyota Prius c ranks in the bottom third of the hybrid and electric car class. It has a stellar predicted reliability rating, but its low safety score, dull powertrain, and bland cabin hold it back in the segment.

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent predicted reliability rating
  • Straightforward infotainment system
  • Generous cargo space
  • Lots of standard safety features
  • Good fuel economy estimates
  • Leisurely acceleration
  • Grabby brakes
  • Some cheap cabin materials




Critics' Rating: 6.9
Performance: 5.3
Interior: 6.2
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.1
Safety: 8.7
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2018 Toyota Prius c Overview

Is the 2018 Toyota Prius c a Good Used Car?

Despite its unimpressive ranking in the hybrid and electric car class, the Prius c is a decent option for some shoppers. Its small size and excellent fuel efficiency make it a great city vehicle.

The 2018 Prius c has many appealing attributes:

  • Great predicted reliability rating
  • More standard safety features than rivals
  • Phenomenal fuel economy estimates
  • Lots of cargo space
  • Easy to park in tight spots

This hatchback also has a few flaws:

  • Sluggish acceleration
  • Lots of engine noise at higher speeds
  • Lower grade of cabin materials than rivals
  • Low safety score for the class
Why You Can Trust Us

Our goal is to provide you with the information you need to make car shopping a breeze. You'll find everything you need to know about this vehicle in our comprehensive Toyota Prius c review. It combines concrete data (like predicted reliability ratings, crash test results, and cargo space dimensions) with professional evaluations from 55 automotive sources. This Toyota Prius c review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for the 2012 model year.

We’ve been reviewing cars since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive experience. We also award the Best Cars for the Money, Best Cars for Families, and Best Vehicle Brands on an annual basis. To ensure our impartiality, a third party handles our advertising, and we don't accept expensive gifts from automakers.

How Much Is the 2018 Toyota Prius c?

Based on listings for the 2018 Toyota Prius c on our site, the average price is $19,300, which is below average for the class. Prices range from $17,000 to $21,900 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2018 Toyota Prius c Cost to Own?

The 2018 Prius c’s five-year costs for fuel, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be around $19,540, or $3,908 per year.

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

Outside of simplifying the trim lineup from four to two – the L and LE – Toyota made no major changes to the 2019 Prius c. You can likely save a lot of money by sticking with a similar 2018 model instead.

Read about the new Prius c »

Toyota last redesigned the Prius c for the 2012 model year. For 2015, Toyota added a standard touch screen, and the 2017 Prius c got more standard safety features, such as a pre-collision warning and braking system. Also, the exterior underwent a styling refresh. For 2018, Toyota again refreshed the exterior but made no other major changes. Unless the revamped exterior design is an important factor, you’d be best served shopping for a 2017 model. It has more safety features than older models and will likely cost less than newer ones.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Prius c »

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How Reliable Is the 2018 Prius c?

The 2018 Prius c has a great predicted reliability rating of 4.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about Prius c reliability »

2018 Toyota Prius c Recalls

As of this writing, there is one recall for the 2018 Toyota Prius c:

  • Some models may have a missing air bag label

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 Trim Is Right for Me?

The 2018 Prius c is available in four trim levels: One, Two, Three, and Four. All come with the same powertrain, so the major difference between them is features. The base Prius c One comes with a generous number of driver aids. Shoppers searching for more tech and convenience should look to the Prius c Three.

  • Toyota Prius c One: The entry-level Toyota Prius c One comes with the Entune infotainment system, a 6.1-inch touch screen, a four-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, a USB port, Siri Eyes Free, cloth seats, automatic climate control, a rearview camera, and the Toyota Safety Sense package, which includes a pre-collision warning and braking system, pedestrian detection, and automatic high-beam headlights.
  • Toyota Prius c Two: The Toyota Prius c Two includes a six-speaker stereo, 60/40 split-folding rear seats, and cruise control.
  • Toyota Prius c Three: Prius c Three models add navigation, the Entune app suite (with Pandora and Yelp), HD Radio, proximity keyless entry, and push-button start. A moonroof is available.
  • Toyota Prius c Four: The top-of-the-line Toyota Prius c Four trim gains standard SofTex synthetic leather seats, heated front seats, and a moonroof. Alloy wheels are available.

See 2018 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. Mazda, Hyundai, and Honda all have better programs.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Prius c?

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

Standard advanced safety features:

  • rearview camera
  • forward collision warning
  • automatic emergency braking
  • pedestrian detection
  • automatic high-beam headlights
  • lane departure warning

Available advanced safety features:

  • cruise control

See Prius c safety scores »

2018 Toyota Prius c Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2018 Toyota Prius c or 2018 Honda Fit?

The 2018 Honda Fit is a good choice among subcompact cars. It may not be a hybrid, but it still gets good fuel economy estimates. The Fit also has more cargo space than the Prius c, and it offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, neither of which are available in the Toyota. Additionally, buying the Honda costs around $1,500 less on average. Add the Fit’s maneuverability and upscale cabin, and it’s not hard to see what makes it an appealing choice in the segment. The Toyota is a decent vehicle, but the Honda is a better one.

Which Is Better: 2018 Prius c or 2018 Toyota Prius?

If it’s in your budget, the 2018 Toyota Prius is a better choice than the Prius c in the hybrid and electric car class. On average, the Prius costs around $4,600 more to buy. However, the Prius has more passenger space and cargo room than its smaller sibling, and it gets better fuel economy estimates. In fact, the Prius is one of the few non-plug-in hybrids to top 50 mpg. Additionally, it has a gentler ride than the Prius c.

Compare the Prius c, Fit, and Prius »

2018 Prius c Performance

How Does the 2018 Prius c Drive?

This Prius c scoots around town easily. Getting up to speed on the highway takes time though, and the powertrain drones at higher speeds.

This Toyota is easy to maneuver and feels stable around turns, and the steering provides decent feedback. Its ride isn’t as gentle as the 2018 Toyota Prius, but it’s not harsh either. The regenerative brakes can feel a bit grabby, and it may take time for drivers unaccustomed to hybrid cars to get used to them.

  • Powertrain: 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor with a combined 99 horsepower
  • Drivetrain: front-wheel drive
  • Transmission: continuously variable automatic (CVT)
Does the 2018 Prius c Get Good Gas Mileage?

This Toyota gets great fuel economy estimates compared to other hybrids, though it’s not quite as good on gas as larger siblings like the Toyota Prius or Toyota Camry Hybrid.

  • 48/43 mpg city/highway

Read more about Prius c performance »

2018 Prius c Interior

How Many People Does the 2018 Prius c Seat?

The Prius c seats five people in two rows, and the seats are comfortable. All but the tallest people will find plenty of leg- and headroom in the front and back. However, rearward visibility is limited by thick pillars. Cabin materials aren’t skimpy, but they’re not as nice as those in many rivals.

Standard seating features:

  • cloth upholstery

Available seating features:

  • synthetic leather upholstery
  • heated front seats
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seats
How Many Child Car Seats Fit in the 2018 Toyota Prius c?

This 2018 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. For ease of use, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the system the second-highest rating of Acceptable. Some of the lower anchors are set deeply in the seats, but the setup is otherwise easy to use.

2018 Toyota Prius c Features

Toyota's Entune infotainment system is easy to use. The touch screen has crisp graphics and responds quickly to inputs, and there are physical controls for some functions. Neither Apple CarPlay nor Android Auto is available.

  • Standard infotainment features: the Entune infotainment system, a 6.1-inch touch screen, a USB port, Bluetooth, and a four-speaker stereo
  • Available infotainment features: the Entune app suite with Pandora and Yelp compatibility, navigation, a six-speaker stereo, and HD Radio
  • Additional standard features: automatic climate control
  • Additional available features: push-button start, proximity keyless entry, and a moonroof

See Toyota Prius c specs »

Read more about Prius c interior »

2018 Toyota Prius c Dimensions

Toyota Prius c Cargo Space

This hatchback hybrid has 17.1 cubic feet of space. That’s not only great for a subcompact car, but it also eclipses compact cars such as the 2018 Toyota Corolla and even midsize cars like the 2018 Toyota Camry.

These cargo dimensions are for comparative purposes. There is no substitute for visually examining the storage area in any car you’re considering.

2018 Toyota Prius c Length and Weight
  • Length: 13 feet, 3 inches
  • Curb weight: 2,530 pounds

Where Was the 2018 Toyota Prius c Built?

Toyota built the 2018 Prius c in Japan.

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