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Consumer Reports auto experts report from the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Toyota Prius c

What is it? The smallest member of the new Prius family, the Prius c is designed to compete with the Honda Insight in providing an affordable entry into hybrids. Unlike the Insight, the Prius c uses a full-hybrid system, namely Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive.  Toyota claims the Prius c will be EPA-rated at 50 mpg in the city. Toyota claims the smaller Prius c will be sportier to drive and aimed at younger buyers than the standard Prius.

What is new or notable? The Prius c will adopt Toyota’s Entune infotainment system, giving drivers access to Microsoft’s Bing search engine and Internet radio, as well as movie ticket, restaurant, fuel price, weather, traffic, sports, and stock price information. Toyota plans to make other apps available in Entune going forward.

CR’s take: While the Entune system sounds like a potential distraction, the idea of a more affordable and sportier Prius sounds attractive. Hopefully, it won’t feel as cheap as the Insight and have a more useable back seat.

When will it be available? Spring 2012

Consumer Reports New cars: A to Z

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