2012 Toyota Prius C, drive event, La Jolla, CA, Feb 2012Enlarge Photo
Could you pigeonhole the average hybrid car buyer? Well-educated, perhaps. Certainly green-minded. Someone who has settled down and started a family?
How about young, free and single? That doesn't sound like your typical Prius buyer, that's for sure, but as we reported in January, as many as 60 percent of Generation Y drivers--those aged from their teens to early 30s--would prefer a hybrid over other types of vehicle.
Those statistics certainly caught Toyota's attention. The Globe and Mail reports that Toyota Canada is hoping to ensnare Generation Y, or Millenials, with the 2012 Prius C subcompact hybrid.
In theory, it has all the right ingredients. Low running costs, in a time of rising gas prices--it's hard to overstate the importance of that. A reputation for reliability, thanks to the regular Prius' excellent record in this field, and a dynamic, youthful look--more so than the regular Prius.
Toyota Canada expects 40 percent of new vehicle sales over the next decade will come from the 90 million millennials out there, so the market is a potentially lucrative one.
If young buyers are prepared to overlook the initial cost for the longer-term benefits, that is.
When we looked at the costs of gasoline, diesel, electric and hybrid vehicles over five years, the regular 2012 Toyota Prius came out favorably, thanks to its high fuel economy. The Prius C is cheaper to buy and equally economical, so could be even more attractive in the long-term.
Throw in the environmental benefits of low-emissions vehicles in an increasingly eco-conscious market, and Toyota could be on to something.
Are you a Generation Y driver? Would you buy a hybrid? Let us know in the comments section below.