Toyota has just this week started sales of its newest Prius family member, the 2012 Prius C. 

The smallest Prius hybrid yet, the Prius C is Toyota’s first subcompact Hybrid to go on sale in the U.S. At a starting price of $18,950, the Prius C is also Toyota’s cheapest hybrid yet. 

We’ve test-driven the Prius C already, and even given you a peek at its official owners’ manual. But now we’re going to show you how you can go about specifying your own Prius C using Toyota’s online confirmation tool

At the start of the online configuration tool, you’ll be asked for your Zipcode. This is to help Toyota ensure that the quote it gives you -- including lease or purchase figures -- is accurate for the area in which you live. 

From there, you can chose one of four trim levels, from the Prius C One through to the Prius C Four. 

2012 Toyota Prius C, drive event, La Jolla, CA, Feb 2012

2012 Toyota Prius C, drive event, La Jolla, CA, Feb 2012

Prius C One

Interestingly, while the Prius c One is the cheapest trim option available, it comes with bluetooth and USB/iPod connectivity as standard. 

While you’ll be able to safely listen to your music on the road however, the Prius C One doesn’t come with many more extras. There’s no satellite navigation, no split rear seats, and no tonneau cover. 

Also missing on the base level is cruise control, and a choice of colors. Opt of the Prius c One, and you’ll be stuck with Toyota’s Absolutetly Red exterior paint and grey fabric interior.

With no options to chose from, and no extras picked, our base-level Prius c One would set us back an estimated $19,710 including delivery, processing and handling, showing it is just about possible to get a Prius C for under $20,000. 

Prius C Two

A step up from the Prius C One, the Prius C Two adds cruise control, split folding 60/40 rear seats, and a cargo area cover as standard.  Also improved from the base level is a steering wheel that’s fully adjustable for tilt and reach, bluetooth handsfree, and improved seats which Toyota claims help lessen Whiplash injuries. 

Mercifully, the Prius c Two comes with a choice of 9 different exterior paint options as standard, 4 of which are metallic. Inside however, you’ll be stuck with a rather bland grey fabric interior.

Again, with no extras specified, but delivery and processing included, we were quoted $20,660. 

2012 Toyota Prius C Online Configuration Tool

2012 Toyota Prius C Online Configuration Tool

Prius C Three

By the time you reach the 2012 Toyota Prius C Three, complete with push-button start, tracer display and Toyota’s own navigation and EnTune audio equipment, you’re given the first real option choice: sunroofs. 

Available without a sunroof, Toyota will add a power/tile moonroof on its own for $850, or throw in 15-inch alloy wheels for $1,240.

Paint and trim options are the same as they are for the Prius c Two, resulting in a quote of around $23,635 with the power/slide moonroof and alloy wheels selected as options. 

Prius C Four

Moving to the top of the range Prius C Four, which adds integrated fog lamps as standard along with heated power mirrors with integrated turn indicators and heated front seats, you’ll find that 15-inch alloy wheels are now included as standard. 

As a consequence, adding the tilt/slide moonroof will set you back an additional $850. 

The only other option -- an alloy wheel upgrade to 16-inch wheels -- confuses us slightly. 

Costing $1,150, the option seems to remove the moonroof option.  Since we’re sure most owners would rather have the moonroof and buy their own aftermarket wheels, we’re not sure how many customers will spec this option. 

Shockingly too, there are no more paint options on the highest end Prius C, with customers stuck with the same 9 colors offered on the Prius C Two and Three. 

Inside however, there’s two choices of seat colors. Trimmed in Softex -- an imitation leather -- customers can choose between light grey or black. 

All-in-all, the Prius C Four, complete with alloy wheel upgrade and associated delivery, processing and handling fees, was quoted to us by the online calculator at $25,140. 

2012 Toyota Prius c ECO Score Display

2012 Toyota Prius c ECO Score Display


We have to admit that Toyota’s range of Prius C accessories left us a little disappointed. Aside from the usual floor mats, weather protection, side body moldings and First aid kit, the only real accessory we’d want to spend money on is Toyota’s VIP Security System. 

Quoted as costing $359, the system enhances the stock anti-theft devices on the Prius C, and adds sensors to detect if the car’s windows or doors are being broken or forced open. 

Which One? 

Given the fact that each Prius C model gets the same gas mileage, we’d have to say that the best value for money lies in the 2012 Prius C Two and Prius C Three. 

Without satellite navigation or Internet-connected radio as standard, the Prius C Two gives drivers the best mix of practicality and simplicity, while the Prius C Three gives drivers the most technology at the lowest price. 

If you’re contemplating buying a 2012 Toyota Prius C we’d love to hear from you. Which model have you chosen, and why? 

Let us know in the comments below. 


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