The new Toyota Prius c combines cool and funky design with hatchback practicality.
Toyota New Zealand General Manager of Product Planning, Neeraj Lala said "We're excited to launch the Prius c in New Zealand. The car has a refreshing image and a highly fashionable design. It's sharp and bold and comes in a great range of impact colours."
"Prius c is the first of the next generation of styling that Toyota will introduce over the next 12 months, and the objective was clearly to inject the mojo back into our design studio. It's clear to us that the 'c' in Prius c really does stand for Cool - this is the coolest car we've seen in a long time."
"This is the hybrid for people who haven't considered a hybrid before," said Mr Lala.
The bold, dynamic face of Prius c ensures it's easily recognisable. The enlarged openings and assertive under grille design enhance aerodynamic, cooling and pedestrian protection performance.
Projector type four beam halogen or LED headlights are available, depending on the grade selected. LED headlamps reduce electricity consumption, contributing to fuel economy. Headlight cleaners are paired with the LED lamps.
Front fog lights and front turn signal lamps are located in the lower bumper.
The side design balances aerodynamics with agility and interior space. By adopting a triangular silhouette, Prius c shares design cues with the Prius hatch, while improving headroom. Prius c has a drag coefficient of just 0.30.
The tyres have been pushed towards the outer corners of the body, giving a sense of agility. Short front and rear overhangs improve manoeuvrability. The turning radius for vehicles with the 15 inch alloy wheel is just 4.8 metres.
Prius c's body coloured outside mirrors have aero stabilising fins to improve the flow of air around the body, contributing to aerodynamic efficiency. Mirror mounted side indicator lights are easy to see, helping to communicate the driver's intention to other motorists.
The cabin design tapers downwards towards the rear with aerodynamic performance in mind. This design element contrasts with the wide lower body form and width enhancing wheel flares. The overall effect is a sturdy stance and agile driving performance.
The rear spoiler, combination lights and rear bumper appear integrated for a streamlined look. The rear window wiper improves rear visibility.
Aero stabilising fins on the sides of the rear combination lights further improve airflow around the vehicle. Power-saving LED stop lights illuminate quickly and provide a strong look at the rear of Prius c. Additional LED lights are used in the rear spoiler mounted high stop light.
A characteristic of Toyota hybrid models, the 'Toyota' logo mark at the front and rear of Prius c is coloured blue. 'Hybrid' and 'HSD' emblems on the body further identify it as a hybrid vehicle.
The exterior colour line-up for Prius c is vibrant and stylish, giving a fresh image. Three colours were designed exclusively for the Prius c: White Mist, Aqua and Sunrise. White Mist adds a fresh green accent to the already popular white pearlescent paint. Sunrise is a bright, citrus orange and adds a sporty feel to Prius c. Aqua is a soft blue which points to the clean image of hybrid vehicles. Other exterior colours are: Glacier White, Silver Pearl, Graphite, Ink, Cherry and Tidal Blue.
Prius c's interior is unlike any Toyota that's come before it. It has the practicality and comfort expected, combined with a sense of fun thanks to playful touches throughout the cabin.
"The interior of this car is a stand-out. It's unique and quirky, but still smart and easy to use - we've built in playful features without detracting from what people love about Toyota. It's easy to drive and built to impressive quality levels," said Mr Lala.
The interior space makes the most of Prius c's size. It is user friendly and designed to feel spacious and comfortable.
The thin and wide instrument panel helps ensure the interior feels spacious. The operational switches and dials have been located together in the centre section of the instrument panel.
Throughout the interior, straight lines and circles give a modern, playful feel. The bold colour scheme and geographic textures give Prius c an advanced look.
The combination meter is located towards the centre of the instrument panel, in easy view for the driver. The digital speedometer and clear displays ensure it's easy for the driver to read important vehicle information.
A 3.5 inch full colour TFT (thin film transistor) multi-information display screen takes pride of place at the centre of the combination meter. On start up, an opening screen with bright coloured graphics and animations welcomes the driver to Prius c, setting the scene for a unique and fun driving experience.
The 'Eco Drive' monitor displays the hybrid system status and other eco information in an easy-to-understand way. It is a fun way for first time hybrid drivers to understand the technology inside their vehicle.
The Drive Information screen shows average running speed, driving time, percentage of EV (electric vehicle) driving distance, cruising range and outside temperature.
A first for Toyota, the 'Eco Drive' monitor incorporates 'ECO Score' and 'ECO Savings' records. The 'ECO Score' display gives the driver a score out of 100 for how economically they start off, cruise and stop.
The 'ECO Savings' display allows drivers to input the current petrol price and then compare the estimated cost of each trip taken in Prius c versus a comparison vehicle. This feature will quickly highlight the real life benefits of driving a Toyota hybrid vehicle.
The 'ECO Savings Record' allows you to track fuel usage for the current month and the previous three months to track your progress.
At the end of each trip, a short ending animation is played on the multi information display then a trip summary showing the distance travelled, time taken, fuel consumption and an indication of the cost of the fuel used.
Frequently used switches are located together around the driver's seat so they are easy to see and use.
Audio, air conditioning and display controls are also located on the steering wheel, so they are easy to use while driving. Borrowed from its big brother the Prius hatch, Prius c has a touch tracer system which displays the switch currently touched by the driver's finger onto the multi-information display, reducing driver's eye movement.
Colour / Trim
Two interior colour and trim combinations are available, depending on grade.
The basic interior colour for both grades is black, with the entry level models adopting lighter grey for portions of the seats, door trim and instrument panel. Bright aqua accents are an unexpected feature on the front door switch bases and passenger's side storage tray.
The higher grade s-Tech model has a darker, more sophisticated tone with subtle black accent lines.
Prius c designers have adopted a new framework for the front seats, helping to give the best possible comfort while not compromising cabin space. Whiplash Injury Lessening (WIL) technology helps to support and cushion the head and lower back in the event of a rear collision.
Careful attention has been paid to ensure it's easy for passengers of any physique to get in and out of Prius c. The hip point height and door opening height contribute to this ease of use, as does the D-shaped steering wheel which reduces knee interference.
Slim front seat backs are sculpted to improve rear passenger leg space, ensuring this is a true five seater.
The 60/40 split folding rear seat design caters for a variety of storage and seating scenarios.
Seats for the entry level model have black and light grey sections. The main seat fabric has sharp stripes with circular motives, linking well with the instrument panel design.
Synthetic leather seats for the Prius c s-Tech model are soft and durable with contrast stitching for a premium look.
Luggage / Storage
The hybrid battery, auxiliary battery and fuel tank are located under the rear seat, improving rear luggage space for such a compact body size. Cargo capacity up to the top of the rear seats is 305 litres, or 377 litres up to the roof.
There are a number of storage compartments and drink holders throughout the cabin, further maximising the convenience and usability of the interior space.