Toy­ota up­dates Prius hy­brid

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Motoring -

Toy­ota Aus­tralia has re­freshed the small­est hy­brid in its fleet, the Prius C light hatch, with mi­nor tweaks to styling, an in­crease in stan­dard gear, im­proved body rigid­ity and a mar­ginal price hike.

Keep­ing the ti­tle of Aus­tralia’s most af­ford­able hy­brid ve­hi­cle, the base Prius C has in­creased in price by $590, to $24,040 plus on-roads, while the top-spec i-tech has gone up by just $30, to $26,540.

Ad­di­tional stan­dard spec­i­fi­ca­tion over the out­go­ing model in­cludes satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion with Toy­ota Link con­nected mo­bil­ity, while the multi-in­for­ma­tion dis­play on both vari­ants has in­creased in size from 3.5 to 4.2-inches.

The base Prius C also gains a pre­mium steer­ing wheel with in­te­grated but­tons from the i-tech vari­ant.

Exterior de­sign changes have meant the Prius C has grown in length by 55mm, to 4050mm, thanks to a 15mm ex­ten­sion to the rear spoiler and 40mm to the front bumper.

The front bumper, bon­net and fend­ers have been tweaked, while the grille has been restyled for a more prom­i­nent look, with i-tech vari­ants fea­tur­ing a chrome-plated bar across the up­per air in­take.

Head­lights have also been re­designed, and are of­fered in LED form for the i-tech and halo­gen for the base model.

Two new exterior colours – hor­net yel­low and aqua­ma­rine – have been added, and the i-tech re­ceives newly-de­signed 15-inch al­loy wheels.

In­side, the Prius C re­ceives a new black steer­ing wheel with sil­ver high­lights, a re­designed cen­tre clus­ter and more cargo space in the rear thanks to a tem­po­rary spare wheel.

Mul­ti­ple mea­sures have been taken to in­crease struc­tural rigid­ity and han­dling, in­clud­ing larger and stiffer lower-rear pan­els and ad­di­tional spot welds to the rear-wheel hous­ings.

No changes have been made to the Prius C’s pow­er­train, which teams a 54kw 1.5-litre as­pi­rated petrol four-cylin­der en­gine to a 45kw elec­tric mo­tor for a com­bined out­put of 74kw-169nm teamed to con­tin­u­ously-vari­able trans­mis­sion.

Com­bined fuel con­sump­tion for the hy­brid pow­er­train is rated at 3.9 litres per 100 kilo­me­tres, with CO2 emis­sions of 90 grams per 100 kilo­me­tres.

Toy­ota Aus­tralia ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of sales and mar­ket­ing Tony Cramb high­lighted the green cre­den­tials of the Prius C, point­ing to its ‘re­mark­able fuel econ­omy and re­sul­tant low en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact, both of which are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly im­por­tant fac­tors in any new-car pur­chase’.

So far in 2017 Toy­ota has sold 441 ex­am­ples of the Prius C, down 22.8 per­cent on the 571 it sold to the same point last year.

The light-car seg­ment has been dom­i­nated by the Hyundai Ac­cent, sell­ing 9865 ex­am­ples so far in 2017, fol­lowed by the Mazda2 with 7426 sales and Toy­ota Yaris with 6967 sales.

– Rob­bie Wal­lis

C CREA­TURE: Toy­ota has re­freshed the Prius C hy­brid light hatch, the sec­ond re­fresh since its launch in 2012.

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