2014 Toyota Prius C: The Stealth Hybrid [First Impression]

2014 Toyota Prius C Front Quarter

The 2014 Toyota Prius C is the littlest of the Prius lineup and it’s also the least Prius-looking of the lot. If you get the classic Prius or Prius V, everyone knows you’re driving a hybrid, but if you get a Prius C they might think you’re driving a hot little hatch.

Our test vehicle came in Sun Fusion (wait, isn’t the Fusion a Ford?) which is a really bright yellow. It looks a bit like a taxi save the markings, or possibly a bottle of mustard, but it does not look like a Prius. It looks fun. It kind of makes you want to smile from behind your sunglasses.

The non-Prius look of this car is good or bad depending on your point of view. People buy hybrids for lots of different reasons. Some are looking to be environmentally responsible, but some are simply looking to save a few dollars at the pump. If you don’t want to advertise that your ride is a hybrid and don’t feel the need to shout from the rooftops that you’re better than the guy in the muscle car, then the 2014 Prius C is the car for you.

It is classified as a subcompact which makes its design ideal for navigating narrow city streets or tight parking lots. After watching a couple of SUVs and one midsize sedan pass a spot in a crowded parking lot, the Prius C took the spot with ease.

It looks like a hot hatch with its small size and flashy color, but it’s still a Prius so it excels at one thing above all else, and that’s fuel efficiency. Rated at 53/46 city/highway for a combined 50 MPG, it’s hard not to feel pretty smug as you pass the pump. The tables turn though, when it’s time to pass other cars on the highway and they leave you in the dust.

It’s okay. You’ll catch up and pass them when they stop for gas and you’re still happily cruising along in the stealth hybrid that is the 2015 Prius C.

Check out this mashup review featuring the 2013 Ford Fiesta, Toyota Prius C, and Scion IQ.

Nicole Wakelin fell in love with cars as a teenager when she got to go for a ride in a Ferrari. It was red and it was fast and that was all that mattered. Game over. She considers things a bit more carefully now, but still has a weakness for fast, beautiful cars. Nicole is a member of the New England Motor Press Association and also writes for Automotive IT News, NerdApproved, and GeekMom. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.