EPA Fuel Economy: 53/46 mpg
Toyota recently expanded its Prius family, and the baby of the new brood is the Prius C. This small hatchback packs a downsized version of the Hybrid Synergy Drive used by the larger Prius, but its compact dimensions help it out-score the Prius on EPA fuel-economy tests. The Prius C is 19.1 inches shorter in length and 542 pounds lighter than its forbear, yet still manages to seat five people inside its scaled-down body.
The C uses a 1.5-liter inline-four engine with 73 hp, and a 60-hp electric motor. Acceleration is decent at low speeds but disappointing on the highway. Seeing as this car will generally be used in urban environments, its performance is adequate for most drivers. Toyota segments the Prius C into four trim levels called One, Two, Three, and Four. Standard equipment on the One model includes air conditioning, keyless entry, and power windows. Upgrading to the $24,025 Four trim level adds alloy wheels, navigation, Bluetooth, and push-button start.