Published on January 12th, 2017 | by Subhash Nair


Toyota Prius C Updated for 2017 Model Year in US

One of the most affordable hybrid vehicles on the market just added another compelling reason to buy for 2017. The Toyota Prius c, the smallest of the brand’s eight hybrid models, now comes standard with the Toyota Safety Sense C (TSS-C) driver-assist technologies on all model grades. The TSS-C system, which had been an option on two Prius c grades for 2016, includes Pre-Collision System, Lane Departure Assist, and Automatic High Beams.

That’s big news, of course. But then, the compact Prius c has been a newsmaker since it joined the Toyota line. A redesigned front fascia, rear bumper, side rocker panels and blacked-out rear spoiler give the 2017 Prius c a big infusion of sporty attitude.

A Big Safety Announcement from Toyota

Toyota Safety Sense-C is designed to help address three key areas of driver assistance: preventing or mitigating frontal collisions, helping maintain driving within their lane, and enhancing road safety during nighttime driving. Toyota plans to make automatic emergency braking standard on nearly all models by the end of 2017. That will put Toyota (and Lexus) four years ahead of the model-year 2022 industry target announced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).


Smart packaging also makes the Prius c highly manoeuvrable, thanks to optimal location of the compact gasoline engine, transaxle and power-control unit. Locating the hybrid battery and fuel tank beneath the rear seat puts their mass within the car’s wheelbase, a boon to weight distribution and handling agility. The body structure’s high torsional rigidity allows the suspension to be more optimally tuned for a smoother ride and more agile handling. The Prius c rides on standard 15-inch alloy wheels on all grades. A 16-inch aluminium alloy wheel option with P195/50R16 tires is available for the Prius c Four.

In the city, suburbs or wide-open spaces, the standard single LED projector low- and high-beam headlights and LED tail and brake lights give you a bright road ahead. Exterior colour choices like Absolutely Red, Blue Streak Metallic and Tangerine Splash Pearl may not be ideal for those in the Witness Protection Program.

Prius c Hybrid Technology

Toyota optimised the size and weight of its hybrid technology for the Prius c platform, but that doesn’t mean it left anything out. The system integrates a gasoline engine, an electric motor within a Continuously Variable Transaxle, a nickel-metal hydride battery, a power control unit (inverter), a DC-DC converter and a step-up converter. A hybrid control computer governs the seamless application of gasoline engine and electric power depending on driving demands and selected drive mode.

The Toyota Prius c’s SULEV (Tier 2 Bin 3)-rated 1.5-liter inline four-cylinder gasoline engine utilises an Atkinson cycle to help increase efficiency. By itself, the engine produces 73 horsepower and 82 lb.-ft. of torque, contributing to a total hybrid system output of 99 hp.

Like today’s luxury and sport models, the Prius c offers different drive modes to affect performance response. Normal mode works for everyday driving. ECO reduces overall energy consumption by governing the climate control system and throttle operation to help enhance vehicle efficiency. Under certain conditions EV Mode allows the Prius c to be driven solely by electric power for under one mile while remaining below 25 mph. That’s useful when navigating one of those huge mall parking lots, for example.

Compact on Size, Big on Safety

The addition of the Toyota Safety Sense C system to all 2017 Prius c models is designed to help drivers avoid hazards on the road. But Toyota also built the Prius c to help protect passengers. Extensive use of lightweight, high-strength steel contributes to the vehicle’s ability to absorb and disperse impact energy, helping to enhance occupant safety.

The body covering that structure slips through the air with a low 0.28 coefficient of drag, the result of extensive aerodynamic features. The Prius c’s lower-body styling is wider below the beltline, featuring sculpted rear flares that express an athletic stance.


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Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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