Jun 1, 2012
Chris Salamone

Consumer Reports Cuts Prius C (Video)

Just days ago, Consumer Reports posted a review on YouTube of Toyota’s 2013 Prius C. Back in March the all-knowing product evaluation company completed a First Drive analysis which left viewers with a hint of foreboding – the final Consumer Reports review might be less than stellar. And so, test day has come and gone, revealing that the 2013 Toyota Prius C hybrid falls short of a coveted ‘Recommended’ rating.

Using heavy descriptors like lackluster, small, dead, noisy, underpowered, Mike Quincy, an Auto Specialist for Consumer Reports, brought the thunder in the company’s most recent review – even suggesting that buyers consider pre-owned (normal) Prius models over the more compact Prius C.

Looking at all the evidence, specs and video inclusive, the 2013 Prius C is basically a handily modified Yaris with great gas mileage. Unfortunately, though, high gas mileage wasn’t enough for Quincy to ignore the vehicle’s slow pickup, cheap interior materials, limited visibility, small cargo area, and threatening price tag. It may come as no surprise that Consumer Reports would be upset about a price which starts in the low $20,000 range, even stating: “In the end, the Prius C is a cheap car with an expensive drive train…despite the great fuel economy that’s a lot of money for what you get.”

Not even auto enthusiasts, obsessed with the latest and greatest green innovations, are willing to pay a jacked up price for a fancy Toyota Yaris.

Most surprising is that Toyota still manages to sell the Prius C in droves, even despite a price which is $3,000 or $4,000 more than competitive subcompacts like the Honda Fit, Insight, Chevy Sonic, and the like. Maybe the bigwigs at Toyota are onto something.

As we know, another recent Consumer Reports study indicated that fuel economy was the “leading consideration among new car buyers.” Apparently Toyota has divined the change in consumer preferences and pre-designed an overpriced vehicle which looks good and is capable of 53 mpg – or the EPA’s highest rated city fuel economy of any car without an electric cord.

Like it or not the Prius C is here to stay. As long as gas prices continue to rise, people probably won’t mind paying an upfront premium for the convenience of fewer fill ups. In light of this change in consumer opinion, perhaps it is Consumer Reports that should change the criteria for a ‘Recommendation’ – with greater weight given to fuel economy.

 



Source : Consumer Reports