The Difference Between Toyota Prius Models

The Difference Between Toyota Prius Models

The 2019 Toyota Prius c ranked a score of 7.3 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 52 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

The 2018 Toyota Prius Prime ranked a score of 8.3 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 19 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

The 2018 Toyota Prius ranked a score of 8.5 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 31 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

The 2019 Toyota Prius c has great fuel efficiency and a large amount of standard tech features, but it sits near the bottom of our subcompact cars rankings due to its low-quality cabin and languid acceleration.

Is the Toyota Prius c a Good Car?

Buying Toyota Prius in Akron Ohio

Buying Toyota Prius in Akron Ohio

The 2019 Toyota Prius c is an adequate subcompact car. This hybrid’s biggest selling points are its outstanding gas mileage and large cargo area. However, several rivals feature nicer cabins, quicker acceleration, and a quieter ride at highway speeds. It’s not a bad car, but you can find better options in this class.

Should I Buy the Toyota Prius c?

You should consider the Prius c if you’re looking for a subcompact car, and your main concern is fuel efficiency. Its starting price is reasonable among hybrids, but if having great gas mileage isn’t a top priority, you’ll want to look at the more well-rounded and often lower-priced members of the class. The Honda Fit has a nicer interior and more enjoyable ride. Still, if you are determined to buy a hybrid, you should take a look at the larger Toyota Prius. It costs more than the smaller Prius c, but it has even better fuel efficiency, a roomier cabin, and more cargo space.

Should I Buy a New or Used Toyota Prius c?

The 2019 Prius c is part of a generation that debuted for the 2012 model year. There are a few notable changes throughout the years. The 2015 Prius c received updated interior and exterior styling and a standard touch-screen infotainment system. The 2016 Prius c gained available Toyota Safety Sense C, which features a pre-collision warning system with lane departure alert and automatic high beams. For 2017, that package became standard. Toyota refreshed the Prius c’s exterior styling for the 2018 model year.

For 2019, Toyota condensed the Prius c’s trim levels to just two trims, renaming them L and LE. With this change, some of the more upscale amenities, such as leatherette upholstery and heated front seats, are unavailable. If you’re interested in these features, you’ll want to go back a model year. Other than that, there isn’t much difference between this model year and the 2018 Prius c.

If you’re interested in a used model, the 2017 Prius c is a solid choice. It has similar standard features as the 2019 Prius c, and it costs less. You could also check out the 2018 Prius c if you’re interested in a used model. If you decide a used car is right for you, visit our Used Car Deals page for more information on savings and discounts on used vehicles.

How Much Does the Toyota Prius c Cost?

The starting price for the 2019 Toyota Prius c is around $21,530, which is below average for a hybrid but on the high end for a subcompact car. Stepping up from the base L trim to the top-of-the-line LE trim will cost you $1,425.

Which Is Better: Toyota Prius c or Toyota Prius?

As a compact car, the Toyota Prius is essentially a larger version of the Prius c, with more room for passengers and cargo. The Prius has a smoother ride, quicker acceleration, and better fuel economy than the Prius c. However, the Prius c is easier to maneuver in tight spaces and costs less to buy. Although the larger Prius costs more up front, it’s worth the investment.

Prius c Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2019 Prius c an overall rating of four out of five stars. The Prius c also earned four stars in frontal, side, and rollover crash safety tests.

Prius c Safety Features

The Prius c comes standard with the Toyota Safety Sense suite, which includes a rearview camera, lane departure warning, automatic high beams, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and pedestrian detection.

Which Toyota Prius c Model Is Right for Me?

The 2019 Toyota Prius c comes in two trims: L and LE. Most drivers will be satisfied with the base trim, which comes with a host of active safety features and a touch-screen infotainment system. Shoppers interested in additional tech goodies like navigation, an Entune app suite, and satellite radio will want to step up to the LE trim.

Toyota Prius c L

Starting at $21,530, the base L trim comes with cloth seats, manually adjustable front seats, automatic climate control, and remote keyless entry. The standard infotainment system features a 6.1-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, a USB port, voice recognition, and Siri Eyes Free. A rearview camera, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, automatic high beams, automatic emergency braking, and pedestrian detection are also standard.

Toyota Prius c LE

The range-topping LE trim adds satellite radio, navigation, HD Radio, the Entune app suite, and push-button start. This model costs $22,955.


2018 Toyota Prius is an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick.

2018 Toyota Prius is an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick.

The 2018 Toyota Prius Prime‘s outstanding fuel economy, fantastic safety scores, and smooth powertrain make it an appealing compact car. However, issues like sluggish acceleration and a frustrating infotainment system pull its score down toward the bottom of the pack.

The Toyota Prius Prime is a good plug-in hybrid. Its place in the bottom half of our rankings is mostly because the compact car class is very competitive. If you’re looking for a hatchback with excellent gas mileage and a substantial list of standard safety technology, you’ll like the Prius Prime. This green car also has excellent safety and predicted reliability ratings. Still, some rivals offer more space, superior performance, and an extended all-electric range.

Is the Toyota Prius Prime a Good Car?

Buying a Toyota Prius Prime in Akron Ohio

Buying a Toyota Prius Prime in Akron Ohio

The Toyota Prius Prime is a good plug-in hybrid. Its place in the bottom half of our rankings is mostly because the compact car class is very competitive. If you’re looking for a hatchback with excellent gas mileage and a substantial list of standard safety technology, you’ll like the Prius Prime. This green car also has excellent safety and predicted reliability ratings. Still, some rivals offer more space, superior performance, and an extended all-electric range.

Should I Buy the Toyota Prius Prime?

Buyers may find the Toyota Prius Prime expensive next to gas-only compact cars, but next to other hybrid rivals, the Prius Prime’s pricing falls within the class mean. That said, you may want to consider other hybrids that better suit your needs or budget. For example, the Chevy Volt has a more engaging drive and a much longer all-electric range. Additionally, the Toyota Prius manages to deliver more cargo space at a significantly cheaper price – before factoring in the Prius Prime’s available tax credit. (If you qualify for the full tax credit, then the Prime could wind up costing less than the Prius.)

How Much Does the Toyota Prius Prime Cost?

The 2018 Toyota Prius Prime starts at $27,100. This is above average in the compact car class, but a federal tax credit of up to $4,500 is available. Comparatively, the Toyota Prius has a lower price of $23,475 (not accounting for the Prius Prime’s available tax credit), while the Chevy Volt starts at $34,095 (without the Volt’s available tax credit).

Which Toyota Prius Prime Model Is Right for Me?

The Toyota Prius Prime comes in three trims: Plus, Premium, and Advanced. The base Plus trim comes with plenty of features, and it’s a fine choice for most drivers. It includes a 7-inch touch screen, navigation, HD Radio, and safety technology like forwarding collision alert, adaptive cruise control, and pedestrian detection. If you want a larger 11.6-inch touchscreen, you’ll have to move up to the Premium trim. For even more safety features, you’ll want to step up to the top-of-the-line Advanced trim. It adds features like rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, and a head-up display.

Toyota Prius Prime Plus

The Prius Prime Plus starts at $27,100 and comes with cloth upholstery, heated front seats, push-button start, a rearview camera, heated mirrors, a 7-inch touchscreen, a six-speaker audio system, a USB port, Bluetooth, satellite radio, navigation, HD Radio, the Entune app suite, and hands-free phone capability. It also comes with Toyota Safety Sense, which includes a rearview camera, forward collision alert, pedestrian detection, lane departure alert, lane keep assist, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control.

Toyota Prius Prime Premium

The Prius Prime Premium ($28,800) adds SofTex leatherette upholstery, an 11.6-inch touchscreen, Siri Eyes Free, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, and wireless smartphone charging.

Toyota Prius Prime Advanced

The Prius Prime Advanced costs $33,100 and further increases its safety features. It adds rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, a head-up display, fog lights, and rain-sensing wipers. It also includes Intelligent Parking Assist and Intelligent Clearance Sonar, which help prevent collisions in parking lots and aid in difficult parking situations. Additional features include a 10-speaker JBL premium audio system and a heated steering wheel.


The well-rounded, fuel-efficient 2018 Toyota Prius earns a spot in the top third of our compact car rankings. It has a large cargo hold and a long features list, but tight rear seats and sluggish highway passing power keep it from ranking higher.

Is the Toyota Prius a Good Car?

Buying a Toyota Prius in Akron Ohio

Buying a Toyota Prius in Akron Ohio

Yes, the Toyota Prius is a very good compact car. The Prius mixes fantastic fuel economy with above-average cargo space and an upscale cabin. You’ll find several advanced safety features in the Prius that some classmates don’t even offer as options. Standard features include a rearview camera, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection. The Prius also delivers a compliant ride, controlled handling, and great maneuverability.

Should I Buy the Toyota Prius?

The Toyota Prius is a great value, but it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Its highway acceleration isn’t the greatest, and some rivals offer additional rear-seat space. Therefore, if you’re looking to carry tall passengers often or you want spirited performance, you should probably bypass the Prius. That said, the Prius’ strengths overshadow its weaknesses, which is why it’s a sensible choice within the compact car class.

Should I Buy a New or Used Toyota Prius?

The Toyota Prius was last redesigned for the 2016 model year, and there have been only a few notable changes since. For 2017, a slew of driver assistance features became standard. An 11.6-inch touch screen became available for 2018. If you can do without the minor changes to the 2017 and 2018 models, you may want to consider a 2016 Prius to save some money. You’ll still get a very similar car to the new model. Visit our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

We Did the Research for You: 31 Pieces of Data Analyzed

We researched 31 Toyota Prius reviews and included information on price, fuel economy, and more to give you a complete overview of the 2018 Prius. This 2018 Toyota Prius overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2016 through 2018 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking vehicles since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the auto industry. To keep our reviews unbiased, we refuse pricey gifts and trips from automakers, and a third party handles the ads on our site.

How Much Does the Toyota Prius Cost?

Manufacturer suggested retail prices for a new Toyota Prius start at $23,475. That’s several thousand more than the starting prices of fuel-efficient, gas-powered rivals like the Honda Civic ($18,840) and Chevy Cruze($16,975). However, a loaded Prius Four Touring with every available package costs about $33,310, which is about the same as the starting price of the plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt ($33,220).

Which Is Better: Toyota Prius or Toyota Prius c?

The Toyota Prius c is a subcompact car that has a lot in common with the regular Prius. Both have sufficient passenger space and identical standard advanced safety technology. Both vehicles are perfect for city driving, but the Prius c is even more languid on the highway than the larger Prius. You’ll have to spend about $2,800 more for the regular Prius, but with the Prius c’s smaller cargo bay, feeble acceleration, and low-rent interior, the extra money is worth it.

Which Is Better: Toyota Prius or Toyota Prius Prime?

The Toyota Prius Prime is a uniquely designed plug-in hybrid variant of the regular Prius. This Toyota can deliver up to 25 miles of all-electric range at full charge. The Prius Prime will save you money at the pump, but it will cost about $3,500 more upfront. However, with an available $4,500 tax credit, it could end up costing you less than the regular Prius in the long run. Both Toyotas are great vehicles, so choosing between the two will come down to whether you prefer a plug-in hybrid or a regular hybrid.

Prius Crash Test Results

The 2018 Toyota Prius earns good safety ratings overall. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety names it a Top Safety Pick and gives it the highest rating of Good in all crash tests. The Prius earns a Superior score (the highest possible) for front crash prevention and an Acceptable score (the second highest) for its headlights. From the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Prius receives five out of five stars overall. It earns five stars for the side crash test and four stars for the frontal crash and rollover tests.

Prius Safety Features

Along with basic safety feature like airbags, the Prius comes with numerous advanced driver assistance features. All Prius models feature a rearview camera and Toyota Safety Sense, which includes adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, and automatic high beams. Many rivals offer those features, but not as standard. Optional safety equipment in the Prius includes blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors, park assist, a head-up display, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

Which Toyota Prius Model Is Right for Me?

The Prius comes in seven trims: One, Two, Two Eco, Three, Three Touring, Four, and Four Touring. All Prius models come with a four-cylinder engine, two electric motors, and a continuously variable automatic transmission.

For a blend of value, features, and fuel economy, go for the Prius Three ($26,735). It adds significant upgrades to the Entune infotainment system, like a 7-inch touchscreen and navigation. You can also equip it with extras like a moonroof or a head-up display.

True hypermilers will want the Prius Eco, starting at $25,165. While it doesn’t offer many of the features of the upper trims, its reduced weight gives it a boost of 4 mpg in the city and 3 mpg on the highway over all other 2018 Priuses.

Toyota Prius One

The base trim starts at $23,475. It comes with the Entune infotainment system, a 6.1-inch touch-screen display, a six-speaker audio system, a USB port, voice recognition, and Siri Eyes Free, as well as Bluetooth for hands-free phone calls and streaming audio. Other standard features include cloth upholstery, automatic climate control, proximity keyless entry, push-button start, alloy wheels, and Bi-LED headlights.

You’ll also get a rearview camera and Toyota Safety Sense, which consists of a pre-collision system, pedestrian detection, lane keep assist, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control.

Toyota Prius Two Eco

The Prius Two Eco starts at $25,165. Building on the Prius One’s features, it adds seatback pockets as well as weight reduction that gives it the best fuel economy in the Prius lineup.

Toyota Prius Two

The Prius Two ($24,685) adds blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors, and park assist. You’ll also get a rear window wiper, a cargo area cover, and a spare tire instead of the repair kit that comes in the lower trims.

Toyota Prius Three

The Prius Three ($26,735) gives you wireless device charging, a 7-inch touch screen, navigation, the Entune app suite, satellite radio, and HD Radio. The Advanced Technology package adds a head-up display and a moonroof for $1,350.

Toyota Prius Three Touring

Starting at $28,115, the Three Touring builds on the Three with SofTex leatherette upholstery, and unique exterior accents like 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, and a rear bumper treatment.

Toyota Prius Four

With the Prius Four ($29,685), you get rain-sensing windshield wipers, an 11.6-inch touchscreen, heated and power-adjustable front seats, and a built-in garage door opener.

The aforementioned Advanced Technology package ($1,350) is available for the Prius Four. Alternatively, you can get the Premium Convenience package ($2,555), which includes the contents of the Advanced Technology package and adds a 10-speaker JBL audio system and an automatic collision notification system.

Toyota Prius Four Touring

For $30,565, the Prius Four Touring trim, which has the same exterior styling enhancements as the Prius Three Touring trim. Packages from previous trims are also available in the Four Touring.


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