Prius C not a Yaris Hybrid After All

According to an opinion piece by Automotive News, Toyota is milking its Prius line for all the prestige value it can.

By including the Prius c in amongst the other Prii, AN contends the Japanese automaker is artificially boosting sales numbers for what is now called the world’s third best selling lineup (the company is generally reluctant to give a breakout of individual models).

It says artificially because although the entry level hybrid shares a name, the Prius c has little more in common with its siblings than say, a Camry Hybrid, which AN quips could just as well be called a “Prius Grande,” while Toyota is at it.

The Prius c is significantly smaller, built on a different architecture, sports a smaller base engine and conventional gear shifter instead of the “toggle” found on the regular Prius, Prius Plug-In and Prius v models.

In fact AN, believes that it would probably be better to label the car as a Yaris Hybrid as it shares much of its structure with Toyota’s conventional subcompact. There’s a Camry Hybrid, so why not?

Rendering of the Toyota Aurus design reported by Autocar. The pending Yaris Hybrid is said to take cues from this not-yet-officially revealed car.

However, word has it that Toyota plans to
introduce an actual Yaris Hybrid in July developed by the firm’s European arm that it will be launched alongside the larger Auris Hybrid (a Euro market derivative of the Corolla).

According to Autocar magazine, both these machines will incorporate lighter, more efficient hybrid technology than the “traditional” Prius lineup, which will yield not only weight savings but also greater interior volume and trunk capacity.

So while Automotive News suggest that the Prius c could have been dubbed a Yaris Hybrid, that isn’t likely to happen, even if introducing the latter might somewhat result in a case of badge engineering in Toyota’s lineup.

Automotive News (subscription req’d), Autocar

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  • KeC

    Seems to me that the author wants to “split hairs” here in defining the products.
    How about let’s compare the actual performance of the products themselves?

  • Volume Van

    Autonews is biased against Hybrids. Many people have blasted the authors comments by saying that even the Pickups are not split.

    For ex – Ford combines all F Series vehicles like F-150, F-250, F-350 all the way upto F-750 under 1 category.

    As the sales of prius continues to increase, oil companies and their media will try to suppress using all these false information.

    If they want a split, then all automaker should split their vehicle sales based on V4 and V6 engine and similarly V6 and V8 engines.

  • Van

    Consumer Report offered up word for word copy and paste commentary from their Yaris evaluation for the Prius C. I have not sat in or driven the C yet so maybe Toyota did leave too much Yaris in their makeover. But based on looks and objective performance numbers, i.e. 53 city MPG, this car, no matter the badging is a winner big time!

  • Eric

    The Yaris Hybrid is already available. Not sure I understand the the basis of this post.

  • Jeff Cobb

    Eric – The post from is just a bit misleading in saying the car was launched in Amsterdam.

    The article also says “then the Yaris should definitely be a car to look at when it hits showrooms at the end of June … ”

    Actually, the Yaris Hybrid has only been shown to press, but is not yet available to the public, according to Toyota, and won’t be launched until July –

    “A preview of the latest images and information for Yaris Hybrid launching in July”


  • Volume Van

    Scion xB & xD are going to be dropped, similarly Yaris sedan was dropped last year and they continue with just the Hatch (3 & 5 door) models and they both have obsolete 4 speed tranny.

    So far only 18,000 units or Yaris were sold in the 1st 5 months. And Prius c sold 12,574 units in just 3 months (March – May). And the demand is very high. If Prius c outpaces Yaris sales, then Toyota may drop Yaris and then there will not be any comparison.

  • Alex Wilson

    46% of the vehicles sold in Japan by Toyota are hybrids with Prius c just 698 units less than Liftback & V put together which means Prius c has overtaken Prius Liftback.

    Also 40% of the vehicles sold were kei cars which has 660 cc V3 engine. What an energy efficient nation Japan is. Its very likely that kei cars may overtake regular vehicles.

  • The anonymous

    Isn’t the Prius c badged as Toyota Aqua in Japan?

    I think the problem is the press Wrongly, IMO, counted the sales of Toyota Aqua in Japan as Prius.

  • Scorp

    Why all the HYPE about Hybrids’ and electric cars being to quiet. I find it rather humorous that because there is getting to be enough fuel saving vehicles on the road and the petrolium companies are starting to feel the pinch in their wallets. Meaning it is getting harder and harder for them to have record breaking profits every quarter. They now are claiming these vehicles are no good because they are to quiet. Well I thought the world has a problem with noise pollution also. Well guess what I guess noise pollution is no longer a problem that needs to be solved. Because the new energy efficiant vehicles solve both problems. Funny what happens when you hit the people with the power in their pockets instead of ours..

  • DownUnder

    Well said, Scorp.

  • Ed1000

    I own a “c” and looking at the various pages showing the Yaris hybrid, I have to say it looks pretty similar. So what? The drive train is a scaled down Prius a Prius concept, if you will), but the body is a subcompact, with good front seating but poor read seating (depending on how generous the front seat occupants are) and a tiny cargo area. I already think of it as a Yaris with delusions of grandeur.

    However you classify the car, I really enjoy getting 50 miles to the gallon, even though I have to work hard at not accelerating hard or racing for lights.

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