But being small is part of the point. Its diminutive size makes the Prius C ideal to drive in urban environments. It is superbly easy to park, and to maneuver in heavy stop-and-go traffic or the tight confines of a parking lot. Its city gas mileage is slightly better than its bigger brother (53 miles per gallon versus the Prius liftback’s 51), but suffers a bit on the highway (46 versus 48 mpg). That’s the same average fuel economy as the standard Prius, which is as good as it gets without going all-electric—undoubtably the nameplate’s most famous attribute and greatest draw. In all, the C makes efficient work of in-town commutes, and feels right at home at the slower speeds of city traffic.
The three-hour charge time is downright reasonable when compared to a Volt or Leaf, which can take anywhere from nine to 13 hours to recharge (based on our experience). And like the Volt, there’s absolutely no sense of range anxiety, as once the battery is drained, the car becomes a standard, fuel-sipping Prius hybrid.
I could sit here all day and bash the Honda Insight, but frankly, it would be a bit too easy. So instead, I’m going to offer some suggestions on ways to make the Insight better. Deep down, I know Honda can build a hybrid that could get the fuel economy of the Toyota Prius, while delivering a better driving experience. Here’s how.
As we drive the Lexus CT200h (and enjoy it for the most part), we’re reminded of some of the other fuel misers we’ve driven and responded to favorably (again, for the most part). We decided to compare a handful of these cars side by side, to get a visual understanding of how they perform.
The Volt is, first and foremost, a properly enjoyable car to drive. Ignore the on-board readouts and your fuel economy, and the Volt will happily dust other cars away from the lights, thanks to the 273 pound-feet of torque generated by its electric motor. This instant-on torque gives the Volt a feeling of immediacy that might be unfamiliar to the owner of a conventional car.
At the Geneva Motor Show, Toyota has unveiled a new member of the Prius family of hybrids to be sold in Europe. The Toyota Prius+ is a three-row, seven-passenger vehicle, and is Toyota’s first non-plug-in hybrid to use lithium-ion batteries.
On April 1st at the New York International Auto Show, the sixth annual World Car Awards were handed out and the Volkswagen Group made out handsomely.
The Hyundai Blue-Will, while only a concept, looks to rival the Toyota Prius and Chevrolet Volt when it hits the streets in production form. The details on this funky concept are pretty impressive — being able to net up to 55 miles per gallon in its combined EV and internal combustion forms.
Under the bright lights of the Detroit Auto Show (which is only one week away), Hyundai will be unveiling its first ever plug-in hybrid, the Blue-Will. And while the show car is only a concept at this point, it showcases the future technologies that Hyundai could implement into its full lineup, such as roof-mounted solar cells, lithium polymer batteries, touch-screen controls, and drive-by-wire steering.
We knew it wouldn’t be long before we’d see a plug-in version of the Toyota Prius, the world’s most well-known hybrid vehicle. Today, Toyota has officially launched the Prius Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) lease program, which will provide 600 examples of this car for testing in Japan, Europe, and the United States. These cars will be leased to commercial, government, and universities for testing on how PHEV vehicles exist in real-world use.