HYBRID OR GAS? Toyota Prius C Vs. Yaris

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A streetside pair-up of two small four-door Toyota hatchbacks, the Prius C and Yaris, got us thinking about which would be the better buy. Let’s take a look.

These two hatchbacks are very close in terms of exterior size. Overall lengths match within two inches, and their widths are identical. So it’s an apt comparison to see where these two end up in terms of cost and utility.


They sure do seem like they come from the same corporate DNA…


…when you’re comparing the C-pillars. The Yaris is plainer, but it follows the same conventions as the Prius does.


Turns out these two are a close approximation in trim levels too – with the Yaris being an LE, it has the most in common with a Prius C One in terms of features. Hard to say exactly which Prius C this is, but the plastic hubcaps indicate a lower level.


The Prius C One costs $2,660 more than a five-door Yaris LE.

To amortize that with the benefits of the hybrid, we compare the Prius C’s overall EPA rating of 50 mpg to the Yaris automatic’s 32 mpg.

As of this writing, the current AAA national average gas price is $2.48 per gallon – enjoy it while it lasts, people – and so you could buy 1,072 gallons of gas with that. Subtract the Prius’s gas use from the Yaris’s, and you’d need to drive just under 22,000 miles in the Prius for the hybrid benefit to kick in.


That’s not bad at all, considering the miles people tend to put on their workaday Toyotas, particularly if they’re using them in rideshare services.

The Prius C has other neat features, like automatic climate control, digital instrumentation and a constant cost-per-trip calculator. Also, the Prius C’s steering wheel tilts and telescopes, where the wheel in the Yaris just tilts.

It’s in the driving that these two hatchbacks differ the most. Power outputs are similar: under the Yaris’s hood is a 106-horsepower, 1.5-liter four-cylinder…


…while the Prius C’s gas/electric system delivers 99 horsepower. Still, the Yaris is notably more peppy, to the point where the Prius C can seem to have  a lazy response by comparison. The Yaris also feels lighter on its feet, thanks in part to an approximately 160-pound weight advantage.


As close as the Prius C and Yaris are, it’s assumed that many buyers who vote Prius are doing so because they want a hybrid. For them, the extra cost up front can be worth it for the steady gratification of the Prius’s parsimony.

Tell us in the comments – which would you choose in this hybrid vs. gas comparison, the Prius C or Yaris?