The 2013 Toyota Prius c, which joined the Prius family earlier this year, is among five finalists for Green Car of the Year honors at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Which means it made perfect sense to drive one to the show.
Which is exactly what I’m doing. The easy-to-use navigation system in the Prius c (the lowercase “c” is for “city”) dialed in the route from my home in Sacramento to Los Angeles as 380 miles and the time en route as 6 hours and 4 minutes.
The route is primarily south on Interstate 5. I left at 6:10 a.m. today and stopped at a truck stop rest area just north of Westley, about two hours into the trip.
Much of the early drive was in the fog, and the Prius c did surprisingly well and with most of the trek above the speed limit. With EPA estimates on 50 mpg (city) and 46 mpg (highway), it will be interesting to note how true the figures are on a large open highway and when the flow of traffic usually exceeds the posted 70 mph limit.
The Prius c has surprised me. While I haven’t yet negotiated the notorious “Grapevine” approaching Los Angeles, the subcompact gas-hybrid accelerates better than I expected.
My only criticism so far is not specific to Toyota but common throughout the automotive industry. While driving with the headlights on, the Prius C navigation system screen visibility greatly diminishes.
The first of two Media Days at the LA Auto Show is Wednesday, November 28. The public show begins November 30. For more information, visit: www.laautoshow.com.
Article Last Updated: July 28, 2023.
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A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.