Car Review: 2012 Toyota Prius C<br />

What's New: Toyota's Prius c is the newest entry to join the Prius hybrid family. It's the brand's only compact four-door hybrid hatchback competing against non hybrids in the Toyota line up like the Yaris.

City/Hwy Mileage: 53-city/46-hwy

Engine/Horsepower:1.5-liter/99-horsepower

Price Range: $19,710 to $24,190... The first generation Prius went on sale in August 2000 with an MSRP of $19,995.

Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles

Hybrid Battery Warranty: 8 year/100,000 miles

Standard Safety Features: 9 airbags; ABS; traction control; electronic brake distribution; Toyota's Smart Stop Technology; and an advanced Whiplash-Injury-Lessening seat structure

A Unique FeatureThe Prius c offers a comprehensive 3.5-inch full color multi-information display center, which provides detailed feedback for efficient driving habits. The vehicle also scores one's driving pattern per trip, providing a top score of 100 for efficient drivers to strive toward. 

Trim Levels/Features:

Prius c One - 15-inch tires; a 4-speaker audio system; power windows; power door locks; automatic climate control; hill-start assist system; remote keyless entry; projector beam headlights; rear window wiper; steer-wheel mounted audio controls; Bluetooth compatible; and USB outlets   

Prius c Two - adds Prius C One content plus 6-speaker radio system; cruise control; cargo cover; 6-way adjustable driver seat with vertical height adjustment; split fold rear seat; and tilt/telescopic steering wheel

Prius c Three - adds Prius Two content plus display Auido with Navigation and the brand's Entune system which includes access to Bing, Pandora' real-time traffic, real-time weather; real-time sports and real-time traffic; a 90-day subscription to XM satellite radio; a keyless entry system for front doors and liftgate; and a push-button keyless starter

Prius c Four - adds Prius c Three content plus leather-like seats; heated front seats; fog lights and alloy wheels

Options Available (Depending on Trim Level): A power tilt/telescopic sunroof (Three and Four trim levels only), 15-inch alloy wheel package (Three trim level only), 16-inch tires (Four trim level only)

Early Verdict: While we didn't spend enough time in the vehicle to fairly evaluate the newest addition to the Prius family, we strongly believe as gas prices continue to rise, Toyota has hit a sweet spot ... as it relates to both the price and the mileage. Currently, there is nothing else on the market that can compete with this hybrid based on these two factors alone.

So for consumers looking to get their hands on a bargain basement hybrid with some of the tech gadgets many consumers have come to expect, the Prius c should be another homerun. Look for a more extensive review later this year.

Competition: Honda Insight 

Jeff Fortson is an auto analyst and editor of a car-buying website for women and minorities. To learn more about his popular car-buying workshop and/or to price a new-vehicle, drive on over to www.JeffCars.com. Follow him http://twitter.com/#!/JeffCars/.