HOW GREEN DO YOU WANT TO BE?
Yes, if you’re looking for economical transportation…and you like to go “Green” when you can, Toyota has a couple of interesting choices for you.
Both the Yaris and the “Baby” Prius, the new “C”, are essentially the same cars…just with different engines, transmissions and trim.
And while they’re both on the low-end of all of Toyota’s offerings, neither one can be considered a “penalty-box”.
Both are small 5-door hatchbacks….with ample room for 4….or 5 if they’re real thin friends in the back. Both have headroom to accommodate 6 and a half-footers. And both have bright two or three-tone interiors…something that Toyota seems to do better than most on it’s lowest-end vehicles.
The Yaris is a conventional economy car. 1.5 liter, 106 HP 4-cylinder engine coupled to a old-fashioned 4-speded auto…or a 5-speed stick. While we tested a 5-door hatch, the Yaris also comes as a three-door hatch. The Prius C only comes in the 5-door version.
Our test Yaris was the “SE” version…listing at $18,234, including destination and carpet and trunk mats.
The “SE” gets you 16” alloys, sport-tuned suspension, a meaty leather-wrapped steering wheel, and the upgraded interior. It’s rated at 30 MPG city and 35 highway. Other Yaris models start as low as $15,165.
And that’s a good a place to start the “How Green do you want to be” discussion.
Toyota’s new “baby” Prius C, with no alloys, but otherwise similar equipment, lists at only $20,189 with destination and carpet mats….and the Prius “C” is rated at 53 MPG highway and 46 highway. We averaged over 50….yes….50 MPG for the typical Atlanta expressway / around town commute.
50 + MPG. Actually we got 58.9 on one 24-mile commute.
So….based upon their list prices, you’re only paying a couple of thousand dollars for around 15 more MPG.
If you drive around 12,000 miles / year, you’ll re-coup the $2,000 in around 6 years….less if gas prices rise.
In the real-world, you’ll probably be able to get a bigger discount on a Yaris than on the new Prius C…making the real $ difference between the two a bit of a larger spread.
Both of these vehicles are outstanding examples of low-cost economy cars.
Of the two, the Yaris is a bit faster and the better-handling of the two…but not by much.
So….if you want your “Green” up-front, choose the Yaris. You’ll save a few thousand on the purchase, and pay a bit more for gas down the road.
If you’d prefer to fork over a few thousand more up front, you’ll be enjoying 50 real-world MPG for years to come.