Green tech isn’t so cheap in the Philippines. While the Prius would retail in the U.S. for US$ 23,520, the equivalent price for the third-generation hybrid vehicle in the Philppines is about double, at PhP 2.265 million (US$ 52,883). Sorry, no tax breaks for the green-minded folks in the country. But if you want to save and still go green, Toyota Philippines has introduced another option: the Prius C.
The compact hybrid’s “C” name stands for Compact, Clean, Clever and City, which is mostly what metro-dwellers are looking for. And with a rated mileage of 40 Km/L, surging gas prices will not necessarily lead to belt-tightening and cutting of trips.
The Prius C is priced from PhP 1.475 million to PhP 1,540 million (US$ 34,438 to US$ 35,955). It’s not exactly cheap, being priced right smack alongside pickup truck-based SUVs popular in the market. But you’re environmentally conscious, you’d probably prefer a clean city-driver to a Diesel-fed hunk of metal.
The Prius C is powered by a 1.5 liter 1NZ-FXE VVT-i engine (similar to the Vios) alongside its Hybrid Synergy Drive electric engine. Efficiency is enhanced through Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR),and engine response and power are improved through the use of variable voltage from the battery.
Meanwhile, the design speaks volumes for the lifestyle that the Prius C wants to convey. You wouldn’t want to look like an old geezer driving the latest tech. The Prius C’s body lines exude both a sportiness and elegance that is ageless, and is designed “to create a strong sense of dynamic motion from front to rear that is noticeable even from a distance.” The car’s rear “tapers with aerodynamic performance in mind, contrasting with an underbody form and is built with a sturdy stance that conveys an agile driving experience.”
You won’t win races with the Prius, sure. But with the rising fuel prices and heavy Metro Manila traffic these days, a thrifty and comfortable ride is better than any gas-guzzler.
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