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July 19, 2021

Remember The Toyota Prius C? This Is What It Looks Like Now

Remember the Toyota Prius c? If you don’t, we don’t blame you. Positioned as an entry-level hybrid, it appealed more to buyers seeking sensibility rather than the outright weirdness of its bigger brother, the Prius. It’s also known as the Aqua in Japan, and here’s the all-new 2022 version.

Despite looking like a heavy refresh of the current-generation Aqua/Prius c, this one’s all-new from top to bottom. It starts with the TNGA GA-B platform that’s shared with the European/Japanese market Yaris subcompact. With that, the wheelbase has been lengthened by 50 mm, while still keeping its proportions ideally sized for Japanese roads.

Inside, it’s all about simplicity and clean-design for the 2022 Aqua. Soft, synthetic leather-bound ornaments is scattered throughout, while smart storage solutions such as a sliding center console tray make it one practical family hatchback. It’s also the first small Toyota to feature a 10.5-inch audio display system—something that will no doubt make its way to other models in the near future.

The Aqua is powered by a 1.5-liter Dynamic Force (M15A-FXE) engine equipped with the Toyota Hybrid System II. While it’s basically the same engine found in the Yaris Hybrid, the Aqua has two tricks up its sleeve.

The first is its innovative battery technology. It’s the world’s first vehicle to use a high-output bi-polar nickel-hydrogen battery. This gives it an output that almost matches the combustion engine—80 horsepower and 141 Nm of torque, while also delivering expanded EV-only range. For the record, the 1.5-liter engine makes 91 horsepower and 120 Nm of torque.

Second, it introduces Toyota’s Comfort Pedal. By selecting the Power+ Mode, drivers only have to relax pressure on the accelerator pedal to generate regenerative braking force, and smoothly slow the vehicle. The Comfort Pedal reduces driver burden by lessening the frequency with which accelerator and brake pedals have to be pressed.

Aside from Toyota Safety Sense, the Aqua is also the first small Toyota to be equipped with Toyota Teammate Advanced Park and Parking Support Brake. As its name implies, it’s an automatic parking system wherein the Aqua handles everything from steering, braking, acceleration, and gear shifting.

While it would be interesting to see the all-new Aqua exported outside Japan, this will likely stay as a JDM model. If ever Toyota does decide to sell it outside their borders, the most likely candidate would be Europe.

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