2021 Toyota Prius vs 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

2021 Toyota Prius
2021 Toyota Prius
$24,525MSRP
Overview
Overview
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2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
$43,550MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Toyota Prius
$24,525MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
$43,550MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2021 Toyota Prius was 6.2 out of 10, while the 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class scored 7.8 out of 10. Given these ratings, our recommendation is the 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which offers superior technology, better performance, and a more luxurious driving experience.

Overview

MSRP

$24,525

MSRP

$43,550

Average price

$23,823

Average price

$38,648

Listings

170

Listings

266
Ratings & Reviews
User Reviews
User Reviews

Expert reviews

6.2 out of 10

Expert reviews

7.8 out of 10
Pros
  • Fuel-efficient
  • Quiet cabin
  • Excellent value for money
Cons
  • Potentially polarizing design
  • Sluggish performance
Pros
  • Stylish design
  • Great ride quality
  • Impressive technology
Cons
  • Irritating transmission
  • Sluggish performance

2021 Toyota Prius Reviews Summary

To many people, cars are appliances made to serve a function. These consumers own a car because they need to get from where they are to where they’re going, and with a minimum of hassle, expense, or discomfort. Reliability, efficiency, safety, and economy are the critical deciding factors, and the 2021 Toyota Prius delivers on all fronts.

Confusingly, for 2021, the Prius lineup offered a 2020 Edition. Toyota built just 2,020 examples to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the first Prius sold in the U.S. market. It has blacked-out trim, black 17-inch wheels, a body-color rear spoiler, and comes in Supersonic Red or new Wind Chill paint colors.

Additionally, Toyota improved the 2021 Prius’s driving-assistance systems by making Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 standard across the board. Android Auto is also standard (joining Apple CarPlay), except for the unique infotainment system in the Prius Limited.

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Reviews Summary

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class was the automaker’s entry-level model, but it needed a new role. Mercedes now has a line of compact cars serving as lower-priced entryways to the brand, so it’s moving the C-Class upmarket. The redesigned 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan borrows design elements from the automaker’s flagship S-Class to entice new car buyers on a budget who still want the most Mercedes for their money.

The C-Class competes against a formidable array of small sports sedans. Like the Mercedes, the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Lexus IS, and Volvo S60 are fixtures in this segment, with nameplates that date back at least two decades. The Acura TLX, Cadillac CT4, and Infiniti Q50 are newer names that build on their respective brands’ experience in the segment. The Genesis G70 is a relative newcomer from a recently launched brand that’s already managed to impress.

The all-new C-Class launches in C300 sedan form with standard rear-wheel drive (RWD), optional 4Matic all-wheel drive (AWD), and Premium, Exclusive, and Pinnacle trim levels. Our test car was a C300 4Matic in the top Pinnacle trim. An AMG C43 performance model is also on the way, but it’s not expected to hit showrooms until after the C300, which arrives at dealerships later this spring.

No video found
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Popular Features & Specs

Engine

1.8L 121 hp I4 Hybrid

Engine

Drive Train

FWD

Drive Train

Seating Capacity

5

Seating Capacity

5

EV Battery Capacity

0.7 kWh

EV Battery Capacity

MPG City

58

MPG City

MPG Highway

53

MPG Highway

2021 Toyota Prius
2021 Toyota Prius
$24,525MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
$43,550MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Toyota Prius
$24,525MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
$43,550MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2021 Toyota Prius was 6.2 out of 10, while the 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class scored 7.8 out of 10. Given these ratings, our recommendation is the 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which offers superior technology, better performance, and a more luxurious driving experience.

Overview
MSRP
$24,525
$43,550
Average price
$23,823
$38,648
Listings
Ratings & Reviews
User reviews
4.8
4.8
Expert reviews

6.2 out of 10

Read full review

7.8 out of 10

Read full review
Pros & cons
Pros
  • Fuel-efficient
  • Quiet cabin
  • Excellent value for money
Cons
  • Potentially polarizing design
  • Sluggish performance
Pros
  • Stylish design
  • Great ride quality
  • Impressive technology
Cons
  • Irritating transmission
  • Sluggish performance
Summary

To many people, cars are appliances made to serve a function. These consumers own a car because they need to get from where they are to where they’re going, and with a minimum of hassle, expense, or discomfort. Reliability, efficiency, safety, and economy are the critical deciding factors, and the 2021 Toyota Prius delivers on all fronts.

Confusingly, for 2021, the Prius lineup offered a 2020 Edition. Toyota built just 2,020 examples to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the first Prius sold in the U.S. market. It has blacked-out trim, black 17-inch wheels, a body-color rear spoiler, and comes in Supersonic Red or new Wind Chill paint colors.

Additionally, Toyota improved the 2021 Prius’s driving-assistance systems by making Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 standard across the board. Android Auto is also standard (joining Apple CarPlay), except for the unique infotainment system in the Prius Limited.

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class was the automaker’s entry-level model, but it needed a new role. Mercedes now has a line of compact cars serving as lower-priced entryways to the brand, so it’s moving the C-Class upmarket. The redesigned 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan borrows design elements from the automaker’s flagship S-Class to entice new car buyers on a budget who still want the most Mercedes for their money.

The C-Class competes against a formidable array of small sports sedans. Like the Mercedes, the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Lexus IS, and Volvo S60 are fixtures in this segment, with nameplates that date back at least two decades. The Acura TLX, Cadillac CT4, and Infiniti Q50 are newer names that build on their respective brands’ experience in the segment. The Genesis G70 is a relative newcomer from a recently launched brand that’s already managed to impress.

The all-new C-Class launches in C300 sedan form with standard rear-wheel drive (RWD), optional 4Matic all-wheel drive (AWD), and Premium, Exclusive, and Pinnacle trim levels. Our test car was a C300 4Matic in the top Pinnacle trim. An AMG C43 performance model is also on the way, but it’s not expected to hit showrooms until after the C300, which arrives at dealerships later this spring.

Video
No video found
No video found
Popular Features & Specs
Engine
1.8L 121 hp I4 Hybrid
Drive Train
FWD
Seating Capacity
5
5
EV Battery Capacity
0.7 kWh
MPG City
58
MPG Highway
53
Look and feel
2021 Toyota Prius
5/10
2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
9/10
The 2021 Toyota Prius retained its distinctive “boomerang on wheels” styling that it adopted over 15 years ago. This design, initially geared towards maximizing aerodynamic efficiency, had become an intrinsic part of its identity, even if most carmakers had since evolved their aerodynamic designs to more appealing standards. Despite the trendy blacked-out trim of the 2020 Edition, the Prius' look was considered unappealing. The interior aesthetics were equally unconventional, with centrally mounted displays on the dashboard, a unique transmission toggle lever and Park button, and glossy black trim that habitually attracted dust and fingerprints. Toyota offered the Prius in various trims including L Eco, LE, XLE, and Limited, with optional AWD-e for the LE and XLE versions. The 2021 Prius was pitched as a five-door hatchback with impressive utility but lacked the rugged looks or ground clearance of a crossover SUV. The price range varied from $24,525 to $32,650, with our specific Prius 2020 Edition test vehicle priced at $31,295, including destination charges. In contrast, the 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class showcased a cohesive and stylish sedan design, integrating elements from other Mercedes models. The front had a droop like the CLA-Class, while the rear end drew design cues from the S-Class. The C-Class featured a large three-pointed star logo on its grille, accentuating its identity. The C-Class’s design included cab-rearward proportions, long hood, short rear deck, and standard LED headlights and taillights, with an optional Digital Light system enhancing visibility and safety. The interior sought to emulate the luxurious feel of the S-Class with features like a freestanding touchscreen, prominent air vents, intricate speaker grilles, and vibrant ambient lighting with 64 color options. The standard upholstery was MBTex synthetic leather, with Nappa leather available in higher trims.
Performance
2021 Toyota Prius
5/10
2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
7/10
The 2021 Toyota Prius prioritized fuel efficiency over raw power. It employed an Atkinson-cycle 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a 53-kilowatt electric motor, producing a total system output of 121 horsepower. The L Eco trim could achieve an impressive 56 mpg combined according to the EPA, with other FWD models at 52 mpg, and AWD-e versions managing 49 mpg. However, the Prius 2020 Edition fell short during testing, averaging just 47.5 mpg. Despite its limited horsepower, the Prius offered a decent initial torque of 120 pound-feet from the electric motor, providing a lively feel at low speeds and allowing for electric-only driving under 25 mph to save fuel. It offered driving modes including EV, Eco, Normal, and Power, with regenerative braking to help recharge the battery. Toyota's New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform gave the Prius a lower center of gravity and a more athletic driving experience, though it was best appreciated for its efficiency rather than sporty performance. The 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300 featured a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that delivered 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, coupled with a nine-speed automatic transmission and a 48-volt mild-hybrid system. This setup allowed the C300 to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds, with a top speed capped at 130 mph. The sportier AMG C43 variant boasted a 402-hp engine, achieving 0 to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds and a top speed up to 165 mph. During testing, the C300 4Matic showed ample power, though it suffered from some turbo lag, and occasionally experienced rough shifts. Despite these hiccups, the C-Class offered commendable ride quality, managing bumps effectively and striking a balance between luxury and sportiness. Its handling on twisty roads was sharp, though less responsive compared to top-tier sports sedans.
Form and function
2021 Toyota Prius
6/10
2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
7/10
Interior space in the 2021 Toyota Prius was surprisingly ample for a vehicle of its class, offering comfortable seating for up to five people with adequate foot, leg, and headroom. The SofTex synthetic leather, though soft, tended to trap sweat, impacting comfort during warm weather. The Prius test model came with an eight-way power driver’s seat, heated front seats, and a heated steering wheel, though entry and exit were slightly cumbersome due to the low seating position. Rear passengers lacked air-conditioning vents, further impacting comfort. Cargo space was robust, ranging from 24.6 to 27.4 cubic feet with the rear seats up, and expanding to 47.9 to 50.7 cubic feet with the seats folded down, making it quite practical for various loads. The 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class improved upon its predecessor with increased dimensions, translating to more interior room. Headroom saw a modest increase of 0.1 inches in front and 0.4 inches in the back, and rear-seat legroom rose by 0.8 inches. As a result, the C-Class boasted superior front-seat headroom and rear-seat legroom in its segment, though front legroom was limited. Seats were plush yet supportive for spirited driving. Visibility was generally good, though thick rear pillars necessitated the use of driver aids. The trunk offered 17.9 cubic feet of space, more than many competitors, with a wide opening for easy access. The rear bench could split-fold 40/20/40, although specific cargo measurements with seats down were not disclosed.
Technology
2021 Toyota Prius
4/10
2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
9/10
The 2021 Toyota Prius’ 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system appeared similar to other Toyota models and included essential features like Bluetooth, satellite radio, and smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa. The system came with convenient knobs and buttons for basic functions, but the audio quality was poor and overwhelmed by road noise. Higher trims like the Limited offered an 11.6-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a 10-speaker JBL audio system, and built-in navigation, although the advanced system did not support Android Auto. Dashboard-mounted digital displays were outdated and lacked sophistication. The 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class aimed for a high-tech experience borrowing from the luxurious S-Class. The base model included a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and an 11.9-inch touchscreen tilted towards the driver. Standard features encompassed wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, with higher trims adding a Burmester 3D surround-sound system, a head-up display, and augmented-reality navigation. The MBUX system with “Zero Layer” setup allowed several functions to be displayed simultaneously, making it user-friendly. Voice recognition was top-notch, and the steering wheel’s touch controls were quite intuitive. The augmented-reality navigation offered enhanced guidance by overlaying arrows on a front-camera feed, simplifying navigation in complex areas.
Safety
2021 Toyota Prius
8/10
2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
7/10
The 2021 Toyota Prius came equipped with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 (TSS 2.0) as standard across all trims. This suite included adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, lane-centering assist, automatic high beams, and a road-sign recognition system. Higher trims included blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. However, the effectiveness of the driver-assist features was mixed, with some adding an artificial feel to the steering and the lane-departure warnings becoming quickly irritating. Safety Connect services offered additional protection features, such as automatic collision notification and roadside assistance, free for three years. Notably, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) had not rated the 2021 Prius, though the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) provided favorable ratings with room for improvement for a potential Top Safety Pick. The 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class included a comprehensive suite of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). Standard features comprised automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, driver-attention monitoring, and Pre-Safe, which prepared the car for imminent collisions. Optional systems offered more advanced control like evasive steering assist, a 360-degree camera, and two levels of Distronic adaptive cruise control with more substantial stop-and-go functionality. Additionally, Car-to-X communication enabled the C-Class to share and receive data on road conditions. This feature showed practical application during tests, such as providing warnings for potholes, but the system's utility depended on the number of networked vehicles.
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