The Toyota Prius c has been updated for 2017 in the US. More safety features and sportier styling – that’s essentially what’s new for this model year.

The Toyota Prius c now comes standard with the Toyota Safety Sense C (TSS-C) driver-assist technologies on all model grades (that’s One, Two, Three and Four). The TSS-C system, which had been an option on two Prius c grades for 2016, includes Pre-Collision System (PCS), Lane Departure Assist and Automatic High Beam.

Toyota says that it plans to make automatic emergency braking standard on nearly all models by the end of 2017. That will put Toyota and Lexus four years ahead of the model-year 2022 industry target announced by US bodies National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

PCS, which operates at speeds of around 11 to 137 km/h, uses a camera and laser beam to detect the vehicle ahead. If PCS determines there is a possibility of a collision, it uses audio and visual alerts to prompt the driver to take evasive action and brake.

If the driver slams on the brakes, PCS may provide additional braking force using Brake Assist. If the driver does not brake in a set time, the system may automatically apply the brakes, helping reduce speed by approximately 30 km/h to lessen the impact, and in certain cases avoid a collision. The operational range of automatic braking covers speeds at which at least 80% of rear-end collisions occur (around 10 to 80 km/h).

In the looks department, there’s a redesigned front fascia, rear bumper, side rocker panels and blacked-out rear spoiler for a sporty attitude. No big changes from the 2015 facelift. All grades now also roll on standard 15-inch alloy wheels, with a 16-inch aluminium alloy option for the Prius c Four.

Exterior colour choices like Absolutely Red, Blue Streak Metallic and Tangerine Splash Pearl may not be ideal for those in the Witness Protection Program, Toyota says.

GALLERY: 2017 Toyota Prius c, US-spec


GALLERY: 2016 Toyota Prius c, US-spec