2015_Toyota_Prius_c_01

No, that’s not a Proton Iriz. It’s the 2015 Toyota Prius c facelift that has just been unveiled at the ongoing 2014 Los Angeles Motor Show. Toyota’s most affordable hybrid in the US (starting at US$19,080 or about RM64,000 – a far cry from our RM153,170 pricetag) gets a dollop of refreshing both inside and out.

New up front are single-projector LED headlamps and a redesigned bumper that is, dare we say it, similar to that of the Toyota 86 sportscar. Updated LED taillamps with new graphics and a shark-fin antenna complete the visual makeover.

Toyota has refreshed the interior with “premium materials” too. Or so it says, as it looks very much the same in the pictures provided, apart from the circular side air-con vents, which now have directional rings instead of rotary flaps. Improvements to the NVH are also claimed.

In North America, the equipment list includes a 6.1-inch multimedia touchscreen system, moonroof (both optional), electronic stability control and no less than nine airbags (driver and front passenger, front seat-mounted side airbags, front seat cushion airbags, driver knee airbag and front and rear side curtains).

Not surprisingly, no mechanical changes have been introduced in this round of updates. The same hybridised 1.5 litre Atkinson cycle engine with 73 PS and 111 Nm of torque (total combined output of 99 PS) combined to Toyota’s own eCVT transmission combo is retained. Claimed economy for the US is 21.2 km/l.