Toyota discontinued the Prius C (known as Aqua in our part of the world) in favor of the 12th gen Corolla hybrid in North American markets. Now it is being reported that the all new 4th generation Yaris hybrid will replace the Toyota Aqua in Australia and other markets where the latter was sold.
Toyota Aqua made its world debut at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show, while it appeared as Prius C in the United States at the North American International Auto Show in January 2012. The Aqua went on sale in Japan in December 2011 while sales in several Asian markets began in January 2012. It was released as the Prius C in USA and Canada in March 2012, while sales in Australia and New Zealand began in April 2012
The Aqua is considered the most successful nameplate in Japan in the last 20 years. As of January 2017, the Aqua/Prius C is the second most sold hybrid by Toyota after the regular Prius, with 1,380,100 units sold worldwide. The Aqua was the top selling new car in Japan for three consecutive years from 2013 to 2015.
Throughout its life, the Aqua/ Prius C won several accolades including the most efficient vehicle as well as the most reliable vehicle of its class. However the new breed of Toyota hybrids have become even more efficient thus the automaker thinks discontinuing the Aqua/ Prius C is a better idea instead of moving on with it.
For instance the new Corolla Hybrid in USA is rated at 53 MPG combined, while the Prius C returns 46 MPG combined. Additionally, the Prius C has a maximum output of 99 hp, whereas the new Corolla Hybrid makes 121 hp. Similarly the newly launched 4th gen Yaris hybrid outshines Aqua by delivering up to 36 km in a liter (WLTC test cycle) making it the most fuel efficient vehicle in its class.
Both 12th gen Corolla hybrid and 4th gen Yaris hybrid are developed on company’s latest TNGA modular architecture and delivers better performance and fuel economy figures. The Aqua being developed on an older tech doesn’t really match well against the two, and it doesn’t make sense for Toyota to create a new model with similar performance & more importantly the price bracket. Hence analysts believe discontinuing the Aqua/ Prius C is a better decision from business point of view.
Furthermore with the introduction of new Yaris, Toyota has also discontinued the Vitz nameplate in its home market where the Yaris name will now be used unifying with the global markets. So the all new Yaris hybrid will act as a replacement of Aqua not only in the Asian region but in its home market too.