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Prius for the rest of us? Toyota introduces new C class for less than $19,000

Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images

With the 2012 North American Auto Show in full swing, automakers are showing more green features and vehicles than ever. From concepts like Volkswagon’s electric Beetle (coined the E-Bugster) to Ford rolling out the much-ballyhooed Fusion update, it’s quickly becoming the greenest show to date.

The big news from the show floor today comes from Toyota, who introduced the new Prius C, a stylish subcompact hatchback that promises up to 53 MPG for around $19,000.

The “C” is for city; given the car’s ability to travel short distances in all-electric mode means it will get the better gas mileage in the city (the aforementioned 53 MPG) than on the highway, where mileage tops out at 46 MPG.

At those prices, we hope they plan on producing a lot of them. The Prius C seems like the ideal vehicle for tooling around Los Angeles, where they’re sure to sell like the proverbial hotcakes.