It might be one of the most hated cars of all time, so what makes it so special?
It is universally known that car enthusiasts are supposed to hate the Toyota Prius. Love V8s, hate the Prius, it's almost as if this is coded into our DNA. Buy why? There are plenty of cars that are objectively worse than the Prius, but none of them seem to garner as much hate from enthusiasts. We wanted to take the time to see if we could define our issues with the Prius, and compare them to what the general population believes. If everyone felt the same way as we did, the Prius wouldn't be such a good seller. Clearly, this is not the case.
You may be sitting there wishing that you could never see another Prius again, but unfortunately the world is full of them. Toyota has sold more than five million units of the Prius, so clearly Toyota's hybrid is here to stay. Many enthusiasts spend so much time hating the Prius, they don't actually stop and look at what would possibly make it appealing. The 2017 Prius starts at $24,685, which is quite reasonable. The car only has 121 horsepower, but can get up to 58 mpg city, and 53 mpg highway. If you are reading this from outside of the US, these numbers may not sound revelational, but here in the US, where small and efficient diesel engines are forbidden fruit, these numbers are unbeatable.
In Europe, it is easy to buy a small diesel hatchback that can get more than 70 mpg. In the US, even tiny cars like the Toyota Yaris can only manage 30 mpg city and 36 mpg highway. If you wanted to spend the same amount of money on a Toyota sedan, you would be looking at a Camry. The Camry starts off at $23,070, which is less than the Prius, but can only get 24 mpg city and 33 mpg highway. If you do choose the Camry, you would get 178 horsepower instead of 121, but you wouldn't be getting nearly the same gas mileage. For some people, efficiency is the number one thing that they consider when buying a new car. With that in mind, the Prius is actually perfect.
Now, we must move on to why car enthusiasts hate the Prius so much. The looks are an easy place to start. The Camry may be a bit boring, but it is certainly not ugly. The Prius has always had an odd shape with a raised, split-glass tailgate in the rear. The car is styled to be aerodynamic so that it can get the best efficiency. Unfortunately, this has meant that the Prius has never looked like an ordinary car. The other reason why enthusiasts hate the Prius is the lack of power. The new Prius is the most powerful model yet, and it still can't get to 60 mph in less than 10 seconds. Car enthusiasts love fast cars, and the Prius is the exact opposite.
Obviously, the Prius has some secret ingredient that makes people continue to buy it. Car enthusiasts may hate the look and speed of the Prius, but we think that these things are the secret ingredients that make the Prius such a hot-seller. We have debated that the Prius is ugly, but that may be exactly what makes people want to buy it. Think of it this way, if you bought something that is supposed to be good for the environment, wouldn't you want everyone to notice? If the Prius just looked like a normal car, no one on the road would know that you have sacrificed all driving pleasure in order to be green. Basically, the Prius is a walking billboard that tells people how eco-conscious you are.
Just image if Toyota paid for all of your gasoline purchases in exchange for wearing an ugly outfit that has the Toyota badge all over it. You may not enjoy giving up your wardrobe to wear Toyota-branded apparel, but saving money on gas may be worth it. As for the speed component, it may be hard to us to grasp, but non-car enthusiasts really don't care how fast their car goes. As long as it can reach highway speeds comfortably and get up a hill, normal people really aren't concerned with horsepower. In order to sum it all up, we think that everything we hate about the Prius is what makes it so special. If the Prius was reasonably fast or reasonably good looking, it wouldn't be such a success.
Saving money on gas is nice, but people like saving money even more when everyone knows that they did. Basically, the Prius is a rolling advertisement that you are more savvy that everyone else. We may hate that the Prius exists, but we can not deny that there is a reason why it sells so well.