Hybrids & Electrics

It’s Easy to Make Fun of the Toyota Prius Until You Buy One

When it comes to eco-friendly vehicles, nothing attracts mockery quite like the Toyota Prius. Across the internet, in television shows, and in real life, this hybrid frequently finds itself as the butt of the joke. However, people’s personal biases may actually be preventing them from enjoying an excellent vehicle. Here’s what you should know about the Prius — and why you should ignore the stereotypes.

What you’ll get with a Toyota Prius

The Toyota Prius has a 1.8-liter hybrid engine that gets 121 hp. According to Consumer Reports, this vehicle gets a phenomenal 59 miles per gallon on the highway and 43 miles per gallon in the city. 

The Prius also comes with numerous standard safety features. Included among these are forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, and automatic emergency braking. Daytime running lights, a blind-spot warning, and rear cross-traffic warning are all optional on the base trim.

What’s with all the stereotypes?

There are two major stereotypes associated with the Toyota Prius, according to Torque News. The first is that Prius owners are all bad drivers. In particular, people who haven’t driven a Prius tend to assume that Prius owners drive incredibly slowly and act in an overly cautious manner. 

This idea may come in part from the Prius’s somewhat slow acceleration speed — it goes from 0 to 60 mph in 10.3 seconds. Even so, this certainly doesn’t cause bad driving. The assumption that all Prius owners are poor drivers is, in reality, most likely an act of confirmation bias. Bad drivers can drive any type of vehicle, but someone who doesn’t like the Prius is more likely to notice bad behavior when it comes from a Prius driver.

The second stereotype is that Prius drivers are tree huggers, an idea that stems from the incredible fuel efficiency of this hybrid. As Torque News points out, however, the green movement has existed for decades and didn’t simply spring up when the Prius was invented. Some Prius owners may be environmental activists, doing their part to help combat the current climate crisis — and others may simply want to take advantage of the many other great attributes of this car.

The many perks of a Prius

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Consumer Reports ranks the 2020 Toyota Prius as No. 1 in the category of Compact Cars. Despite its surprising divisiveness, the Prius gets phenomenally high ratings — it has a predicted reliability of five out of five and a predicted owner satisfaction of five out of five, with an overall rating of 79/100 on Consumer Reports.

The most obvious advantage of the Prius is, of course, its impressive fuel economy. However, this isn’t the only area where it shines. This vehicle handles well, turning easily and offering an overall comfortable ride. It also has an excellent transmission, keeping engine revs low during most regular driving.

Additionally, the Prius has a powertrain that allows the gas engine to frequently shut off, which is particularly ideal for saving fuel in the city. Its aerodynamic design further helps to improve the already impressive fuel economy.

Consumer Reports does note that the brakes on the Toyota Prius tend to be somewhat grabby and that a horizontal bar across the back window reduces rear visibility. However, the few issues that the Prius does have are fairly minor and easy to adjust to. 

While this little hybrid has received its fair share of criticism throughout the years, its ratings speak for themselves. People who try driving the Prius tend to love it, and the savings on fuel are a serious budgetary perk. If you’ve been hesitating to give this vehicle a shot due to your preconceived notions, keep an open mind — you might just find your new dream car.