The lowly Toyota Prius gets a bad rap. It’s called ugly, slow, and an inefficient use of resources that it was designed to save. Granted, it is all of those things, but it is also more. The Prius can be the right car for certain families, and can even be *gasp* fun to drive.
The first generation Prius was a horrible car by human standards, so we’ll skip it.
Gross. When you’re done rinsing your eyes with bleach water, come back and read the rest.
Okay, second generation.
Still ugly, but not painfully so. This was a solid car, but still a terrible car by car-guy standards. The second gen was an iconic style that got attention for the model, and won 7 design awards. Unfortunately, it also attracted the wrong crowd, like Crazy Prius Lady.
And on to the third generation, introduced in 2010.
Hmmm… Actually, that looks kinda cool, in a economy/shooting brake kinda way.
0 to 60 in 9.7 seconds, and a quarter mile in 17.1 sec. Pretty terrible, but not dreadfully slow. Sure, with cars Like the LaFerrari and Porsche 918 dominating the 0-60 landscape, everything else is molasses slow. But for some perspective, here are some vehicles that are slower than the third generation Prius:
And yet, none of them are known for being dreadfully slow. Why? Because they aren’t slow. And neither is the Prius. It’s a standard speed economy car, and can be rather nice when driven as one.
While they look about as sexy as a capybara on wheels, there are some nice pluses to the Prius. The headroom is outstanding. Outward visibility is excellent. Seats are comfortable enough for even long road trips. Handling is average-to-weak, but steering response is surprisingly good. The utter silence at stoplights is refreshing. And then there’s the big ol’ plus: traveling 500 miles on $30 of gas.
Sure, the Volt, and especially the Model S, are vastly superior efficient cars. They also cost 2 to 3 times are much as a base Prius. If you’re looking for an efficient car in the low-to-mid $20k price range, the Prius is hard to beat. No, it’s not a great car, but for the right family, this is a great economy car.