The Prius: The Car of this or Any Year

Connie Wilson By Connie Wilson, 13th Sep 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/38bzaio9/
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Transport>Other

A look at the benefits of owning a Toyota Prius Hybrid vehicle, from the standpoint of the owner of four such vehicles.

History Behind the Toyota Prius Hybrid Vehicle


Senior VP and General Manager of Toyota Motor Sales, (Automotive Design and Production magazine) said, "Frankly, it was one of the biggest crapshoots I've ever been involved in... The key was to convince consumers in the United States that hybrid technology was more than a science project. More to the point, the key would be convincing them that the Prius was a real car."*

Former head of the CIA James Woolsey's bumper sticker on the back of his Prius says: "Bin Laden Hates This Car." "If you want to beat Bin Laden, buy a Prius." (Ben Oliver, Motor Trend). "The oil infrastructure is the only one that is worldwide, much of it located in the extremely volatile Persian Gulf...Transportation is 97% dependent on oil, which means our oil-importing society has an Achilles heel sitting out there in the most volatile part of the world...We could wake up and find that, overnight, the cost of transportation has doubled, a shock for the economy, but it would be a disaster for people who have to drive places for a living and don't have much money."*

I've owned 4 Prius cars: a 2003, the Waterbug, (116,000 miles); the 2004 salsa red Firefly, the 2006 Grasshopper and, now, the 2013 Sailor. In 2002, 20,119 Prius were sold in the U.S.; by 2004, 53,991. Today one million Priuses are sold worldwide. Nine-five % of Priuses are still on the road after ten years.

My first one, the 2002 Water Bug, cost $20,050. The Firefly, the 2004 model, cost $23,000. The Grasshopper was $28,000 in 2006 and that remained true for the 2013. My college-aged daughter drives the Firefly (or "the Space Shuttle," as she calls it, for the 9-hour drive to Nashville on one $30 tank of gas.)

I took the Waterbug---then brand-new technology--- in to my class of auto body repair students in Davenport, Iowa, at Eastern Iowa Community College in 2003 and asked for feedback. "I could never pick up chicks in this car." "This car is too quiet." "My fingers are too big to work on two motors." " I might get electrocuted." Older students, however, saw the potential for a hybrid getting 52 miles to the gallon.

The Prius is roomy, practical, goes from 1 to 60 in 10.1 seconds and is good for the environment (not to mention your pocketbook). Two-thirds of Americans surveyed said that buying an environmentally friendly vehicle that also gets superior gas mileage was "patriotic." Prius owners were labeled "Prius Progressives" by Rush Limbaugh in 2002: "Those liberals think they're ahead of the game on these things, and they're just suckers."*

Gary S. Vasilash, Editor-in-Chief of Automotive Design and Production said it best: "The future of the auto industry is not going to be more of the same. It is not going to be the past repackaged...Toyota has the plans. Toyota is doing the work...Can there be any question that companies that truly do the work will be the ones that will be successful, while those that do the science projects and spout the platitudes will be those who are left behind?"

Tags

Good Gas Mileage Car, Hybrid Vehicles, Prius Automobile, Prius Cars, Toyota Prius, Toyota Prius Hybrid, Vehicles Of The Future

Meet the author

author avatar Connie Wilson
Author - 27 books. Yahoo Content Producer of Year (2009); MWC Writer of the Year (2010); IWPA Silver Feather winner (Chicago), 2012 & 2014. Professor: 6 IA/IL colleges.

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