Thursday, November 6, 2014

Toyota Prius Hatred is Very Much Alive

2012 Prius. Photo courtesy of Toyota.
After all these years, people still really hate the Toyota Prius. The Chicago Tribune last week ran a piece about how hated the hybrid hatchback is, but you need a subscription to read it. I gleaned some of the info from Green Car Reports, which highlighted the fact that the Prius is usually associated with those who lean left on the political spectrum. The article also highlighted the "Prius repellent" known as rolling coal, which I have talked about on here.

I remember when the Prius started to really become popular. At the time I worked in an office in the tech industry. Despite being surrounded by people who were at least fairly tech-savvy, most of them would go on and on about how horrible and impractical the Prius was. Looking back, I think the attitude was mostly fueled by the healthy diet of Fox News my coworkers took in.

They knew I am a big car guy, so I would be asked all the time if I thought that hybrid powertrains were "bunk" or not. Most would be upset when I would just say that it was an early technology that needed to be worked out more, but that I thought it held real promise. Years later, I've been vindicated in my position as hybrid powertrains have become more pervasive. You can even get a hybrid Porsche supercar, the 918 Spyder, which will spank just about any street legal vehicle sideways.
2015 Porsche 918 Spyder. Photo courtesy of Porsche.
I admit that I'm not a big fan of the Prius. It's a weird, ugly car and not really practical for me. Many of the people around here who drive them do not do so efficiently, but instead tailgate me constantly and zip around like they're in a low-powered Corvette (maybe a C4?). Some people I know who have them believe their car is the greatest thing on the planet and have waxed so self-righteous about owning the thing that I cannot stand to hear about it anymore. Because of these factors, I can see why the Prius isn't a favorite among many people, but what about hybrid powertrains in other vehicles?

According to the Green Car Reports post, the University of Michigan found that 46 percent of people who don't own a hybrid vehicle wouldn't even consider buying one, no matter what. In the past, I admit that I haven't owned a hybrid yet, but that's been a matter of cost and lack of availability. I don't commute to an office everyday and I need a bigger, three-row vehicle that can fit tall people, which pretty much means I have zero affordable options right now. That looks to be changing, and I am all for getting a vehicle that works for me and can achieve 40 mpg on the highway.

Why aren't other people jumping up and down about the prospect of an affordable hybrid that will save them money on gas? I suspect it has a lot to do with politics and other irrational things. Funny enough, I'll bet a lot of those people will purchase a car with a smaller, turbocharged engine that puts out just as much power as a larger V-6 or V-8. They might not even complain about the forced induction setup, but a hybrid is just pure evil.

Does that make sense? No, but then again human nature can be a weird, irrational thing.

1 comment:

  1. I had no idea the hybrid Prius was so despised. I think the idea of hybrid is a good one. As you say, I can't afford it right now. That will change... eventually.