Don't write off all hybrids because of the low-budget Prius. For just a little more you can get the awesome Ford Fusion hybrid, which is the world's smoothest hybrid. It is a real car with real room. I've driven it and it is so far ahead of the silly Prius that there just is no comparison. Yes, the Prius is cheaper, but literally everything about it lets you know that. Not all hybrids are toys.
If the Prius were so "silly", then how come people buy the snot out of them? They are and have been the best-selling hybrid in the US, and by a long shot as well. No other automaker even comes close. Toyota was the first major automaker to sell hybrids, and did so YEARS before anyone else, and what's more, they built hybrids people actually wanted to buy. Again - if they were bad - how come they sell? The numbers speak for themselves.
Either way, I can see this is turning into yet another Toyota-bashing thread, so no need to let facts get in the way, right?
They buy them for mileage. That alone would not convince me. The styling alone is a turn off for me. Gas is 4 dollars a gallon. I am sure that's a factor.
At least the Fusion looks like an everyday car; the Prius is the most disgusting looking car on the road.
The Prius sells because it costs ten grand less than real cars (such as the Fusion hybrid). They also sell because the average car buyer is totally clueless, and is not aware of the three Grand Jury subpoenas that were required to get Toyota to acknowledge myriad serious safety issues.
Most buyers are also clueless to the fact that Toyota has the most recalled cars in the history of the automobile.
Finally, a lot of people rely on hearsay and "testimonials" from die-hard import fans who rant about how reliable 20+ year old Toyotas were. They really weren't that reliable then, and they sure aren't now.
Consumer Reports ranks the Camry "average" in reliability. They rate the Ford Fusion "Much Better than Average", and have all the way back to 2006. The dated and unsophisticated Corolla may sell a lot, but every virtually every magazine doing a small-car comparison has ranked it dead last.
People buy based on myths created by car companies. They seldom read current data or car magazines, so naturally they make unwise choices. That is what keeps Toyota in business (though both GM and Ford are now outselling them handily).
Again - if the Prius and the company that made them were so bad, then how come both the car and the company are constantly at or near the top of all major automotive quality reports and publications? Every single car company has had recalls - and yes that goes for domestic and imported brands. Has Toyota had recalls? Of course they have. But so too has every single automaker in existence, and to ignore the fact that domestic automakers have had HUGE numbers of them would be of course beneficial, if the point was to try and once again disprove the reliability and overall high quality reputation Toyota gained, from years of simply making good products people want to buy. Cars are machines, and there is no such thing as a machine that will never have problems or defects.
What's this about the Prius not being a "Real" car? Of course it's a real car. If they weren't, then we wouldn't see tens of thousands of them on the freeways, being driven to work, or to get groceries, and other things "real" cars do.
At the end of the day, money talks and so too do sales. All other countering arguments mean nothing, if in fact the product being debated sells well, and retains a high level of loyalty.
I have firsthand experience with the Prius, because we have owned ours for over 11 years so far and NOTHING has gone wrong with it and it does precisely what we want: Gets us to where we want to go reliably, comfortably, and safely, all while getting anywhere from 45-50MPG. I am perfectly satisfied with the car, and so too are the many thousands of other buyers. Again - money talks.
Either way, I fail to see what good it is for those who obviously do not like and will never own a Toyota, to repeat again and again how much they dislike them, and use the same comments to boot. We know that. No need to repeat the same things over and over again. Let it be, and drive what you want.
These commentors giving such high praise to the Fusion Hybrid while completely knocking the Prius; do you really not know that the Fusion Hybrid uses a hybrid drive train designed by... guess who?... TOYOTA!
Ward's 10 best engines list includes engines from Ford, GM and Chrysler... and nary a one from Toyota or Honda!!
Toyota makes a large line of small, high MPG cars. Gas is 4 bucks a gallon. That does not mean that is better. I personally like ride comfort and performance, not just what's very cheap to fill up.
... and again, what does some sort of random report about engines have to do with a Prius? The Prius has been ranked as being one of the most reliable cars you can buy. I could care less about what such-and-such report says about totally unrelated products.
Toyota also makes a big line of full size cars, vans, and trucks. Also - it helps to realize that a lot of today's small and mid-sized cars actually have more interior space than the full size cars of 20-30 years ago. So yeah, I like ride and comfort too, and that's why I own a Toyota that gets 40+ MPG, while everyone else watches their dollars get sucked down the pump.
If you sole criteria is cheap to get there and be reliable, wow, that's it. If you want reliability with style, performance, options, handling etc, and are willing to pay a bit more for fuel... there are some great choices. Make mine a convertible. You only live once!
Here we go again with the interior space figures being larger from today's smaller cars to older full-size cars. Sorry, but that is wrong. I have sat in a Prius; sure it has room, but so does a bus. What's the point, both are boring and uncomfortable. Not everybody wants to drive a rinky-dink nerd mobile. The fact gas is climbing again, is not going to change many people's minds, who have pride in what they drive.
The Ford hybrid system was engineered by Ford, not Toyota. The Ford and Toyota engineering teams came up with similar solutions to some of the engineering problems -- not surprising when you put two independent groups of intelligent people to work solving the same basic problem -- so the two companies cross-licensed patents to each other to keep their legal expenses down.
I at least like a car with some sense of styling.
If you have payments (I don't), it would be very hard for me to look at bean shapes for 5 years.
As far as a bit more gas sucked at a pump... what if it's fun, sporty, handles well, more comfort, great accessories, and is still reliable with other brands.
Some are even worse looking than this model in my opinion. Small cars-vans, that look like a square box with wheels on it.
I do like the new Mini Coopers as an alternative. They are a blast to drive, great mileage, instrumentation and styling. You can even get a supercharger and have more fun! It's a small car, but I don't mind getting 30 mpg with many more offerings, and having even more room, comfort and reliability.