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Why we hate the Toyota Prius

By on 12 March 2009 in Cars

Why we hate the Toyota Prius
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It’s not the car itself that riles but rather its self-righteous drivers.

Yes, we’re Prodigal but we’re certainly not stupid. Everyone here at The Guide understands and sympathises with the need to change the way we live in order to improve our collective fate and that of our planet. No argument there. At the moment at least though,  hybrid cars are simply not the answer. But that’s not why we hate the Prius. We hate the Prius because of the fake blanket of ecological security and self-satisfaction it provides for its ill-informed drivers.

Anyone who has given the issue of pollution more than a cursory thought knows that it’s not as simple as measuring your car’s CO2 emissions. There any many more factors to consider. How much CO2 did it take to assemble and deliver your car in the first place? How recyclable are your car components? How long is your car going to last before it needs to be scrapped and replaced? And – the oft-forgotten question – how much CO2 does producing the electricity that powers your hybrid create? It’s about measuring the true ‘CO2 cost’ of a car, the so-called ‘dust to dust’ measure.

Prius drivers tend to be pretty happy to forget all these slightly more complex issues as they cruise off (silently!) into the distance – smug, self-satisfied and blissfully unaware of the full picture. “My car is a hybrid and produces less CO2 than yours” is about as sophisticated as their reasoning gets.

Well, if you’re interested in the facts and some intelligent debate around the real issues (it turns out, for example, that in the course of its lifetime a Land Rover is less harmful to the envirnment than a Prius) then this excellent article in The Economist is worth a read.

If you’re a Prius driver, then reading is probably not your thing. In which case, may we recommend the following informational film? There’s a subtle, almost subliminal message in it towards the end…


Why we hate the Toyota Prius

It’s not the car itself that riles but rather its self-righteous drivers. Yes, we’re Prodigal but we’re certainly not stupid. Everyone here at The Guide understands and sympathises with the need to change the way we live in order to improve our collective fate and that of our planet. No argument there. At the moment at least […]

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Our editor-in-chief, the self-proclaimed "greatest wit, raconteur and bon vivant of our age", borders on delusional. Over the years, the fool has squandered more money on fast cars, Swiss watches and electronic gadgetry of all kinds than he – or Mrs Fool – cares to remember. Come nightfall, he can invariably be found stumbling out of Dukes mumbling “just one more Martini; I could have handled just one mmmmm… [thud!]”

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  • EDreams

    Oh, the lemon-sucking anti-camp lets loose a dribble of contrarianism. How novel! How brave! How utterly predictable and fed by the some of the most preposterous clap-trap on the Web.

    As a proud driver of a Prius we respond with the following truths:

    1. Toyota have long been masters of lean manufacturing: less waste, less material. This ethos drives everything they do and explains why they’re suffering from a dip in profits and sales while other car-makers, engaged in cruise control, drive off the cliff.

    2. Did you know the Prius is 90% recyclable and dedicated battery collection centres exist across the markets the model is sold in?

    3. Or that the Prius emits less than half the tank-to-wheel CO2 emissions of a petrol car?

    4. Its advantages over other cars don’t just stop with CO2, my dear Prodigal Fool, they also include silent, emissions- and petrol-free driving when in electric vehicle mode.

    5. Regenerative braking is also included in this technological tour-de-force, a simplified version of which you will now find in F1, no less.

    6. You clearly haven’t heard of Toyota’s Eco-Vas process either, so please spend some time looking it up online.

    Oh, and electricity doesn’t power the Prius, petrol and its own battery pack do. A battery pack which is guaranteed for 8 years, far longer than most owners will keep their cars for.

    Truly, it took balls for Toyota to launch the first gen. ugly-duckling Prius in 1997. Everyone laughed and laughed and laughed some more, saying diesels were the only way forward, failing to acknowledge that hybrid technology could be applied to any fuel source (diesel, petrol, hydrogen, etc.).

    Over 1 million sales later, and with 90% of the ballooning hybrid vehicle market its clear Toyota was brilliantly prescient and deserve their reputation as the car world’s greenest champion.

    • The Prodigal Fool

      Oh dear, oh dear, you sort of lost me at point two…I must have nodded off.

      I was enjoying a lovely dream about horses…

  • Anonymous

    I agree with Edreams.

    If you haven’t owned a Prius, then you can’t really say anything about the car. I own a 2004 Prius and a 2005 ford Mustang. I love both cars equally as much. The Prius gets my kids to school and me to work and i save 60% on my fuel bill compared to regular ICE only sedans. I drive a lot so it’s a big deal to me.

    On the other hand I have a Mustang which I imported and I love driving it. I take it to the track and do weekend hops through the windy coastal roads. I love it because of it’s power and style and get lots of positive comments at the track.

    I don’t know what all this Prius hate is about in the US, but all i know is that the US is pissing on its constitution when it sees an idea and then destroys it for some idiotic political reason. The EV1 would have made the US a country where the production EV was born. Detroit could have still remained to be ‘motor city’. Instead it killed it and let Japan take advantage of it in the future. Then GM claws back with the Volt as it’s fairly obvious that they have acknowledged their past mistakes.

    So next time you pass a Prius, think about your ‘home grown’ corporations and what their real agendas are and then you will realise that you are pissing on the constitution. Your government wants foreign imports and labour and it doesn’t matter what the political party is in charge, they all have the same agenda.

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  • Eric Brunhammer

    I find it funny that in my 89 Chevy 4 Wheel Drive Truck with a V8, with the cruise control set at 70 I get more MPG than a Prius set at 70, if they can reach that speed. Their so called 50MPG is at about 45MPH.