A Simple Example:
Those costs are also before you factor in 14.6 years of maintenance including the replacement of the 2 battery cells that generally run about $1,500 a piece. Still, even with logic applied, people buy millions of these money pits every year. Forget the fact that the production of the Prius is responsible for the largest use of rare earth metals on the planet for any single object. Set aside that the refinement of the metals for the batteries for one Prius alone leaves a bigger carbon footprint than a fleet of f-250’s circumnavigating the globe.
So the financial practicality of the vehicle is lacking, and by “lacking”, I mean “Doesn’t Freaking Exist”.
But how practical is the vehicle as a vehicle? I would be just as guilty as those who buy the Prius based solely on the opinions of Betty Birkenstock to just insist that it is a bad thing and not actually test the waters. So I drove my full-sized V8 Dodge Ram pickup over to a Toyota dealership that I will leave unnamed, and asked to test drive a Prius.
I was standing with the salesman at the curb of the dealership with my back to the parking lot when up rolled the stylistic disgrace that is a Prius. I will say that the 2013 model has made some improvements as far as style goes, but it still looks like something that went through the digestive system of an Escalade. Taste is an individual thing but as far as I’m concerned just because its supposed, and I say supposed, to change the world doesn’t mean it should look like the sandals its drivers enjoy so much.
If you like things like “leg room” or “head room” and are even slightly larger than the average 75 year old Chinese woman, the Prius isn’t the vehicle for you. Granted, I am a bigger than the average man, and somewhat shamefully admit that I fit better in a Kia. The Prius uses a smart key, so I eased forward and hit the start button and was rewarded with the sound of…nothing. It just lit up. As a red-blooded man, very few things get my heart pumping like the sound of a throaty V8 roaring to life. This thing has the exhaust signature of a church mouse sneeze.
So I moved the gear shift to D and away we went with the steady swiftness of an electric golf cart. I’ve seen better acceleration on fat kids chasing an ice cream truck. I reluctantly turned out into traffic only to discover that the terrible style lines in the car coupled with my size made for a blind spot that you could park a Wal-Mart in. I personally like to see what’s behind me when changing lanes, but this car has other ideas. All these years I thought Prius drivers were idiots by proxy, turns out they just can’t see.
Now as I said before, this is a conversation of practicality versus the “Hybrid Hype” as I like to call it. Do I want the air to be cleaner? Absolutely. Do I want lower emissions? Absolutely. Is the Toyota Prius a planet saving automobile? No. Is the Toyota Prius even practical in most situations? Not really. Are self-righteous pretenders going to continue to try and jam them down our throats as the solution to the world’s problems? Unfortunately.