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Toyota Prius Hybrid history lessons fall on deaf ears

My daughter frowned when she saw me parked in the high school parking lot.

“Uh, Dad, what’s this?” She barely reached for the door. There was her nose wrinkle and eye judgment that was a step away from the classic American teen eye roll.

The object of her contempt was supersonic red 2022 Toyota Prius An all-wheel-drive XLE that turns into a 300-mile road trip sled. Her 15-year-old with her driver’s license said she knew enough about the new test car that she thought she knew something, if not everything .

“That’s… uhm. Will it fit my hockey gear?”

I honked. A crowd of her teens nearby had their beaks up from the device. she jumped in.

“Very ugly,” she muttered.

“This car is a legend. ‘The Prius makes efficiency cool and has impacted what’s in this parking lot more than any car has ever done before.'”

2001 Toyota Prius

First generation (2001-2003)

The world’s first mass-produced hybrid vehicle was launched in 1997 and was imported to the United States in 2000 as the 2001 model year. “Just in time for the 21st century,” I told her, according to her marketing tagline.

Even if the Prius follows suit Honda Insight Like a beta VHS that made no sense to my Gen Z daughter, it survived and endured entering the American market. This mention made no sense to her. Unlike the two-door Insight, Toyota designed the Prius to be more than an urban commuter. With four doors and her single hatch, the car was capable of family-friendly suburban detailing and totaled 41 mpg, more than double his average passenger car mileage at the time.

“Really? Does the plug-in need gas?”

That’s the point, I said. A lot has changed in these two decades, but the Prius has proven there are ways forward to meet fuel efficiency standards.

So I got a full eye roll and off I went.

Even without a power tailgate, she was able to fit her hockey goalie bag into the wide opening of the hatch. The 27.4 cubic feet of space also fits her two rollers her bag with the rear seats up. There was no pass-through in the 60/40 split rear, so I folded up a small section for a backpack full of sticks, coolers, snack bags and homework that would go unnoticed. Could also put her teammates and her hockey in her bag if needed. In the rear-view mirror, the bag blocked an annoying split-glass hatch, but still had plenty of outside visibility.

As it does every time I ride a Prius, the interior space once again dazzled me, and the wide, tall windows justified its odd mouse-controller outline. The expansive interior provided plenty of legroom and headroom in the rear, and my passengers were content to recline the front seats, plug their ears, and Dad out of history class.

It was loud on the highway, but not rough and not as polished as its predecessor. She took her Bluetooth connectivity for granted, but when Toyota launched the second-generation Prius, she had no idea it was anything special.

2004 Toyota Prius

2004 Toyota Prius

2nd generation Prius (2004-2009)

Sensing the hit, Toyota leaned toward futuristic elements with cutting-edge features such as push-button start, interactive infotainment screens, new design and advanced hybrid system, combined with EPA fuel economy of 46 mpg. increased. It helped that gas prices peaked at $4.06 for him in mid-2008. I told her that at the time she was learning how to scoot down the halls on her trike. We drove past the highway sign and gas prices were the same as they are now. I commented that it was cheap, but adjusting for inflation was another road trip conversation.

2009 Toyota Prius

2009 Toyota Prius

The quirky design of the second-generation Prius also aids efficiency, with the windshield seemingly sloping to the right from the front bumper, forming a triangular high point like a sail above the driver’s head, and the mouse controller’s Except it looks as smooth as… with wheels that solidified it with that popular imagination. It didn’t hurt that young Hollywood stars, from Miley Cyrus to Gwennis Paltrow to Leonardo DiCaprio, made a star-studded appearance in a Prius to raise environmental awareness.

“Do you know Leo?”

She glanced over her shoulder in mild irritation and her whole body retorted, “As if it were a given.”

2010 Toyota Prius

2010 Toyota Prius

3rd generation Prius (2010-2015)

The Prius matured for the third act, becoming longer, wider, family-friendly and slightly more powerful with a 1.8-liter in-line four-cylinder engine that puts out 134 horsepower combined with the motor. Also in total he achieved 50 mpg. Toyota has begun rolling out other models, including the larger Prius V, the smaller environmentally-optimized Prius C, and the Prime, which launched a plug-in hybrid version in 2012. After a decade of dominance, Toyota felt the hybrid era was changing.

Prius popularity peaked in 2012 and 2013 when the economy began to recover and gas and oil became relatively cheap.Being a leader means fending off the competition, especially as more hybrid vehicles hit the market and the electric vehicle market emerged in late 2010. nissan leaf Chevrolet Volt Plug-in Hybrid. Prius has gone from Mr. Popular to being the guy who graduated high school years early but still shows up at high school parties. But freshmen don’t go to parties, right? I asked.

Her cold shoulder remained.

2020 Toyota Prius

2020 Toyota Prius

Fourth generation (2016-2022)

Toyota tried to inject some youthful courage into the aging star, but all the sharp angles and botoxed bumpers weren’t overcome, and it was packaged in more popular compact crossovers such as the Toyota RAV4. Hybrids were on the rise. Then Toyota’s former partner Tesla disrupted the auto industry on a much bigger scale than the Prius. All Efficient Hybrids With his crossover and dozens of plug-in hybrid options, Toyota’s Prius felt old.

Isn’t it kind of amazing how hybrids were accepted by the market and how eco-friendly vehicles were made cool with the Prius’ humped back? Paving the way for electric vehicles.

no reply.

I persisted. Still, there wasn’t a more affordable and efficient car on the market without a plug.By 2018 the V was gone, and by 2019, Toyota had the all-wheel-drive version we now drive. tried to forestall the transition to hybrid crossovers. No unplugged car or crossover that can approach an EPA-rated 51 mpg city, 47 freeway, 49 combination. Voila, 49.8 mpg at 75 mph over 200 miles! With a 10.6 gallon tank and 519 miles of range means you never have to stop unless you make me!

She moved seats and shrugged.

“What do you think of it?” I said, my direct coffee infusion is running on all four cylinders.

“What?” she said finally. She pulled her hair back and popped her earbuds. “Did you say something?”

She had buds and dad was out all the way.

I said nothing. Will she be on the market soon and will she recognize the new wedges. 2023 Toyota Priusif she understands how far away the 5th generation is from all the Prius that came before it.

2023 Toyota Prius

2023 Toyota Prius


2022 Toyota Prius XLE AWD-e

Base price: $30,600 including $1,025 destination

Price tested: $32,084

drive train: 1.8-liter inline 4 engine, 2 motors, all-wheel drive

EPA fuel economy: 51/47/49 mpg

hit song: efficiency, versatility, big space in a small footprint

miss: Old looks, outdated tech, invisible to the new generation Toyota Prius Hybrid history lessons fall on deaf ears

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