Toyota Prius is not Weak: Why Prius Drivers Drive Slow
I asked this question to some Prius drivers to get their opinion on Networked Insights findings. One answer, with which I agree based on my Prius driving experience, is particularly revealing.
Chris Durst from the Plug in Prius Owners Group writes that while he doesn't know why the public views the Prius as a weak car, yet, in a way he understands them. "My driving style is totally different than diving my Prius and could be considered annoying as I typical am doing closer to the speed limit than before. Not because I want to be a safe driver really, more so that in more involved with getting rediculous mileage. Trust me, I would love to drive a Tesla but at 110k it's not quite cost effective," Durst explains.
I agree with Durst. Last year when I was driving the 2014 Prius Plug in from Hickory, NC to Atlanta and back, I was so excited by the fuel efficiency and the higher overall mileage, that I was always sticking to the speed limit and sometimes even little below it. Gas prices were very high at the time, and the efficiency made a big difference. I wasn't going too slow, but just with the speed limit and may be few miles below it. In fact, the 2016 Toyota Prius will top 60 MPG. All the other cars were passing me and that was OK. My family was safer and I was saving money.
Was my Prius driving weak? Absolutely not.
The reason people in social media may see it that way is because Prius owners don't go to Facebook Groups and brag about their cars. They just use them for practical purposes going from point A to point B. In fact, while you can find many Nissan LEAF, Chevy Volt and Tesla Model S big groups on Facebook, you won't find a single one, that has more than 150 members. At least I couldn't find one after searching for days.
There may be another reason contributing to Toyota Prius being "bashed" in social media. Douglas Stansfield writes in the same place that the "only issue I see with Prius getting "bashed" on social media is likely due to Toyota backing away from total EVs and following the Fuel Cell path rather than staying with the product that brought them to the party." I don't know if this is part of reason because Prius plug-ins are still very popular. According to the Monthly plug-in sales scorecard Prius PHV was the 8th most popular plug-in vehicle sold during the first three months of 2015, and the 4th most popular plug-in vehicle sold in 2014 in the United States.
How do you drive your Prius?