Armen Hareyan's picture

Toyota Prius is not Weak: Why Prius Drivers Drive Slow

Few days ago a report came out from Networked Insights, an analytics software company based in Chicago, which said hybrid cars take a harsh beating in social media, as people particularly view Toyota Prius as a "weak" vehicle. Is Prius weak or there is a reason why you see them driving according to the speed limit?
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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?


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Comments

Accelerating slowly saves gas but driving the speed limit doesn't unless it's 55 mph. Going faster than that will kill your gas mileage and going slower than that hurts it as well. That's why Prius drivers are annoying - they drive exactly the speed limit despite the flow of traffic. If the the speed limit is 40 you'd get better mileage going 45 or 50 but Prius drivers are too busy smelling their own smug farts to drive like everyone else.

My reasoning for purchasing (a 2015) was a bit different. I know I tend to drive like a maniac and was delightfully surprised by the decent acceleration during my test drive. I'm not talking about drag racing. I'm just saying the car has enough guts to aggressively merge into a busy beltway and accelerate up a hill to 80+ mph as easily as any compact. I do all this and still get 35 mpg minimum. If I'm feeling calm, guess what? It's a Prius! I can do tricks with neutral coasting and forced EV mode and get 60 mpg on my way home. It's not a flashy car but is more beautiful- with the moon roof- than other options IMO. I also prefer the CVT to the standard automatic in, say, a Camry. Plus, it's a hatch and has more storage room than a Camry.

I don't think it's the car. IT"S THE DRIVERS. They can't drive. Look who is driving these cars. They are ex-minivan drivers. Look if you CHOOSE to only go 55 miles per hour (in a 65 mph zone) it's common sense not to use the fast lane. You should stay all the way to the right. It has nothing to do with class either. These Prius cars a VERY affordable. These cars can go 65 mph (the hwy speed) and still kick ass in gas mileage. It's the car owner who chooses not to. I personally I have nothing against these cars. I think it's great to save fuel. It's the people who drive these cars that are annoying and unsafe. Drive with some common sense! If you are going to use the car pool lane, you should accelerate to move with traffic in the faster lanes. Be courteous and share the road properly do not impede traffic.
FYI: A Tesla is much more environmentally friendly than a Prius and it MOVES!

I don't think it's the car. IT"S THE DRIVERS. They can't drive. Look who is driving these cars. They are ex-minivan drivers. Look if you CHOOSE to only go 55 miles per hour (in a 65 mph zone) it's common sense not to use the fast lane. You should stay all the way to the right. It has nothing to do with class either. These Prius cars a VERY affordable. These cars can go 65 mph (the hwy speed) and still kick ass in gas mileage. It's the car owner who chooses not to. I personally I have nothing against these cars. I think it's great to save fuel. It's the people who drive these cars that are annoying and unsafe. Drive with some common sense! If you are going to use the car pool lane, you should accelerate to move with traffic in the faster lanes. Be courteous and share the road properly do not impede traffic.
FYI: A Tesla is much more environmentally friendly than a Prius and it MOVES!

I don't think it's the car. IT"S THE DRIVERS. They can't drive. Look who is driving these cars. They are ex-minivan drivers. Look if you CHOOSE to only go 55 miles per hour (in a 65 mph zone) it's common sense not to use the fast lane. You should stay all the way to the right. It has nothing to do with class either. These Prius cars a VERY affordable. These cars can go 65 mph (the hwy speed) and still kick ass in gas mileage. It's the car owner who chooses not to. I personally I have nothing against these cars. I think it's great to save fuel. It's the people who drive these cars that are annoying and unsafe. Drive with some common sense! If you are going to use the car pool lane, you should accelerate to move with traffic in the faster lanes. Be courteous and share the road properly do not impede traffic.
FYI: A Tesla is much more environmentally friendly than a Prius and it MOVES!

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