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3 Busted Toyota Prius Myths Haters Wish Were True

The Toyota Prius solved the "cars cause global warming" problem over two decades ago. Here are three common Prius myths that everyone from EVangelists to coal-rollers wish were really true.

Over two decades ago, the Toyota Prius solved the problem of passenger cars causing global warming. Generation after generation the Prius line evolved until its Prime trim MPGe was an amazing 113 MPGe. That's better than the all-new battery-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E just launched this week. Many Prius haters feel the need to make negative claims about the Prius in order to punish that success in a way. Here are the top three Prius myths and why these myths are long-busted.

Prius Myth One - People Must Want To Ditch These Boring Cars
Rather than want to move on from a Prius, it turns out that a new study from iSeeCars proves that the Toyota Prius is the vehicle that more people keep for over 15 years than any other. The reason the Prius is a car so many people keep so long is that it is a satisfying vehicle to own. The Prius has ridiculously low maintenance costs, has a huge cargo volume, and its energy cost per mile is lower than many battery-electric vehicles.

Prius Myth Two -It's The Slowest Car On the Road
Far from being the slowest vehicle on the road, the Prius' electric motor torque makes it satisfying to zip from a stoplight or into a city traffic merge. The Prius has about the same 0-60 MPH time as top-selling vehicles like the Subaru Crosstrek and the Chevy Colorado pickup with its up-graded diesel engine option.

Prius Myth Three - There is a "Prius Driver" Stereotype
Identifying a person by what they drive is a long and sad tradition in America. Particularly since many Prius drivers also own some very interesting vehicles. We polled Prius owners and asked them what else they owned. Included in the list are many pickup trucks (yes, even some diesel), Harley Davidson bikes, classic muscle cars, and modern sports sedans from Europe. Peg that Prius driver as "typical" if you like. However, they just might also own your favorite specialty vehicle.

Has the Prius earned its reputation, or is it being unfairly put upon? You can tell us in the comments below.

John Goreham is a long-time New England Motor Press Association member and recovering engineer. Following his engineering program, John also completed a marketing program at Northeastern University and worked with automotive component manufacturers. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American newspapers and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on Twitter, and view his credentials at Linkedin


Alexander (not verified)    January 22, 2021 - 10:24AM

Few true facts about prius...
1 the batteries and electric components will be polluting the earth for 20000 years after you die.

2 getting "Priused" on the road is absolutely a real thing. Any time a car pulls out in front of you and drives incredibly slow in a vain effort to maximize mpg, that's called getting Priused and it's been happening since the car came out.

John (not verified)    February 1, 2021 - 9:04PM

In reply to by Alexander (not verified)

That’s not always the case, my girlfriend (now wife) will pass you all day long. The Prius is car that surprised me as well. People do have a tendency to underestimate their ability. I had drifted off to sleep on time and happened to wake up as she was passing someone doing close 100 mph. We still laugh about my bucket list and how it wasn’t on it but now it’s checked off

Greg Harris (not verified)    January 22, 2021 - 11:28AM

Our 2016 Prius Three has nearly 100,000 miles and seems like new. When my sister-in-law drove it she asked why every car wasn’t like that (a smooth driving hybrid that gets great gas mileage and is durable). We like our 2017 Pacifica a lot but only drive it when we carry a lot of people or stuff. While it is luxurious, it seems comparatively primitive with all that gear shifting. We get twice the gas mileage in the Prius and it will probably have twice the useful life. We’ve laid down two bicycles in the hatchback on cross-country trips and had everything we wanted while getting 50+ mpg. It’s simply a solid, practical enjoyable and thrifty vehicle. In that order.

Mike Thompson (not verified)    January 22, 2021 - 11:30AM

I just traded my 2014 Prius Prime for a 2021. I took the mandatory class teaching slow acceleration if more than two vehicles behind you at the light and staying in the left lane doing the speed limit or less no matter what. I also remind my Harley buddies I get much better gas mileage than they do. I appreciate the 25 miles of battery and the safety features especially.

Steve Jones-D'… (not verified)    January 22, 2021 - 1:02PM

Spreaders of busted Prius myths are jealous that their own cars are huge energy hogs and have the shelf life of a loaf of bread. These hatepriussaureses will eventually become extinct.

Steve (not verified)    January 22, 2021 - 1:31PM

I love my Prius. It’s the most practical and efficient car I’ve ever owned. And inexpensive to use. It’s has more room in the backseat than almost any other car I’ve owned. I also own a 4x4 diesel pickup. I only drive the truck if I need it. The Prius is way more comfortable and easy to drive.

Paul L. Lenig (not verified)    January 22, 2021 - 3:12PM

Yep, most prius owners love the car for all of the pointe above. At 186,000,000 miles the prius has very little costs other than routine and suggested maintenance. Totally love prius. It just goes when wanted and stops when wanted. I don't need more but when I do, just get on my motorcycle.

Stephen (not verified)    January 22, 2021 - 5:11PM

I drove a Prius for about 5 years (I now drive a hybrid Venza) and I finally gave up after not being able to get up a hill in the snow. There wasn't enough power and I nearly slid back onto a train track. I loved it, but in the end I decided it was too dangerous for winter weather in Cleveland.

Paul L. Lenig (not verified)    January 23, 2021 - 1:14PM

In reply to by Gordon (not verified)

Yes, learning to drive in different conditions is a key to successful driving. I was brought up with winter driving, however it was always a rear drive car. Front wheel drive was an all new experience. I still prefer rear wheel drive for winter.

J (not verified)    January 22, 2021 - 7:14PM

I own a Prius and am happy with it, but some of the worst drivers on the road are other Prius drivers. Plus the priuschat forum is annoying filled with clueless people that reflect how the majority seem to drive. There is absolutely a well-earned Prius stereotype. Just because some Prius owners own other cool cars doesn’t reflect the majority.

Erin (not verified)    January 23, 2021 - 12:12AM

I was a Prius driver from 2006 to 2020. The years were 2006 and 2014. Unfortunately, I totaled my 2014 Prius in a bad accident in October. A lot of people assumed I would get another Prius, but I got a Subaru Crosstrek instead. I had previously lived in the California bay area until 2015 and the Prius is GREAT in that climate but after moving to the Midwest, I really felt unsafe driving my Prius every winter and in heavy rain. Even if it snowed just a little bit, the Prius did not handle it well, even with all-weather tires. I miss the great gas mileage, speediness, smoothness and the quiet... but I feel a lot safer with 4 wheel drive and all the safety features that came with my new Crosstrek. For those that love their Prius, do you live in snowy climates?

Ken Saukas (not verified)    February 6, 2021 - 6:48AM

In reply to by Erin (not verified)

My wife and I drove a Prius v and Prius 3 in rural southwest Michigan. Neither of us ever had a problem with snow. However, the county did a pretty good job clearing the roads and we used common sense when venturing out in the winter. Now we live in the balmy South Carolina low country. I love my 2015 Prius Persona, I really do. The only problem is that it is so dull compared with the sports cars I used to own. It is the perfect car for a retired old guy who wants a car to get from point a to point b, but who wants that?

carlos umana (not verified)    January 23, 2021 - 12:40AM

I had a Prius 2010 during 90,000 miles without falts, at 44 mpg. A wonderful and reliable vehicle, that was changed for a Prius Eco. 2026 model in 2017 and now it's running at 58 mpg; other wonderful and reliable car for my wife and me forever for go from the point A to the point B in a smooth and noiseless mood. PRIUS ECO it's a dream car and I can go from Florida's Keys to Anchorage in Alaska for a ridiculous low gas cost.

carlos umana (not verified)    January 23, 2021 - 12:42AM

I had a Prius 2010 during 90,000 miles without falts, at 44 mpg. A wonderful and reliable vehicle, that was changed for a Prius Eco. 2026 model in 2017 and now it's running at 58 mpg; other wonderful and reliable car for my wife and me forever for go from the point A to the point B in a smooth and noiseless mood. PRIUS ECO it's a dream car and I can go from Florida's Keys to Anchorage in Alaska for a ridiculous low gas cost.

Lloyd (not verified)    January 23, 2021 - 3:00PM

Had an original Honda Insight for about two weeks, and traded it for a new Prius 2003 (the year prior to the 2004 redesign which resulted in the hatchback). Finally traded the 2003 last year after 195,000 miles for a 2016 Prius C (the small hatchback). I'm getting over 50mpg consistently including winter, and I drive with three-season tires. But I miss the was the most comfortable car I ever owned.

Matthias (not verified)    January 26, 2021 - 7:16AM

Got 130k on my 2014, not a single problem, love the 45-53 mpg, love the quietness of no IC engine noise at stoplights, got a GMC cargo van for work, very roomy, relaxing to drive, dislike "coal rolling" diesel cretins, never experienced "Priusing" as a previous poster wrote...even if it does good thing because people generally drive too fast for conditions anyway.

DC (not verified)    February 8, 2021 - 12:13PM

We had a 2005 Prius that was extremely reliable until we had to salvage it in 2013 due to a big accident. The only unexpected problems were due to some gasket leaks from another head-on collision. Once that was fixed, there were no other problems.

We shopped around for a few hatchbacks in 2013 for a replacement car. I liked the versatility and seats of the Hyundai Elantra GT, but didn't like the jumpy acceleration at low speeds or the hard plastic shells on the back of the front seats rubbing into the rear passenger's knees. In the end, we went with another Prius, this time a Gen 3 Plug-In, because it drove almost the same as the previous Gen 2 Prius, but better. Besides a few crash repairs (3 repairs totaling about $6500), the car has been chugging along at 80K miles with no problems (knock on wood).

But there are a few things I don't like about the Prius:
- The front seats are crap. They are completely unergonomic, and fold your body in a weird way without actually supporting your lumbar. We managed to make them fairly comfortable by putting a sheepskin cover from our old 2002 Honda CR-V and some lumbar support.
- The base speakers are crap. If you listen to any music while you drive, I would definitely consider an upgrade.
- Wind and tire noise are tiresome. If you drive on long stretches of highways, especially those with bad or hard concrete pavement, consider stripping down the car to install soundproofing insulation throughout. You will definitely notice how bad your base speakers are on long highway drives.
- The suspension is generally fine, but would be better if it was a bit more supple and comfortable.