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Why Car Guys Loathe The Toyota Prius

I was once told that if I wanted to be a true car guy that I would embrace all forms of automotive creativity. I once shuddered at this, but have come to realize that through failure, we breed success. Here is why I believe "car guys" loathe the Toyota Prius.

The year was 2000, I was sitting in my high school auto shop class listening to something that I thought was absolutely as silly as could be. My teacher was telling us about the future of automobiles. It was the official announcement of the Toyota Prius coming to the states.

I remember his words like it was yesterday. "I just don't see this technology going anywhere." but, that was not all he said. Spoken like a true car guy he also said, " I appreciate the direction that the industry is trying to go." That was the end of it.

Like it or not, there have been many instances in automotive history that have made people cringe at what was "new". So, why is the Prius any different? In fact, Torque News reporter John Goreham polled Toyota Prius owners to see what else was in their garage. The results were eye-opening.

Car Guys Loathe The Prius, Here Is Why

If I am going to stereotype I will have to do this in two ways to explain why average car guys loathe the Toyota Prius. First, the red blooded, V8 engine loving, gas guzzling, mud throwing, tire smokin, 'Merican male, would have you believe that there literally is no replacement for displacement. This type of car is the one that is attached to "his/her" brand and makes sure that every knows it. The "Mopar or no car" crowd would have you believe that fuel sippin' 4 cylinders are for wimps and tree huggers. So, if it is not drinking fuel it cannot be a good car to drive. Which simply is just not true.

Chrome V8 Engine

Car guys hate this in the Prius because they think it is an insult on their man hood. Car guys also think that Prius, because it is an eco car means that they have to consider the environment, and change their habits from the steak eating, beer drinking man of men they are. All of which is again, false.

Another interesting stereotype that surround Toyota Prius, is that the people that drive them are slow moving, teva wearing, granola eating, dog loving, people that just are completely disconnected from the rest of the world when they are in their cars. Sadly, these intense thoughts have led to that have only separated us.

Between these two extremes we find that Type A or the 'Merican muscle lovin drivers, just cannot stand Type B or the eco lovers, simply due to their views. It is utterly ludicrous, to think this way, but alas, not everyone is as mature. Really what it comes down to is that these stereotypes have created a massive and incorrect stigma surrounding a iconic piece of history.

2019 toyota Prius Interior

Simply put car guys loathe the Prius because it is causing change that goes against the typical American car. Even though the Prius has plenty of power, and it really has changed the way our new cars have been able to make even more horsepower. It is a just a stigma that probably will not die until those who think it, do.

Conclusion on Why Car Enthusiasts Don't Like Toyota Prius

The Toyota Prius is what it is, despite whether "true" car guys like it or not. A true car guy, like my highschool teacher, may not ever own one, but he certainly can appreciate the technology for what it is and what it gives us.

I hope that you have enjoyed reading about the Prius being a historical icon in our future. Check out my other story Why the first generation Prius is better than either generation Nissan Leaf.

2019 Toyota PRius Prime Blue Magnetism explained by Youtuber ToyotaJeff of Torque News

See you in the next story where I am discussing why the Toyota Prius AWD-e is the best one yet.

Also Watch New tech means more MPG from your Toyota Prius and Click to Subscribe to Torque News Youtube Channel for Daily Toyota Prius and Automotive News.

Peter Neilson is an automotive consultant specializing in electric cars and hybrid battery technologies. He is an automotive technology instructor at Columbia Basin College. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Service Technology from Weber State University. Peter can be reached on Linkedin and you can tweet him at The_hybrid_guy on Twitter.


TS (not verified)    August 9, 2019 - 1:45PM

Car guys loathe the Prius to the same extent and in the same way we loathe Teslas. First, Prius fans and Tesla fans are virtually as arrogant as BMW drivers were for a number of years. Second, neither are what could be considered "driver's cars"; they're built to save the planet. Being a car guy necessarily means that you don't really give a hoot about being green. And don't whine about how Teslas are fast, because it doesn't matter and real car guys don't care.

James (not verified)    August 10, 2019 - 11:15AM

In reply to by TS (not verified)

Maybe true. I am not a car guy and I own a Prius. I am 66 years old and have owned a Volkswagen, two Mazdas, a Subaru and now the Prius. Those are the only cars I have ever owned. All were bought new and driven, on average, for about 10 years. The worst of these was the VW and my 10 year old Prius is the best. I view cars as useful for getting me from point A to B at minimal cost with reasonable comfort, and nothing more. I have never paid more the 26K for a new car and I haven’t paid any loan interest for @about 30 years. I also eat quiche, like little hairy animals, want to protect the environment and I sometimes and enjoy white wine.

Richard Bromley (not verified)    August 10, 2019 - 2:18PM

In reply to by TS (not verified)

I own a 2008 Toyota Prius Hybrid.and am not a tree hugging dirt worshiper. But it is nice to get 47 miles to the gallon of gas. However. It is only common sense that should tell us that the more we selfishly destroy the planet without giving a damn, we won't have quality of life left to enjoy and i don't believe not caring about such things makes u a car guy or man's man. Just makes u ignorant and dead inside.

LKYGUY (not verified)    August 11, 2019 - 12:39AM

In reply to by TS (not verified)

Quite the ignorant response. Did you ever think people drive the Prius because they commute and don't want to spend a million dollars on gas just to get to work? That's why I do. I throw aluminum cans in the garbage can just like the next guy. Nothing arrogant about driving a car that saves you money!

Eugene Harris (not verified)    August 10, 2019 - 3:30PM

I have a mustang cobra, and a 2019 Prius. And no male insecurities. Both are great cars. Wasting gas is not macho.

Jim M (not verified)    August 10, 2019 - 4:25PM

Last car was a bmw 330xi 6 speed manual, my 2018 prius prime is just as fun to drive (large battery mid car, handles well!) and I’ve only filled it was has three times in 12000 miles

Paul Tomlinson (not verified)    August 10, 2019 - 5:34PM

2009 Prius owner here with 160K miles. I've owned a '76 Comet, '84 Subaru, '90 Escort, 2001 Chevy Malibu, '94 F150 and 2002 BMW. Loved the power of the BMW, the use of the F150 (hauled stuff when I flipped properties) but hands down the Prius is the best car I've owned and continue to own. The last 3 vehicle, including the Prius were bought used and with cash. I average 53mpg with the Prius in the summer and it gets be from point A to point B. Why do I say that? Well after averaging 23 miles per hour with my commute to work in the BMW and its lack of gas mileage, I decided the Prius could get the same miles per hour with much better gas mileage. Oh yeah. I eat steaks, make my own beer, might have a shot of bourbon tonight and I turn pens.

Jerry Williams (not verified)    August 11, 2019 - 11:40AM

I am a "Car Guy" and have been one since I was 10 years old. Car guys look at a Prius as a four door appliance that moves people around. I have never owned a Prius but I have ridden in them and driven them and they did not inspire me to own one. I have owned and driven Corvettes, Mustangs, F-150's and others that I have really enjoyed. If fuel economy and reliability are your main criteria for owning a people moving appliance then by all means go for a Prius. However, for car guys like me there is more to driving than saving a few bucks moving from one place to another.

scott (not verified)    August 13, 2019 - 12:12AM

why people who like Prius couldnt care less whether Car guys loathe Prius:
- we dont enjoy talking with car guys or have any desire to
- dont care what their opinions are
- dont care if car guys feel threatened when people dont pay attention to them
- are perfectly capable of deciding what we like on our own
- know that everyone pays taxes and uses public resources, If Prius people pay less tax than car lovers, we also use fewer public resources like clean air.
- just generally find car guys irrelevant

Aaron (not verified)    August 19, 2019 - 8:39PM

I drive a tractor trailer around town with a liftgate making 12 to20 deliveries everyday in heavy city traffic. To me driving a Prius or any gas saving vehicle just makes sense. This year I bought the 2020 Corolla hybrid and am seriously loving it, although I do miss the Prius badge on my car. Makes me feel like I'm rebellious.

Diogenes Dogsnack (not verified)    September 6, 2019 - 10:43AM

I actually think it's envy. I look at them driving huge gas guzzling vehicles and know they are paying triple the cost for fueling and it's not actually a better driving experience. I get to keep all that money and spend it on whatever I want. Maybe a nice juicy steak, even. LOL...

Joe D in Maine (not verified)    September 7, 2019 - 2:09PM

I have owned many gas guzzlers over the years but in 2010 desided on a Prius which I owned for 6 years and 140k miles. I figured that I saved about $8-9,000 over this period on fuel cost when compared to my previous 22mpg vehicle. Toyota advertised 49-51 mpg of which I mostly easily exceeded. I now own a 2019 Prius Prime which is rated at 133 mpg and which I usually easily exceed with the first 33+ miles on battery alone. As a comparison in all aspects of savings, the environment, power, and pleasure to drive I'll take the Prius over gas guzzling muscle cars any day of the week.

HG (not verified)    January 18, 2021 - 3:11PM

If there are more of you out there like Dave and I, join us. We are the missing links that will bridge the gap between the so called car guys and tree huggers. There should be an understanding from car guys that there are people who's priority is too be efficient on their daily commutes and long road trips. If they choose the prius it's because it accomplishes that mission. Is it aesthetically pleasing? No. But it's functional. If cars were athletes you could consider it a marathon runner among sprinters. On the other hand, tree huggers and fuel sippers should understand that just like everything in life, people find a thing which they tie their emotions to. To many people a car is an extension of themselves and to insult their cars is to insult them. I've been fortunate to own a ranger, bmw, and Porsche, among other cars and they all have something unique to offer. Going fast and going through fuel doesn't make you a car guy. Being a car guy is someone who appreciates and finds beauty in an automobile. Whether your car has a sporty look, feels one with the road, sounds like a monster, or has some cool technology/drivetrain system, if you're into it, you're a car guy. Remember, horses and carburetors were replaced. At some point gas powered and hybrid cars will be replaced completely. Who knows maybe even electric cars will be replaced. So what are we arguing about here? I think there is place where we can understand each other. If you're sitting there with your arms crossed because I'm not acknowledging the fact that some cars (particularly car guy stereotype cars) emit more pollution in the air than the prius or other fuel efficient cars do. Relax. It's naive to think that all these people that have enjoyed the sound of a burbling V8 or the howl of a flat six will just want to jump into a serene and somewhat low hum sounding (when in electric mode) prius. It's like asking someone that is jamming to rock to stop mid song and start listening to your favorite classical music at low volume. There is a transition phase and that is called the government putting hard regulations on car manufactures so that they use their ingenuity and create cars that could potentially be good for the environment, efficient, and fun to drive. We are already seeing it but it will take some time for costs to come down for the ordinary American to be able to afford one. One day we will all be, in a way, tree hugging car guys. We just won't know it.

Jonathan Hartley (not verified)    August 8, 2021 - 7:41PM

I love steak medium rare, I drink more beer than anybody, I love hunting and fishing and sports. And I love my Prius. To me it’s about the gas mileage and the comfort and the styling of the interior of the car. My PriusIs a beautiful burgundy red with white leather interior. I love it. So much for your stereotypes. PS my wife also makes more money than I do. It doesn’t bother me a bit

Viseth (not verified)    November 30, 2021 - 8:42PM

I'm kind of a car guy, I don't hate the Prius itself, and I care about the environment quite a bit. I mostly hate the Prius since the drivers go so slow. Not in all cases but most encounters I've had.

Kyle (not verified)    June 29, 2022 - 1:45PM

In reply to by Viseth (not verified)

I have a 2007 Prius 150,000 miles. A funny story about slow Prius drivers (about myself): I didnt realize the speedometer was set on kmph. I thought I was driving at speed limit - 30mph but I was going 18. No wonder a driver in a big pickup passed me in a huff! I haven't made that mistake again. Lol.