A very fashionable car that makes you look "environmentally conscious." People also think the fuel economy is unbelievably amazing.
The fact is, however, that if you are really interested in saving the environment and gas, a regular subcompact is a much better choice. Older subcompacts such as the Geo Metro, some Honda Civics, the Toyota Tercel, and so on actually got equal or better gas mileage, often above 50 mpg. There is also no electric motor or batteries to mess with, so they are cheaper and easier to fix. These reliable little cars are so cheap to buy and maintain today that it is ridiculous to claim a new Prius saves money.
They also have zero environmental impact, since the are already manufactured. In addition, hybrids' gigantic battery packs full of lead, toxic heavy metals and acid, screw the environment so badly that some people have calculated that a Hummer H3 has less environmental impact.
Also, conventional cars can be hundreds of pounds lighter without the batteries. Performance (and fuel economy) is improved. There is also more room/fewer ugly bulges/ lower aerodynamic profile without a battery pack.
However, this will not convince the liberals who only want to LOOK like they are on the right path.
Liberal nerd: "Everyone should own a Prius! It just makes sense! I can't believe it gets 45 mpg! I'm really just self-interested, because it will save me $$ in the long run!"
Liberal nerd who knows something about cars: Dude, my 1992 Honda Civic VX gets 60 mpg, and it looks better even though it's 17 years old. I bought it for $500 and I can do all the maintenance myself. It can also dust your battery pack on wheels.
Nerd 1: Hey, it's worth it for the status it gives me.
Prices shown in USD.
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