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The Toyota Prius, a hybrid vehicle, is

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 20, 2003

The Toyota Prius, a hybrid vehicle, is named Motor Trend’s Car of the Year.

Reader comments

Stefan JonesNov 20, 2003 at 12:18PM

A few of my co-workers bought these. Didn’t get a chance to drive, but the ride was interesting.

A Prius, or Civic hybrid, was on my Strong Possibility list when I was car shopping this fall. I wimped and bought a Civic EX; conventional motor, but high mileage.

My NEXT car will have fuel cells.

EamonNov 20, 2003 at 12:19PM

I just paid off my 2001 Prius and am trying desperately to quell my desire to trade up to the new one. I freaking love my Prius.

Yes, in exactly that kind of way. Mmm. Hybridy.

tomcosgraveNov 20, 2003 at 12:52PM

I think it looks horrible, horrible enough that I’d never buy one. Prius is a fantastic idea, but the styling and design of the shape is a mess - it looks like it’s been pulled back without anything being done to the front. The back of the car looks bulky. :-(

I think perhaps Toyota need to call Pininfarina to tell them how to design a car. They used to have some really lovely designs, some of their Celicas have been amazing, but lately? Blech.

jonNov 20, 2003 at 1:13PM

I don’t think it’s _that_ bad, TC - the new one is a huge improvement, visually, over the old one. Hybrids should be a bit quirky - to set them apart from the pack; the Honda IMAS concept points to the next Honda Insight hybrid.

Craniac of the Utah Desert.Nov 20, 2003 at 1:48PM

I noticed that the PT Cruiser was a winner from previous years. Sorta takes the shine off the apple.

LennyNov 20, 2003 at 3:05PM

Jon: I disagree—hybrids should look exactly like other cars. The only way they can gain true acceptance is if “hybrid” was just an engine option. Honda is somewhat catching on to this idea. The key goal is to have lower-pollution vehicles driven by the masses, not just by trendy designers.

PaulNov 20, 2003 at 4:27PM

The PT Cruiser was deserving of that award at the time. It brought forth a different style, and definitely helped bring back “retro” (I hate that term) designs now seen in many new autos.

That said, the MT Car of the Year for 1997 was the Chevy Malibu. Whaaa?

A.HuffNov 20, 2003 at 5:08PM

I’ve got one on order. It rides like a dream.

jayNov 20, 2003 at 6:41PM

I’ve recently bought a hybrid Honda Insight, and it’s a lovely vehicle, drives beautifully, with gas milage I’d only dreamed of. But if I were shopping for a hybrid today, I’d lean towards the Prius. It’s even more efficient, and far better equipped.

BenNov 21, 2003 at 11:05AM

I completely agree with Lenny. I can’t stand how hybrid cars have always been designed to look more futuristic than other cars. I don’t want my car to look like a poor imitation of a bullet pod, and I don’t want panels over my wheel wells… I just secretly want the better car for my own conscious (and pocketbook, and environment, etc.)

I recently purchased a Matrix. After getting over the the poor naming choice, I chose it because it was thousands less than the Prius, yet still gets well over 30mpg, and has amazing cargo space.

.saraNov 21, 2003 at 2:04PM

At first I didn’t much like the look of the new Prius — that backend smacks way too much of the Aztek (gag). It’s grown on me. I agree with Lenny, the hybrids shouldn’t necessarily stick out like a sore thumb; people want other people to notice their cars, but not like that. If you know what I mean. It’s not just Honda hoping on the clue train: Lexus has a hybrid RX 330 on the way and unless Ford delays it again, there’s to be a hybrid Escape (and likely a Mazda Tribute) as well.

I do love the Matrix, though. (I like the Pontiac Vibe’s styling a little better, though. Same car, same factory, different badges.)

BenNov 21, 2003 at 2:21PM

Same factory, yet somehow the Matrix is 10% less expensive than the Vibe.

imbert sarah young Dec 10, 2003 at 7:21PM

Gratitude is the most exquisite form of courtesy.

Copeland Greg Dec 20, 2003 at 10:40PM

All sentences that seem true should be questioned.

Bowman Rob Jan 09, 2004 at 6:34PM

Misfortune shows those who are not really friends.

swingerJan 24, 2004 at 8:03PM

my next car is a civic! Its my personal favorite car

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.

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