By on May 15, 2014
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Oh, California, the trend-setting coastal paradise that once sparked a revolution in the American car market. Fully half of cars sold in the Golden State are from Japanese brands, and for a couple of years, the top dog was the Toyota Prius – about as opposite as could be from the rest of the country, where the Ford F-Series reigns supreme. But there’s a new leader in the sales charts, and it’s a bit more mainstream (or “normcore” as the kids are saying these days).

In the first few months of 2014, the Honda Accord has managed to displace the Toyota Prius as California’s best-selling car. The Los Angeles Times reports that 15,611 Accords have been sold, giving it a lead of roughly 300 units over the Prius. The Honda Civic, Toyota Camry and Toyota Corolla rounded out the top five.

That’s not to say that the race is wrapped up already: the Prius, or any of the other cars mentioned, could snatch the crown – no other nameplates have sold more than 10,000 units so far.

At 1.8 million units, California’s car market is bigger than Canada’s, and import brands make up nearly three quarters of all sales. But Chrysler saw a big gain in 2014, with Jeep sales up 57 percent, Ram trucks up 49 percent and Fiat up 78 percent. The big losers in California included Tesla, which saw a 36 percent drop in sales. Perhaps the novelty of being an “early adopter” is wearing off, at least until the Model X arrives next year.

 

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137 Comments on “There’s A New Queen Of California...”


  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    So, now that owning a Prius doesn’t give you an automatic right to ride the HOV lane by yourself, perhaps purchasers are “doing the math” and finding that the fuel cost savings of the Prius over the new Accord 4-cylinder aren’t worth the hairshirt driving experience the Prius imposes on its passengers.

    Still, this is interesting because the tax subsidy for the Prius — at the state level — still exists.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      hairshirt driving experience the Prius imposes on its passengers.

      Said by someone who has never driven one.

      • 0 avatar
        morbo

        No no no, I’ve driven a Prius. It handles as terribly as all new Toyota’s Can’t hold a candle to Honda, which itself gets whipped by Mazda; at least as far as FWD sedans are concerned.

        • 0 avatar
          jmo

          I’ll give you the Mazda 3 but I was not impressed by the Civic.

        • 0 avatar
          The Heisenberg Cartel

          I have a Prius as one of three current cars. It’s no Mazda and it accelerates like old people f@@@, but damn if I didn’t have fun hooning it around mountain back roads in Tehachapi. Driving a slow car fast, etc etc. bouncing it off the stability control is kinda fun. If I had wider rims and/or better tires on it I would whip the hell out of it on back roads. It would make a fun auto crosser. And trolling everyone else is just a bonus.

      • 0 avatar

        Having driven both the Accord Hybrid and the Prius, I’d take the Accord all day – but the Prius holds a lot of appeal for the average person who doesn’t care about driving experience.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        How can anyone who HAS driven a Prius NOT think of it as an automotive hairshirt?

        It is a marvelously efficient urban transportation module, but that does not make it in anyway fun or a particularly pleasant place to be.

        • 0 avatar
          mr.cranky

          Actually, the fact that the Prius isn’t as noisy as the average car (at least to me), is a benefit. If it’s got a decent stereo, you can actually hear the music over the road noise.

          I think that people on here are beating the anti-Prius horse to death repeatedly to the enjoyment of no one.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            It’s a very good car for the non-enthusiast. The quiet, the smooth ride, and the roominess make for a very pleasant conveyance, provided someone else is driving. I don’t find the hair-shirt accusations credible in the least.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            The Prius in any of it’s three formats is not as quiet as an “average car” if by average you mean something like a Camry, Accord, or Malibu. More road noise, more engine noise except when running on the battery, and it doesn’t ride or handle as well.

            My Sainted Mother drives a Prius-V, and while it is a wonderful machine, it is not fun or particularly comfortable, even compared to other vehicles in its price range. Never mind “nice” cars. But even with my lead-footed Mother behind the wheel, it returns 45mpg and will likely be very long-term reliable. And it holds a ton of crap. But whoever referred to the accelerator as the “noise pedal” was absolutely spot on. No other car actively discourages hooning like a Prius.

          • 0 avatar
            fishiftstick

            The good news is I’m not sure the Prius is quieter than the Accord, which has electronic noise-cancelling. This works quite well, and you can easily hear the stereo.
            The bad news is the Accord’s stereo is okay, but not great. At least not in the EX-L. I think the Touring has a better stereo. If mine wasn’t leased I’d replace the speakers.

          • 0 avatar
            The Heisenberg Cartel

            Does that surprise you? Considering such a huge chunk of the commentariat is on the Hannity and Rush side of the spectrum, that doesn’t surprise me at all.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I have never known/understood/looked up the term “hairshirt.”

        • 0 avatar
          fredtal

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cilice

          Had to look it up. “An uncomfortable shirt worn by Catholics.” Seems there would be a better adjective to describe Prius handling.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Wow, what a horrible religious device.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Aren’t all religious devices horrible?

            Why can’t atonement or repentance involve strippers and beer?

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            OK, more than “normcore”, more than mystifying internet acros or emoticons, this shared unfamiliarity with the hairshirt concept makes me feel old.

            Granted, it’s not often referred to anymore. The favorite religious device for the past 45 years appears to be having enough kids to never get ahead even though there’s birth control.

            Very popular in the rural Midwest.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “Why can’t atonement or repentance involve strippers and beer?”

            Wait it doesn’t? Man, I’ve been doing it all wrong!

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        The image of the typical Prius driver hyper-miling is a meme that may well have originated here at TTAC. It’s not true. Here in So. Cal., the Priuses I’ve seen are largely driven by fairly young women, at least 60%, driving like a bat out of hades. The general impression I get is that drivers think, ‘I’m saving so much gas I can afford to drive fast’, and ‘I’m saving the planet, so get out of my way’.

        Having driven a Prius, I’m not impressed by their handling or acceleration, but once they get up to speed, they’re not much different from a Corolla, a car a lot of these women used to drive, and they seem to drive them the same way. The image of a guy trying to squeeze the last MPG out of these cars may have been accurate when they were a novelty, but is a false one now that they’re commonplace.

      • 0 avatar
        jjster6

        I just rode in a Prius cab in NYC yesterday. I realize it was a cab, but the NVH was horrible. Felt like I was riding in a slant 6 Dodge from the early 80′s.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          That’s how NYC cabs ride. Even Crown Vics with the yellow paint still wet crashed from pothole to pothole.

          • 0 avatar
            jjster6

            I rode in a few Crown Vic cabs too. While certainly not luxurious the overall ride quality and NVH was far superior to the Prius. Same for the Explorer hybrids cabs.

            Interestingly (or maybe not) I asked several of the cab drivers if the hybrid systems still worked in the cabs. Never could get a straight answer.

          • 0 avatar
            KixStart

            If the hybrid system didn’t work, I doubt that the car would go. Part of the hybrid system is also the ICE starter motor.

            It’s doubtful that the cab drivers have the least understanding of what’s going on under the hood.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Not only is the “hybrid system” the starter for the ICE on a Ford/Toyota hybrid it is the only way to couple the ICE to the wheels so if it doesn’t work either the ICE won’t start or the vehicle won’t move if it is able to start.

          • 0 avatar
            bd2

            Yep, the ride in a Panther is much superior to the Prius.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          I’ve driven enough Priuses to feel rather confident in backing you up. It might be nice and smooth driving around on a pool table, but that’s as far as that goes.

        • 0 avatar
          davefromcalgary

          I just rode in a Prius V cab in Winnipeg, I was informed by the driver if he selected the “power” mode, it would beat a sports car in a race.

    • 0 avatar
      gtrslngr

      So … in fact it looks like perhaps …. miracle of miracles .. everyone from potential ‘hairshirt’ [ love it ] Prius , TESLA S and EV/Hybrid buyers in general are coming to their senses : going back to ‘normal’ cars . Because when the Math is done correctly the numbers simply do not add up .

      What is really going to be interesting though in the Land of Nod … is now that the economic realities are finally coming to roost in CA [ like over 1.5 million homes in the process of repossession and no chance of a reprieve in the LA basin alone ] … along with the fact that CA hasn’t been a ‘Trend Setter’ .. in the Arts – Music – Movies or choices of cars for going on over a decade will be …

      How much longer will CA be able to sustain those automotive sales numbers period ?

      I’m guessing… having had a Grounds Eye View not to mention more than a few ‘associates’ still living there [ they have my condolences ] ..

      Not much longer !

      “California Dreaming” rapidly turning into “All My Shorts are Brown”

      • 0 avatar
        Volt 230

        Did you read about the car who drove his Tesla from NY to Fl without spending one single penny for electricity? I wonder if Tesla paid him for this?

        • 0 avatar
          gtrslngr

          Si mi amigo . And no … I doubt anyone paid him to lie thru his teeth . I’m guessing he was just looking for his 15 minutes of fame . Unless of course he stole all that electricity [ as well as those tow truck fees etc ] needed to get his pos TESA S across the country . Or more likely he dreamed it all up . I’ll bet he saw a few ‘Pink Elephants’ * along the way as well . That Dr Tim’s magic formula as well as more than a fair share of 420 finding its way into the TESLA S ownership and wanna be owners circles

          wink wink ;-)

          PS; Franz and SG says hello to you as well !

          * A ‘Firesign Theater’ moment of jocularity for those too young to remember

          • 0 avatar
            Volt 230

            What does the future hold for u and Franz? The love is still there, I assume!

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            He didn’t have to lie. He just had to stop at a motel overnight a couple times and plug in the charger he kept in the trunk. IOW, he didn’t pay a penny for electricity, he stole it from the motel.

          • 0 avatar
            jmo

            “IOW, he didn’t pay a penny for electricity, he stole it from the motel.”

            Is charging my phone or laptop at the hotel also stealing?

          • 0 avatar
            RHD

            The arguments against electric cars are getting sillier as time goes on.
            Seriously, if you rent a motel room, the electricity is “all you can eat”, along with the water and heat or A/C, within reason, of course. It’s ludicrous to accuse the legal occupant of “stealing” electricity that he has a complete legal right to.
            As consumers, we have the freedom to buy a new or used gas-guzzling SUV, or an econobox, a hybrid, a rolling refrigerator, an electric car or anything in between.
            It would furthur the credibility of the poster immensely if he or she has actually driven the vehicle that is the subject of their criticism.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            You guys do realize that there are enough Supercharger stations on that route to make it possible, don’t you?

          • 0 avatar
            KixStart

            Vulpine: “You guys do realize that there are enough Supercharger stations on that route to make it possible, don’t you?”

            I don’t think they realize much.

            Lorenzo: “IOW, he didn’t pay a penny for electricity, he stole it from the motel.”

            Even if it was true that they used motel electricity (see Vulpine’s note on the availability of Superchargers), it wouldn’t be “stealing.” The motel provides complementary electricity and they took advantage of it.

            Some motels now offer curbside charging and some offer high-capacity charging. It’s an idea for pulling in more business.

          • 0 avatar
            bunkie

            Tiny Doctor Tim Follower: “He did it! The sun is coming up!”

            “No, you’re wrong. The Horizon is going down!”

            (roughly reproduced from memory of “Waiting for the Electrician or someone like him” the first Firesign Theatre album).

        • 0 avatar
          fishiftstick

          What makes this an impractical stunt is not who paid for the electricity. The dollar amount is trivial, and as another commenter said, the electricity is “all you can eat” when you rent a room.
          No, the real problem is that driving like a normal person (i.e. at the speed of traffic, AC on), for every three hours you drive, you have to park it for an hour. And that’s assuming your itinerary is carefully limited to the “supercharger” network.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I might remind you that it is recommended you stop EVERY HOUR for rest and restroom when you drive long distances for safety’s sake. Granted, none of us do it (I have a proverbial 300-mile bladder) but the Tesla itself should be good for four hours driving, unless you’re exceeding the speed limit.

      • 0 avatar
        TOTitan

        “California Dreaming” rapidly turning into “All My Shorts are Brown”

        I dont think so.

        “Senior UCLA economist Jerry Nickelsburg notes the state has been one of the bright spots in the U.S. employment picture, with California consistently among the top 10 states in employment growth. For the 12 months ending in April 2013, only Utah’s employment growth rate rose faster. While the increase in California jobs has been widespread, the economy’s strength lies in the state’s technology and knowledge-laden sectors, which use technology and information more heavily, accounting for more than half the job gr

        “California is by far the number one state for manufacturing jobs, firms and output – accounting for 11.7 percent of the total output, and employing 9 percent of the workforce. CA manufacturing generates $229.9 billion, more than any other state.”

        “California leads Fortune’s 2012 list with 24 of the 100 Fastest Growing companies, more than double our next closest competitor Texas.”

        http://www.business.ca.gov/WhyCA/CaliforniaEconomybytheNumbers.aspx

        Funny thing about facts……you cant make up your own and still be credible.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          It must be one of those “tall poppy” things we just wouldn’t understand

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          Unless you’re talking about a subject that your audience has first person experience of. Then, you wind up sounding like the Obama regime when you make up your own facts.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          Working directly in CA high tech “sector”, it is very, very obvious that a large share of measured “growth”, is simply spending other people’s money, obtained in the form of debased loot from redistributionist Fed policies.

          By no means all of it, but if you back out the jobs who would not have been created in construction and other real estate services etc. sans artificially low mortgage rates, and in the tech sector due to artificially pumped up liquidity that just “has” to find a home, reality is quite a lot bleaker.

          It’s still a powerhouse, but the same tsunami sized wall of Fed mediated loot that manages to cover up the lack of any valuable work whatsoever being done in New York despite what naive measurements seem to indicate, also distorts statistics heavily over here.

        • 0 avatar
          gtrslngr

          TOTitan – Oh really . How nice of Mr Nicklesburg . I just love reading revisionist economics by an Ivy Tower delusional with a bone to pick and an agenda to promote . Especially when that agenda is coming directly from the mouth that feeds him

          Perhaps its time to bypass the State Sponsored propaganda and have a very close look at the dark cloud about to overwhelm the LaLa State

          1) Number one being of course the aforementioned 1.5 million homes in the process of foreclosure in the LA basin alone … total Statewide figures being closer to 4.8 million

          2) All the businesses and manufactures … including Toyota [ in case you missed that little headline last week ] leaving the State

          3) New unemployment figures rising daily

          4) New jobs created being all but non-existent

          5) The entertainment industry and especially Hollywood no longer doing business [ filming etc ] in CA due to the high costs of doing business

          6) Every event center .. be it sports-culture etc numbers on a steady decrease .

          7) Then add in all the economic impact of what promises to be an epic year [ or five ] of drought .

          etc etc etc

          et al – ad infinitum !

          Oh for the love of god man . Read the freaking Economic and Business news ! Go there and see for yourself ! I could go on like this for eternity . Heck … the whole damn state is on the brink of bankruptcy TOTitan . So wake up and smell the decay [ if you can over the pollution ] All their shorts are brown [ cause they\'re all cr*pping in their pants over the realities at hand ] being a nice way of putting things

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            They need to adjust your meds. You’re suffering disturbing bouts of consciousness.

          • 0 avatar
            TOTitan

            Im laughing at you gtrslngr…..I knew I could draw out the faux news side of you without much effort. Calm down and dont have a stroke….you are way to entertaining to leave us.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      According to my friends at Google, new California registrations of the Prius are down 343 units (-2.2%) from Q1 2013, while Accord registrations are up by 242 units (1.5%).

      These changes are not exactly earth-shattering. Suffice it to say that both cars are popular in the state.

      • 0 avatar
        Volt 230

        No, he charged his car using Tesla charging stations and slept in the car as it was being charged, no motel at all. only problem is he had to stay off the interstate most of the time.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          Perhaps Tesla should work on a motorhome model so owners always have a comfy place to sleep while their vehicle refuels.

        • 0 avatar
          gtrslngr

          Volt 230 – All bets are . Like the previous so called Cross Country trip in a TESLA S . He lied thru his bloody teeth in order to either

          A) Further Elon Musk’s ongoing propaganda campaign [ none of which has or can be verified by any 3rd party ]

          B) To draw attention to himself in order to garner his 15 minutes of fame [ which btw scanning the news he seems to of missed out on ]

          C) He didn’t lie at all but rather he’s been partaking a little too heavily in Dr Tims [ or perhaps Pinkmans ] wares .. the overall effect being chemically induced delusions of grandeur

          or finally ..

          D) Dementia having finally set in the man is hallucinating and only dreamt he did what he claims

          In light of the ongoing Magical Thinking going on with TESLA TESLA wanna bes and in fact ALL EV fanboys … I’ll go for C or D .

          FYI ; Franz is fine . Future plans still uncertain . i3 is off the list for SG … PT coming along good …all else is well

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Yep – no more HOV lanes means Californians, who don’t decide to go EV, can now opt to choose a more comfortable hybrid Accord, Fusion, Sonata, Optima, Camry, etc. or just get a 4 cyl hatch.

  • avatar
    IHateCars

    “hairshirt”…how delightfully vivid. Lol.

  • avatar
    mars3941

    U.S. cars maker’s must not go over so well in California. I wonder where the Ford F 150 and Fusion fit in?

    • 0 avatar
      billfrombuckhead

      Chrysler is the fastest growing car company in California.

      • 0 avatar
        gtrslngr

        Correction . The JEEP brand is the fastest growing car ‘brand’ in CA . Not Chrysler *. Which … in light of their previous abysmal sales performances of the past …. really isn’t saying much . A 70% increase in sales when in the previous year one only sold ten cars is nothing to be bragging about

        * FYI; There no longer is an entity called Chrysler . They’re now known as FCA . With the Chrysler ‘brand’ being left to whither on the vine [ pun intended ] and heading for the relegation bin

        BWTM; Due to Marchionne’s constant habit of severely over exaggerating FIATs sales numbers worldwide ** I’d take those numbers with a truckload of salt if you catch my drift . So again … its JEEP thats the winner . Not FCA as a whole .

        ** Last year Marchionne’s sales figures for the FIAT 500 and 500L in Canada well and good exceeded the number of cars actually imported into Canada

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      I don’t know if it’s true for 2014, but Ford was the best-selling brand in California in the not-too-distant past.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        The real estate boom allowed a lot of construction free lancers to buy new F150s, and it’s always been a popular truck in the central valley when the farmers get enough water from the feds, who control most of the state’s water, and divert millions of acre-feet of it from farms and cities to save the delta smelt, the fish equivalent of crab grass.

        • 0 avatar
          guevera

          From the federal Central Valley Project, about 900,000 acre feet are delivered down stream to meet environmental standards. About 5,000,000 acre feet are delivered to central valley farmers.

          The rules are just that in dry years that 900,000 acre feet can’t be touched. 900,000 acre feet is far too little water to actually maintain the fishery in anything like its natural condition, but it’s nice that we have some guarantee that you can’t entirely destroy the ecosystem for the benefit of agribusiness interests in the San Joaquin valley.

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            The central valley project was originally created to assure a steady water supply for the central valley farms in dry years. Now those farms (Big Agribusiness! Bad!) for which the project was created, are the first to be cut off, and even cities are shortchanged in favor of a genetically unremarkable finger fish whose larger relatives at least had the utility of having their heads and tails cut off, dipped in flour, batter fried and dipped in butter.

            You can talk all you want about the Sacto/San Joaquin delta “ecosystem”, but it’s been dredged, channelized, and made into island areas to such an extent that’s it’s a man-made system. The delta smelt are stunted versions of smelt found elsewhere in North America, and have no role in the delta other than to be eaten by salmon, and used by enviro-nazis to disrupt any activity that can support growth.

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    I grew up in Michigan but have lived in California since 1994. I just moved back to Michigan. My 10 year-old son just commented how surprised he is that he doesn’t see as many Prius around.

    He seriously, unprompted by me, just made a note of how many domestic cars he sees when before it seemed that every other car was a Prius. He also had only ever seen one other Buick sedan on the road (my father’s) and now sees them everywhere.

    Ok, this isn’t exactly a scientific study, but the difference in the automotive population is incredible.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      We visited southern California in late 2005, and one thing I noticed in the Los Angeles area was how common BMWs were. The BMW crossovers were as common as the Ford Explorer and Escape were in Harrisburg, and the 3-Series was everywhere.

      Meanwhile, if it hadn’t been for full-size SUVs and pickups, the Corvette and the rental car market, GM would have been out of business in California.

  • avatar
    redliner

    All of this can be explained away by the fact that the current Prius is at the end of it’s model run, and the new 2015s are just around the corner. As soon as the 2015 show up, it will be game over for the Accord.

    • 0 avatar
      gtrslngr

      $100 virtual bucks says you’re wrong !

      That economic reality crashing down on CA being the major reason why

      e.g. Why pay Accord prices for a smaller , cheaply built Prius .. with all the comfort of a buckboard wagon .. the handling of a boat anchor on wheels .. wooden brakes … unusable interior space … err .. not to mention much more expensive repair and maintenance bills ?

      Math finally Trumping Trend/Celebrity Bump ! Hopefully

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        “That economic reality crashing down on CA being the major reason why ”

        You mean their multi billion dollar budget surplus?

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I agree give credit where it’s due, but there’s still $419 billion in debt to go.

          http://www.usdebtclock.org/state-debt-clocks/state-of-california-debt-clock.html

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          “You mean their multi billion dollar budget surplus?”

          Pulled straight out of the pockets of those who could otherwise have afforded a more expensive car.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          Why are you still repeating the budget surplus lie? It was debunked for you last time you parroted it like a good little puppet.

      • 0 avatar
        RHD

        A good friend of mine bought a Prius a few years ago. He is still enthusiastic about the fuel economy, comfort, build quality and space efficiency.
        Once again, the bashing (“wooden brakes”??!!) is ridiculous.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        You’re wrong about the Prius’s comfort and interior space utilization.

        The interior space utilization is fantastic, and makes a vehicles which has the utility of a midsize car on a compact footprint.

        The comfort is nothing special, but there’s nothing wrong with it. Same for driving dynamics (boring but basically competent).

        I’m a Prius owner and there are lots of things to criticize about it – and it’s far from being the vehicle for every purpose. But it is a very good at the kinds of thing that you buy a small passenger car to do, and the interior space utilization is Tardis-tastic.

        BTW, the math does work for the Prius – though I freely admit that it’s as much because of the car’s cockroach-like reliability as the fuel efficiency. I don’t really care about the distinction, because I’ve got both sitting in my driveway. Sure, you’ve got to own the car for a while to get the financial benefit, but so what? If 10-year TCO isn’t your cup of tea, don’t buy one. But, it’s a fantastic car to own.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      Yep. People are waiting on the Gen-4 Prius. Lots of rumors swirling about the end of the liftback design and lithium-ion options and so forth. Consumers who are obsessed with fuel economy and tech are not going to buy a Gen-3 right now.

      In the long run; however, the economics for full-hybrid vehicles are not looking great. Battery prices are not falling rapidly and power-density is not rising rapidly. Mild-hybrids are probably the way to go.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        TW5,

        Considering the crashing failure of all the mild hybrids offered to date, that’s a pretty bold statement.

        Toyota puts full hybridization into a car that’s less than $20K (the Prius C). The cost of HSD is low enough and the advantages of HSD over a mild hybrid great enough that it strikes me as highly unlikely that mild hybrids are going to take over the market.

  • avatar
    210delray

    I have never owned a Honda mostly because of happenstance, not because I dislike their products. Among mainstream midsize cars, the Accord 4-cylinder (in any trim level) has a lot going for it — no ugly large grille, decently sized side windows, no swoopy “character lines” just for the hell of it, no intrusive center console, and great gas mileage (not even considering the two hybrid variants). It still has the parking brake lever on the console, right where it should be! The only minus I can think of is why the rear seat isn’t of the split fold-down type like most other small and midsize cars.

    About Michigan, it really is a different world there as domestics are so dominant, and Indiana and Ohio are only slightly less so. The carscape in my area of central Virginia looks much closer to Cali with Priuses everywhere, but also plenty of pickups, both old and new.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    It makes sense, as the Accord is a nicer, better car. And now, it even looks nice/expensive. I saw a light gold metallic one drive past my house yesterday, it’s a looker.

    “…or “normcore” as the kids are saying these days”

    Yeah f_ck that, I’m never saying that.

  • avatar
    Juniper

    A friend in San Diego had a Prius like everyone else. It was fine for driving around town. But circumstances changed requiring a weekly trip up to Orange County. After a couple of trips it was goodbye Prius Hello CR-V.
    The Prius was way too uncomfortable for even that distance.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Why, either? The Prius at least makes good economic sense. If you’re going to “go against the grain” another shade of grey isn’t going to cut it, IMO. This is where your truly ridiculous cars come in.

    • 0 avatar
      bludragon

      I’ve ridden in both, although not the latest CR-V. A Prius is quiet and rides well. A CR-V might have a bit more space, but I would actually expect it to be less comfortable than a Prius. A new Prius is also not a small car inside. It is a little smaller and less comfortable than an accord though.

      To echo one of the other few sensible comments above – the numbers have only changed slightly, and it is likely an effect of the accord being all new for this model year.

      • 0 avatar
        rudiger

        ^ Yeah, when the all-new 2015 Prius arrives, it will be back to the status quo.

        FWIW, one ‘big’ advantage the Prius has over the Accord (and all Hondas, for that matter) is a no maintenance brake system. Since the Prius uses regenerative braking (which, admittedly, feels ‘mushy’), the brakes virtually never need to be replaced.

        OTOH, Hondas are notorious for needing significant ‘non-warranty’ brake maintenance in as little as every 10k miles.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        Unless it has a longer wheelbase, the taller CR-V will probably see-saw a bit more than the Prius. However, if it has larger diameter wheels/tires, that effect will be reduced.

        We used to “commute” to the East Coast in a 99″ wheelbase 2000 Rav4. The Prius might not be everybody’s cup of tea but it has a far better and quieter ride than the Rav (don’t get me wrong, I loved that car) and uses 40% less gas.

        I imagine the Accord rides better and quieter still but the Prius is well into “good enough” territory for a lot of people, hence the ten years of 10K+/month sales.

        Unless Toyota screws the pooch, Prius sales should revive with the introduction of the 2015. I’ll probably go look at it and, if offers significant improvements, may well buy one (Prius resale values are good, so upgrading won’t be expensive).

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “it’s a bit more mainstream (or “normcore””

    For a moment these I feared a meme had developed around turbo four pots and trifecta tunes. Thankfully its another pointless fashion trend. We humans are silly creatures.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      Well, that meme HAS taken hold on TTAC if no where else.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Definitely nowhere else. Lol.

        • 0 avatar
          davefromcalgary

          But, its kind of like being in the know on a hilarious inside joke.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Its just the best. The only problem is, when someone talks about a Verano or Regal in real life, and I joke about the sweet Trifecta Tune, they look at me like I’m insane.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            LOLLL to both of these comments.

            bball, your new pic is really throwing me off in identifying your commentary! I primarily use everyone’s photos.

            And you know who I haven’t seen round here in a while? DeadWeights.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            And, if you happen to have recently bought a Verano T you feel like someone is out there constantly reducing the credibility of what is a decent little car.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I think I need to change it back. The Hupmobile Plant in a painting doesn’t have the same depth as a picture I took at the Packard Plant.

            Dave, my neighbor has a Regal GS, and I so want to talk to him about getting a Trifecta Tune. He’ll probably tell me to f off in his Irish accent.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            Insider news for you guys, since I interact with you the most.

            DK will be reviewing my Verano next week.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Sweet, I’ll be commenting on that one. I forget you’re from Canada like DK is, even though it’s in your name.

            I associate you and bball with Michigan.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            Be kind.

            How on Earth did you come to associate me with Michigan?

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      With all this talk of normcore and Buicks I suspect he should be weighing in soon (@28 I secretly do a “Norm!” shout-out every time I see a mini-me Enclave)

  • avatar
    djoelt1

    I enjoy driving our Prius C. It’s small, maneuverable, cheap to buy and operate, and fits in parking spots that 90% of the world drives right by. I try to set new records for MPG every time I drive and enjoy not using any gas while stuck in traffic.

    I also enjoy driving my BMW M3 CSL. It’s manueverable and pretty quick. I try to set new personal best lap times when I take it to the track.

    • 0 avatar
      This Is Dawg

      An understated Dr. Jekyll are we? You need one of those “My other car is a ____.” bumper stickers.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Can I get one of those bumper stickers where I can fill in the blank myself? I need one for my Jeep that says, “My other car is a “n F-150″ now, but change that to ” Ranger” later this year.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        “My Other Car Is A Toaster”

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          Hmm, thought it was a dishwasher, is it new?

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            No, not *my* other car. That was just a whimsical suggestion for a generic bumper sticker.

            Nothing I have is new and I’ll probably not even pop for a TC wagon until they’re CPO.

            But I may have a new hip in about a month.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Good luck with that, most people are quite happy with the results afterward

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Thanks. I’ve polled all and sundry I meet who’ve had the surgery and the prognosis seems pretty good, especially with the anterior procedure.

            Good thing insurance is covering it or I’d probably Scrooge it off til I couldn’t walk.

  • avatar
    bubbajet_ttac

    As part of my recent car-buying experience (for what will eventually be a hand-me-down for my son) I test drove the following:

    Toyota:
    Camry LE 4 cyl.
    Camry hybrid
    Avalon hybrid (OK, that was just for me ;))

    Honda:
    Civic LX standard
    Accord LX CVT
    Accord Sport standard
    Accord Hybrid

    While I haven’t had the opportunity to drive a Prius, I’ve gotten to ride in quite a few. I can’t speak to the driving experience but I can speak to the ride.

    At the end of the day, I bought an Accord LX 4 cyl. standard. After a couple thousand miles, I am even more convinced this was the right decision. Quite frankly, the Accord spanks everything Toyota makes, with the exception of the Avalon and to my driving style and mindset the Accord is the equal of the Avalon. Yep, I’m strange that way but I favor practicality over gee-whiz gimcrackery. The Avalon was quieter and had a better sounding stereo – and that’s about it. The Civic was the equal of the Camry (no kidding) in every respect and about equal to the Prius (Priii? Priusii? Priuses?) that I’ve been in. The Honda CVT is everything I’ve read about; it’s amazing – but the standard is better… ;)

    In my Accord I consistently get 33MPG in mixed driving, about 26 or so around town and between 36 (at 70MPH) to 38.5 (at 65MPH) all the way to 41 (at 55MPH) on the freeway with the A/C blasting cool, cool air. I can’t wait for winter when I can turn the A/C off. It’s remarkably fun to drive, I get to row my own gears with the nicest clutch/gearbox I’ve ever driven, it’s reasonably quiet on the road and has just the right equipment to appropriately connect the phone but not get in the way with “infotainment.” It’s comfortable, even for four (looks askance at son regarding large rear seat). The only downside: the stereo is… lacking in “umph.” It does better with higher bit-rate inputs, but it’s still weak.

    All that for less than $20K – *after* TT&L. And my boy gets to drive a standard, something he will keep long after the car is gone. I would love to have a hybrid someday – and I do think it’s the way of the future if not all electric (looking at you, Tesla) but for now the Prius just doesn’t make sense against the Accord which is an amazing vehicle for the price.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      That’s pretty much my assessment of the Accord as well. It is by now honed to such a degree of perfection, that even the A8 I, in some fit of stupor, had the idea that I “needed” to buy, isn’t really any “better.” Or even, honestly, as good (mainly due to the darned low profile tires requiring more care bombing tough pothole infested “streets” in SF/LA.) The Mazda 3 is another one of those not-much-point-bothering-looking-for-an-improvement-to cars. In both, particularly the Mazda’s, case, only true for those preferring a manual, as autos still tend to be a bit less bothersome in the luxo cars.

  • avatar
    ZekeToronto

    “At 1.8 million units, California’s car market is bigger than Canada’s …”

    Not according to the blog TTAC regularly quotes for sales data.

    2013 full year sales: California 1.71 million Canada 1.74 million. Basically a wash.

    See: http://bestsellingcarsblog.com/2014/02/14/california-usa-full-year-2013-toyota-prius-remains-on-top/

  • avatar
    PandaBear

    Living in the SF bay area for the last 15 years, I do agree that the trend here is to buy Japanese if you are just buying transportation, or buy European if you want to buy something flashy or fun. The reputation of domestic hasn’t recovered since the 80s and people here hold cars to way higher standard (or hold grudges for far longer) in reliability than the rest of the nations. We don’t forgive a car that dies before 100k miles or 10 years, because cars don’t rust here.

    Also most people here don’t like the styling of domestics. Many people considers the Mustang “unrefined”, and Corvette “ugly”, and other models “bubbly”, “fat”, etc.

    My family bought an 01 Taurus right after 911 on a great deal from Hertz, and the first impression from my friends are “wow, your new job includes a company car?” because no one other than rental car companies buy domestics.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      How much of that can be credited to the “its not cool to be seen driving an American brand” attitude that I’ve been used to in the more liberal parts of the North East? Like my sister and brother-in-law (Bucks County, PA) who, I think, would give up their driver’s licenses before ever be caught in something that wasn’t imported (or at least an imported nameplate)?

      • 0 avatar
        87 Morgan

        That’s interesting, my older bro lives in the same area. He has five MOPARS some old and some new for him and his daughters, and wife. He is obviously a mopar freak, but secretly I think the likes to give the finger to all the self absorbed, would not be caught dead in a non import labeled vehicle you speak of.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    Are you trying to tell me that there’s only ONE queen in California?

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    I have a client who owns a 2nd-generation Prius. Guess what he uses to go on vacation?

    A Hyundai Sonata.

  • avatar
    gtrslngr

    Vulpine – May I be the first to inform you that in fact a good 80% of the supposed SuperCharger stations TESLA and Elon Musk lay claim to do not in fact exist .

    Including each and every one within striking distance of my house .

    So much for Truth in Advertising when it comes to all things TESLA

    BTW – Do the research on EVs currently as well as their projected future . BMW , Toyota , Daimler and VW-Aui are all to a number bailing on them . No one new is coming up the ranks . TESLA et al sales are on the wane . Suffice it to say the Future doesn’t look so very bright for any of them .

    You want to see the future ? Look no further than Hydrogen there Vulpine . And THAT … you can take to the bank . Unlike EVs which are about to go bust

    Hint ; Like to know one good reason why ? Look no further than where Big Oil is putting their money [ thats for you as well MitchW ] Remembering . What Big Oil wants … Big Oil always gets here in the US of A since the rise of Standard Oil . And Big Oil wants hydrogen . Because … with little effort or investment they stand to cash in big time … again !

    And guess what else ? The major automotive manufactures want hydrogen as well . For very similar reasons [ if you comprehend how little it takes to convert an ICE to hydrogen ... as BMW has proven so well ]

    Sorry for raining on your EV parade Vulpine …. but its for your own and your wallets good .

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      “Vulpine – May I be the first to inform you that in fact a good 80% of the supposed SuperCharger stations TESLA and Elon Musk lay claim to do not in fact exist . ”
      – Proof? Because I KNOW the ones in Newark, Delaware exist; I’ve seen them for myself.

      “BTW – Do the research on EVs currently as well as their projected future . BMW , Toyota , Daimler and VW-Aui are all to a number bailing on them . No one new is coming up the ranks . TESLA et al sales are on the wane . Suffice it to say the Future doesn’t look so very bright for any of them .”
      – Really? Can you link us to this data? While I am aware that they’re backing off from buying Tesla’s batteries, I’ve not read where they’re backing off from electric vehicles–the Prius is still an electric vehicle, as is the Volt. Meanwhile, there’s a company in Denmark that plans to challenge the Tesla Roadster for BEV super car performance and expects to have the first prototype on the road within another year or two. He’s currently using an old BMW platform as a test mule for his technologies and its performance would make even Jeremy Clarkson proud.

      “You want to see the future ? Look no further than Hydrogen there Vulpine . And THAT … you can take to the bank . Unlike EVs which are about to go bust ”
      – I have to look farther than Hydrogen; it’s far from consumer-ready and it needs to build an infrastructure the same way Tesla is doing now. And the fuel cost will likely be higher than gasoline because current hydrogen extraction methods still use petroleum and fossil fuels for its source and takes more energy to extract. I’d say hydrogen is still 10-15 years down the road compared to Tesla in production today.

      “Hint ; Like to know one good reason why ? Look no further than where Big Oil is putting their money [ thats for you as well MitchW ] Remembering . What Big Oil wants … Big Oil always gets here in the US of A since the rise of Standard Oil . And Big Oil wants hydrogen . Because … with little effort or investment they stand to cash in big time … again !”
      – Until they run out of petroleum from which to extract that hydrogen. Then where will they get it? Natural gas? So now they take away from the cleanest available fuel for steam-powered electrical generation and drive the price of NG up.
      No, what Big Oil wants is not always what Big Oil gets. Remember, Standard Oil got split up in the early part of the last century; it’s not impossible that it could happen again. Sure, they have the money to invest, et al, but they have to do it in a way that doesn’t LOOK like the abuse of monopoly power. Meanwhile, somebody thinking outside the box could make Big Oil irrelevant.

      “And guess what else ? The major automotive manufactures want hydrogen as well . For very similar reasons [ if you comprehend how little it takes to convert an ICE to hydrogen … as BMW has proven so well }”
      – Really? They’ve proven it so well that they’re selling hydrogen-powered cars to consumers already? Where? How efficient are they? How much does it cost to refuel them? If you ask me, the only thing they’ve proven is that it works–but then, CNG works too and that’s a much older and readily accessible technology. Why aren’t all vehicle going CNG? (I’ll answer that for you, if you really want me to.)

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    The Prius makes sense for Southern California for reasons beyond image or politics. Hybrid mpg excels at city and stop-n-go. The handling and road noise are irrelevant when you never get to exceed 30mph on your commute.

    At some point, though, I’d do the math on how much of my life was spent creeping along at walking speed in a cheap plastic-lined Prius shell and I’d either have to move far, far away or buy a used Mercedes so at least I’d be wasting my life in a nicely-trimmed cocoon.

  • avatar
    71charger_fan

    I’ve been inside exactly one Prius. That was last night. It was a new Prius V taxi from the airport to home. It was amazingly roomy inside, but the materials were very cheap and on par with an old Caliber (which are also amazingly roomy inside). I have zero desire to own one, but it rode nicely and swallowed four very large over-stuffed duffel bags without complaint. I did find it very noisy in the heavy rain though. There seemed to be no noise insulation behind the headliner at all.

  • avatar
    gtrslngr

    TOTitan ;

    If you truly think that is the Faux side of me than obviously your overall knowledge of the economic situation in California is somewhat less than lacking .

    Fact is … lets see now … where did some of that information I posted about CA get verified lately . Hmmmn …. NYTimes – WSJ – CNBC Financial – two State of CA representatives – The Economist etc etc etc

    But hey … did you perhaps also miss how even Silicon Valley is on the verge of a Real Estate bubble as well as a decline in hiring ? Bet you did !

    But hey . You just keep on reading and believing what those Ivy Tower – deluded – agenda based – bought and paid for [ by the State of California ] Academic types are saying . Having done my time in the Ivy Tower myself .. lets see where that gets you ;-)

    As to my being Entertaining . Yeah … if you consider Facts to be Entertaining … then I guess I am . So be it . But anytime you’d like to bang heads on the facts TOTitan … bring it on . I love a good fight !

    But do bring forth evidence that is at least somewhat less ‘circular’ in nature [ rules of debate TOTitan ] as well as a bit more credible than some pretentious academic trying to make a name for him/herself . i mean honestly . If we’re going to bang heads . At least make it entertaining if not challenging for me . That being only fair IMO

    PS; Getting a small idea yet of what you’re coming up against TOTitan ?

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      He’s coming up against a man who, just a couple weeks ago, insisted as fact that there was a RWD Avalon.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        “Oh yes there was . WAS being the key word here . The 1st generation Us bound Avalon in fact being a decontented RWD Lexus LS . Look it up before sticking thy foot into it” -gtrslngr

        Kind of like dueling with an unarmed man

    • 0 avatar
      TOTitan

      gtrslngr

      Indeed I do. I’m up against a guy who is the very definition of narcissism. While narcissism does turn off most people, in your case I don’t mind it because I enjoy reading your rants.

      We will have to save debating the issues for another day because today I am getting ready for my daughters graduation ceremony from Cal State Channel Islands and subsequent graduation party. Sorry, but she is far more important to me than dueling with you.

      Have a great weekend


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