By on January 4, 2011

Imaginary acceleration or measurable inattention to quality aside, Toyota’s delightfully arrogant march to world domination continues with the expected introduction of a “wagon-like” Prius at next week’s Detroit Auto Show and a bold statement from the company’s VP of sales.

We will end the decade with Prius being the number one nameplate in the industry… [Camry] will be a close second, and that’s not because there will be a drop in Camry sales.

Automotive News attributed these statements to Bob Carter, Toyota’s group vice president for U.S. sales. Clearly, whatever “humility” the company’s apologists attributed to it in the wake of the SUA debacle has now been completely discarded. With the flacks at Edmunds reporting that another “Prius concept” will accompany the new “wagon-type vehicle” at the Detroit show, it looks like Toyota expects hybrids to go fully mainstream very quickly.

Only time will tell if Mr. Carter’s bullish approach to Prius-as-brand is reasonable. I wouldn’t bet against it. To misquote Orwell, if you want a picture of the future, imagine a suppository-shaped transportation module blocking a line of traffic in the left lane, forever.

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36 Comments on “Triumph Of The Egg: Prius To Be Best-Selling Car In US Market By 2020?...”


  • avatar
    Commando

    “We will end the decade with Prius being the number one nameplate in the industry… “

    You have no idea how that scares the bejeezus out of me.

  • avatar
    HoldenSSVSE

    Is Toyota trying really, really hard to be like GM circa 1970?

    1) Lost world top sales hat?  Most likely
    2) Declining product quality?  Check
    3) Vanilla uninspired products that are little more than appliance on wheels?  Check
    4) Problematic new product launches?  Check
    5) Building products that answer questions no one asked?  Check
    6) Tout efficiency and competing on the MPG front while building the worst fleet MPG fullsize trucks in North America?  Check
    7) Dead brand walking (Scion)?  Check
    8) Luxury brand becoming irrelevant?  Not quite check, but on its way with a steep decline in sales that began before the economic meltdown
    9) Badge and platform engineering resulting in almost Cadillac Cimmaron who asked this question again vehciles?  Check (Lexus h250 is darn close)
    10) Management disconnected from engineering?  Check Check Check
    11) Beancounters overriding quality and engineering decisions to squeeze profits?  Check Check Check
    12) Questionable build quality?  Check
    13) Absolute arrogant declarations to media about future growth and position? We can add a check mark to that too
    14) Arrogant belief that customers are largely a dumb group of sheep that will return to the showroom regardless because they have short memories?  Apparently

    Oh Toyota, just what the Hell are you doing?

    • 0 avatar
      Canuck129

      1) If Toyota were criticized for having the Top sales position, shouldn’t losing it be a good thing?
      2,12) Above avg in JD Power initial quality, Top 5 in reliabilty for Lexus and Toyota.
      3)  Camry is still a sales leader in your ‘Vanilla’ assessment.  BTW a new one is on the way.
      4) You mean very early Camry transmissions  5 years ago and Tundra Camshafts 4 years ago…in small numbers?
      and so on and so on… etc. etc..

      I’m sure someone could easily sift through any company in any industry and come up with an entertaining top 14 list of negatives, even if some of them are not legit.

    • 0 avatar
      HoldenSSVSE

      @Canuck

      1) If Toyota were criticized for having the Top sales position, shouldn’t losing it be a good thing?
      2,12) Above avg in JD Power initial quality, Top 5 in reliabilty for Lexus and Toyota.
      3)  Camry is still a sales leader in your ‘Vanilla’ assessment.  BTW a new one is on the way.
      4) You mean very early Camry transmissions  5 years ago and Tundra Camshafts 4 years ago…in small numbers?
      and so on and so on… etc. etc..
      1) Of course not.  But it was Toyota that arrogantly declared in the mid-2000’s that they were going to become number one and leave their competition in thier wake.  Waggoner arrogantly declared, “not on my watch,” I’d like to add; they both look like silly statements now.  The issue isn’t being or not being number one; the issue is the position of management, and that position says a lot of what is going on through the organization.  Toyota took a stance of number one, and as the market got tighter starting in 2007 it is now painfully clear at near any cost; including most importantly reputation.

      2)  Quoting JD Power “initial” quality in particular and Consumer Reports is a tool of the weak.  Both of their methodologies have been discussed and beaten endless here on TTAC and both of them are largely junk because of how they ask questions, what questions they ask, and what they consider a valid sample set.  What really matters is the number of customers that would consider even buying a Toyota (sharply declined), brand respect (declined – but not mortally wounded), and buyer peceptions (also declined).  These things don’t happen when you’re doing things right.  Just ask Ford.

      3)  Just because you sell a lot of something doesn’t mean its “good,” admittedly I’m the 5% of enthusiasts that keep my repair records in an Excel sheet and when I’m not slogging through the snow care about the experience of getting from Point A to Point B more than getting from Point A to Point B.  But all things being equal, if we compare rolling appliances, especially the Corolla, growing fleet sales dependency (spare me the Chrysler survives on it argument, almost every auto manufacturer brought fleet sales down in 2010 except Toyota, which grew them – also not a good sign) and consumers that return to the showroom like spawning salmon is what drives sales.  There are numerous offerings that are vastly better than a Corolla today, the 2011 Corolla refresh is horrific, ending the XRS model and hobbling the car with a 4-speed automatic for starters, this screams our customers don’t know any better, and we can sell what we want.  Never mind that Toyota inflates Corolla sales numbers by rolling the Matrix into the North America data, well its a Corolla wagon, we just don’t call it that.  If GM had rolled the HHR into the now defunct Cobalt numbers saying the HHR is a Cobalt wagon, which would be a legit statement as much as the Matrix is a Corolla wagon, those combined sales numbers would have pushed the Cobalt over the Corolla – gee does that make it “better” because more people bought them???

      4)  I don’t even know what point your answering here, but if it is about beancounters making the decisons it is the well publicized decision that Toyota ordered to squeeze their suppliers by 30%.  It is interesting that you cherry picked a couple of small examples while ignoring the 800 pound elephant in the room called CTS gas pedals and floor mats.  Or Denso electric steering systems (impacting more than Toyota and under partial ownership).  You also ignore rusting out truck frames, door welds so bad on Sienna that doors are falling off of 2004/05 model years, the botched product launch for the ’06 Avalon, the botched product launch for the ’08 Tundra and Camry, which were problematic.

      I’m sure someone could easily sift through any company in any industry and come up with an entertaining top 14 list of negatives, even if some of them are not legit.

      Oh I think they are quite legit.

    • 0 avatar
      Canuck129

      J.D. power is a benchmark that every automaker in the industry targets…. I didn’t mention a thing about Consumer reports.  Customer info regarding buying interest is collected by survey too… should that be trusted?  Even still, they are near the top of those too.
      and #4 was answering… your #4.
      yes, <em><strong>you</strong></em> think they are quite legit.  Will you start your other lists now?
      I’m not particularily inspired by all of Toyota’s vehicles either.  I have had them as trouble-free family vehicles, and the only one I would want as a balance of fun and daily transport for myself would  be the Lexus IS (there are a lot of others to choose from) , but I don’t see how an expansion of the Prius into a top-seller would warrant me creating some targeted list about how horrible the top automaker in the world is.  A little perspective.

    • 0 avatar
      Motorhead10

      I could give a rat’s rear about Toyota or Lexus – if you like it, buy it if you don’t, don’t.
      That said – I’m confused by #8 “Luxury brand becoming irrelevant”  As per company reported data – Through November in the US Lexus has sold 201,454 luxury units (as defined  by the segment classifications of 6 luxury segments (entry, mid, premium SUV car, entry, mid, premium lux SUV) by Edmunds. From there 2)Merc Benz 190,278 3)BMW 178,976 4)Cadillac 128,204 5) Acura 118,117 – No other brands above 100k. Perhaps the race has tightened? The gap narrowed? I don’t really feel like taking the time to check the numbers going back 3,5, 10 years. But “irrelevant” seems misused in this context.
      I agree with #7

    • 0 avatar

      Canuk: 2010 Lexus IS is great, but small inside. It’s basically a pefect car for petite women. Also, the low front dam is PITA, I keep hitting parking curbs with it. Kinda thinking G37 would be better for men.

    • 0 avatar
      HoldenSSVSE

      @Motorhead10

      I put it on the checklist, and did not, say, “check.”

      Not quite check, but on its way with a steep decline in sales that began before the economic meltdown

      Lexus is fighting to maintain its top of the sales pile position, take away the RX and they really have almost nothing; alas one could argue take away the 3-series and BMW would be in the same boat.  For 2010 the RX represents about 45% of all Lexus sold – when you look at how many models they offer, ouch.

      Also keep in mind that despite the fact Toyota grew sales in 2010 by about 6.5% they did with massive amounts of money (by Lexus standards) of cash on the hood, dealer discounting on average of over 9% (reported here on TTAC), no payments for 120 days, and lowering the credit bar.  None of these tactics are a good way to grow a brand when you have to push product that way.

      The thought leadership that Lexus stole from Europe in this space is under seige.  Is the brand irrelevant?  No, not a check (again as noted above).  Is the brand in “danger,” I think so, given the competitors in the rear view mirror if we just go by total units sold.  But look at some of their recent offerings, the HS250h being the best example of this, and on the other end the uber-expensive LFA; great car but ack that price considering similar performance can be had for less.  It is the trend of new products coming out that is pushing the brand down; Toyota can turn it around.  Shoot if GM can bring Cadillac back from the dead, and lets face it, it wasn’t dead brand walking it was d-e-a-d, dead, Toyota has a much easier time of propping up a wobbling brand that is Lexus – they just need to focus on what they do best, not think to themselves, gee, lets build a Prius Lexus that gets far worse MPG, costs way more, and has lower build quality.  Those are things that scare me.  IS series are great cars, the shining spot, but IS sales were down almost 10% in 2010 and less than 35K were sold total; this does not support a brand that moved 225K units.

      Also those RX sales are very exposed to a price jump in gasoline, with 18/24 MPG rating on the 2011 model you’re right around many other crossover SUVs, that customers fled, even Lexus customers, when the price of gas rolled over $4 a gallon.

    • 0 avatar
      Motorhead10

      @Holden

      Whatever, man. Let your mad-at-Toyota flag fly. I’m not asking anyone to sell me their argument. I’m just sayin’ #8 seemed more like a “Is there trouble brewing beneath the surface at Lexus?” kind of thing – Rather than “danger of becoming irrelevant” kind of thing. Seemed like an overexaggeration. I get enough of that from media. Maybe they get knocked from the top spot – oh well – that’s a long way from irrelevant. Heck, GM went bankrupt, lost the global top slot, killed (or sold) half its brands and they are still relevant. Maybe more than ever.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      “3) Vanilla uninspired products that are little more than appliance on wheels?  Check”

      As compared to… what?  An Impala?  A Malibu?  A Fusion?  Most of Detroit’s output is appliances.  Most consumers want – or at least need – an appliance.  The Toyota appliance is a good appliance and has been for some time.

      “5) Building products that answer questions no one asked?  Check”

      You mean like the Tahoe hybrid?  Or the 40mpg economy car on which the 40mpg feature is a $2K option?

      “6) Tout efficiency and competing on the MPG front while building the worst fleet MPG fullsize trucks in North America?  Check”

      Edmunds (or similar) ran a side-by-side test of the Silverado, the Tundra and the Something Else after the new Tundra was introduced.  The Chevy might have had the better EPA numbers but the Tundra’s observed fuel economy was better.  Is GM building a vehicle to max the test but is otherwise going to disappoint?

      “14) Arrogant belief that customers are largely a dumb group of sheep that will return to the showroom regardless because they have short memories?  Apparently”

      Likely not.  The people who go back to the Toyota showroom do so because the previous Toyota didn’t give them any trouble.

      Noting your later slap at CR… you could also check TrueDelta and look up the DesRosiers longevity reports.  It seems no matter what process you employ to try and figure out which cars are most reliable, certain brands float to the top.  After a while, you just have to accept that it’s not a coincidence or fluke.

      Maybe the current crop of Toyotas aren’t as head-and-shoulders above GM as before, but only time will tell.  Rumors of Toyota’s death are premature.

    • 0 avatar
      HoldenSSVSE

      @KixStart

      Curious on why a fixation on GM?

      Are you really going to call a V6 Accord coupe with a manual vanilla?  Or a Mazda6? Or a Hyundai Sonata turbo?  Or the Kia Optima?  There are a lot of choices that are high in quality (Accord) or have caught up in quality (Hyundai / Ford) in the uber data you refer to that have a heck of a lot more soul than a Camry.

      Again on the question no one asked department you again focus on GM for reasons I don’t understand.  What question does the Venza answer?  The HS250h?  A Tahoe hybrid did answer a question people were asking; the problem wasn’t the question (can someone build a fullsize SUV that can tow and offroad that is also a hybrid) the problem was with the answer and the price point – yes but it will only get 21 MPG instead of 17 and it will cost over $50K. 

      People aren’t asking the quesiton about 40 MPG cars???  REALLY?  What about Toyota’s response to the question?  Well, for the Corolla we’ll just ignore it and slap a 4-speed auto into a 2011 model – that isn’t competitive, it is a slap in the face to the consumers that don’t know any better.  What answer is Scion, the whole darn brand, providing at this point?  How many people really, REALLY want an under powered FWD coupe with a Camry engine?  Apparently about 1,200 a month.  How many smartfortwo customers and the iQ really poach?  Will the FT86 come in time to save Scion; and given the AWD fire breathing version will be sold at your local Subaru dealer, will the WRX Subaru loyal go to Scion in the first place?

      Finally, I never stated, nor implied a death of Toyota – but a continued drift to a lumbering car company that can’t get out of its own way, and disconnected from markets and customers; yes.

    • 0 avatar
      jj99

      holdenssvse, you sound like someone who lives on freeways in the midwest.  If I were you, book a trip to Southern California or Boston.  Visit the dealerships.  Drive the freeways.  You will see very new examples of Detroit iron. Your perspective will change. 

      If everyone who works for a Detroit automaker does this, you will understand the problem Detroit faces, and do something to fix it.  Your “Toyota Is Dead” story is just a dream.

    • 0 avatar
      HoldenSSVSE

      jj99, where on earth did I say Toyota was dead?  I don’t live in the Midwest, I live in a godless sea of Prii plugging along under the speed limit at every turn.

      You know color me silly, but I thought that GM in 1970 was riding pretty darn high.  Pontiac was THE car, GM was more worried about the government breaking it up into itty bitty pieces via anti-trust than it was the small European cars being sold that were worse quality than what they were churning out.

      Go back and re-read GM 1970.  GM was a crossroads at that point, and a lot of very bad decisions made.  I see Toyota making some of these decisions; most glaring decontenting and squeezing product supplier quality and that hit them HARD.  No one can deny that.  Scion is a dead brand walking.  That is very hard to deny at any level.  Several new and newer products have been built answering questions no one asked, a Hummer H3 competitor (FJ Cruiser), a Camry wagon (Versa), an overpriced and not so good MPG sort of luxury with bad material quality hybrid (HS250h), meanwhile the cry many are ASKING is when, when will Toyota give us something like the Celica, the Supra, the MR2, or even an AE-86 Corolla.

      Again, I didn’t say the Cruze crushes the Corolla, TTAC did in their own review.  I really don’t understand the ire being directed here by the Toyota faithful and leaps of predictions of Toyota’s death.  I never said any such thing — gladly point out to me where I did.

      If somehow you’re leaping that calling Scion a dead brand walking is a prediction of a broader Toyota death, I will again point out that our fearless leader, Edward, used the exact term, “dead brand walking” for Scion just a few hours after I wrote it here in his latest piece.  However I don’t see a prediction of Toyota death here.

      But if you’re arguing that all is calm and well with Toyota, then I will vigorously say you’re off base in that observation.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      “@KixStart  Curious on why a fixation on GM?”

      Hey, it was you that invited the comparison… “Is Toyota trying really, really hard to be like GM circa 1970?”  My point is, Toyota’s to 1970 GM isn’t necessarily as good a comparison as GM to 1970 GM.

      “Are you really going to call a V6 Accord coupe with a manual vanilla?  Or a Mazda6? Or a Hyundai Sonata turbo?  Or the Kia Optima?  There are a lot of choices that are high in quality (Accord) or have caught up in quality (Hyundai / Ford) in the uber data you refer to that have a heck of a lot more soul than a Camry.”

      What’s the take rate on that Accord V6 Coupe with stick?  Most of your Accords are appliances and even if they’re not quite vanilla, the people that drive them away from the dealership don’t really care.  Ditto the Mazda 6, etc.  Most people do see some advantage in more power but most car purchases have very little to do with road feel or other qualities that the enthusiast would care about.  If most drivers cared about road feel, how many Tahoes would be on the road?  Like… next to none?

      “Again on the question no one asked department you again focus on GM for reasons I don’t understand.  What question does the Venza answer?  The HS250h?  A Tahoe hybrid did answer a question people were asking; the problem wasn’t the question (can someone build a fullsize SUV that can tow and offroad that is also a hybrid) the problem was with the answer and the price point – yes but it will only get 21 MPG instead of 17 and it will cost over $50K.”

      The “question nobody asked” is a bad way to describe serious marketing missteps, which is the real point and problem.  Auto companies build completely new kinds of car, occasionally, and it sometimes turns out that they address a previously unrecognized need (as in, nobody asked the question but the answer turns out to be relevant, anyway).  A better way to look at the situation is, “Is the company’s marketing department doing its job?”  When Marketing midwifes the birth of a $50K hybrid to be offered to a market that doesn’t care in the least about fuel economy…  that Marketing department is not doing its job.  The Prius is, at least, affordable and aimed squarely at people who are reasonably likely to want a high-mpg vehicle.  The BAS Hybrids are another excellent example of GM Marketing not doing its job.  They were apprised, or should have been, that the Malibu Hybrid would get, at best, marginally better fuel economy than a regular Malibu but that it would cost significantly more than a Prius and they should have said, “Then, don’t bother.”

      You may have noticed… GM’s new “green” flagship vehicle… comes with $7500 in Government Aid and still costs North of $30K.  That’s not the sign of a company that’s ready, willing and able to offer great transportation at value prices.

      And are all the people that green-lighted the SSR dead, fired or retired?  Bad convertible, bad truck, bad dragster all in one.  Who thought this was a good idea?  How about the Solstice?  Hey, it was a great-looking car but somebody really should have noticed that it was going to lose money and done something to stop it.

      “People aren’t asking the quesiton about 40 MPG cars???  REALLY?  What about Toyota’s response to the question?  Well, for the Corolla we’ll just ignore it and slap a 4-speed auto into a 2011 model…”

      Sure… Toyota isn’t leading edge with the Corolla… at the moment.  However, the ’11 isn’t a new Corolla, it’s a latecycle refresh.  And the 4-speed auto helps hold down cost and doesn’t seem to impact fuel economy all that much.  Surf on over to fueleconomy.gov… the Corolla does quite well in the real world.  People that want a little extra fuel economy can take the stick… at a savings.

      GM’s going to provide a little extra fuel economy… by asking for another $2K.  Talk about a slap in the face.

      “Finally, I never stated, nor implied a death of Toyota – but a continued drift to a lumbering car company that can’t get out of its own way, and disconnected from markets and customers; yes.”

      The bar for “lumbering car company… disconnected…” etc, turns out to have been set quite high.  Toyota’s got room for massive screwups before they can even aspire to unseat GM from the throne.

      As for arrogance… what did GM’s CEO, Akerson, say about the Prius a couple weeks ago?  The bar’s been set pretty high on arrogance, too.

  • avatar
    Canuck129

    jeepers Jack… “Delightfully arrogant march toward world domination”???  They’re showing some confidence in a great product that has shown good growth over the past decade, why do they need humility for that?  A software upgrade constitutes inattention to quality?  Easy Jack easy now., this has been one of the most reliable vehicles in the industry for a while now.

    This isn’t any more arrogant than GM making optimistic predictions about the Volt when they were in bankruptcy protection. 

    Toyota should continue with a more aggressive posture then it will start showing in their products. 

    • 0 avatar
      jj99

      Disagree.  Toyota’s best approach is to lay low until Obama is out of office.  If they start grabbing more market share, NHTSA will be after them.  They get the picture.

  • avatar
    Steven02

    I can see hybrids being a large part of the market soon.  I am not sure if there will be enough to go around.  Right now, there aren’t too many vehicles that are as efficient as the Prius.  In the next 9 years, I would think there would be several items on the market that will compete and the Prius probably won’t be tops, it will still probably be a midsize vehicle.  The Prius sales will go to competitors as well.

  • avatar
    talkstoanimals

    Maybe if there is an epidemic of rhinitis that sweeps the country by 2020.  Every Prius (and Camry hybrid) I’ve ever been in smells funny, almost like there’s horse dung hidden somewhere in the cabin.

  • avatar
    potatobreath

    I like the Prius and Camry Hybrid; I find it kinda fun to watch my fuel economy while not blocking the left lane. They’re not hoonworthy, but there are other vehicles to hoon about in.

  • avatar
    brettc

    I’m not a fan of the Prius because I like diesels better. But Toyota has done well with the Prius considering gas-electric hybrids have only been around for 12 years or so. So if Toyota is going to offer a wagon version of the Prius, I would seriously look at one along with a Golf TDI wagon. I’d probably end up with the Golf wagon, but I’m glad Toyota is hopefully bringing something back that will fill the void that the Corolla and Camry wagon left when they were dropped years ago.

  • avatar
    oboylepr

    Well said Canuck129, well said!

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Arrogant company or not, the Prius has been a good product. Would I buy one? I can’t say. When my commute doubles this year and gas reaches $5.00/gallon – well, that’s a different circumstance and I’d have to think about it but only if the numbers make sense. It all depends what kind of mileage I’ll get out of my Impala, which is almost seven years old. My commute will be mostly highway, too, but I;ll see. A Prius wagon? It’s about time. I, like Educator Dan, am also a wagon fan but have never owned one. Maybe there’ll be one in my future!

    • 0 avatar
      talkstoanimals

      If the doubling in your commute predominantly entails more highway driving your mpg concerns are probably better addressed by something like a Golf or A3 diesel (unless VW/Audi reliability scares you).  If it’s more city driving you’ll be doing, then the Prius is a good choice.  That said, my mother routinely sees 45 mpg in mixed driving in her Prius, even when it has the snows mounted on it, and the thing has been dead reliable for 4 years.  She sees the mileage figure as underwhelming. (I guess she expected something like 50 mpg in mixed driving?)  I see it as pretty darned impressive, but not enough of a boost over some of the better economy hatches like the Golf TDI, the Fit or the Fiesta to make me put up with that Prius smell, the uncomfortable, mouse fur clad seats, the wobbly handling, and the droning engine.  But to each his or her own.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      talkstoanimals: Agreed. I have several choices if I decide to do anything, and a good ol’ ICE-only car like what you mentioned, plus a few others would be the way I’d prefer to go. Less complicated. I still regard hybrids as driving someone’s science project, although they are getting better.

  • avatar
    sfdennis1

    “if you want a picture of the future, imagine a suppository-shaped transportation module blocking a line of traffic in the left lane, forever.”

    It’s obvious that you’re not going to be autocrossing a Prius anytime soon Baruth, (though as you’re known to like to provoke a bit, you might consider it just for the reaction you’d get) but I’ve gotta do a little defending of the average Prius driver I’ve encountered, which is NOT being a left lane blocker…typically showing above average lane discipline, and most often staying to the right if they are in earth-saving mode…and numerous times I’ve spotted a Prius clipping along at ‘bat out of Hell’ speeds.

    In any case, the Prius (especially the latest generation) is a laudable engineering achievement, but still light on driving thrills…the new Lexus CT 200h takes most of the Prius hybrid system and improves handling to the next level according to most reviews, so future generations of Prius’ could conceivably offer 60+mpg along with decent handling and room for a small family’s needs…as China and India suck up more and more of the last remaining dino juice, we’ve got to find some solution.

    • 0 avatar
      talkstoanimals

      Where I do find Prius drivers can make you nuts is in traffic-light-controlled-interesection to traffic-light-controlled-intersection driving.  Frequently, you can tell a Prius driver is trying to move from intersection to intersection so slowly so as not to cause the ICE to kick on, with the consequence being that you miss each light in the series.  Even worse, if you drive a manual as I do, it can become very tiresome to smoothly take off without letting a huge gap grow between you and the Prius pulling away from each light at tortoise speed.

    • 0 avatar
      OldandSlow

      @talkstoanimals – I’ve noticed the same glacial movements from Prius drivers here when moving from a traffic light.
       
      The driver in the above photo must have woefully slow reflex times.  I doubt that the driver of the upended Prius was auto-crossing and lost it while drifting.

    • 0 avatar
      sfdennis1

      Everone has their own experience I guess, i was talking mostly about xpressway driving, but haven’t found Prius drivers to be much slower on average in most situations…

      Now don’t get me started on harried minivan moms dawdling around, or cell phone yakking SUV drivers, or (sorry) the very elderly…I’ve been slow-blocked and trapped behind these roadblocks more times than I can mention.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    While not my cup of tea, conceivably the Prius (and it’s derivatives) could be a best seller. Kind of like the Oldsmobile Cutlass (and it’s derivatives) was about 25 years ago.

    • 0 avatar

      It is not what I want to drive–I like my ICE straight, like my bourbon–but it’s practically bombproof in reliability. If they can hang onto that quality, and the fuel economy, they may be tops in 2020. That won’t hurt my feelings at all. Less demand for gasoline means cheaper prices.

  • avatar
    view2share

    They will make excellent skateboard ramps, once retired from service.  What an ugly thing it is.  I saw one hit and rolled in town with a gazillion airbags deployed.  To the credit of the turtle car, no one was injured.  They just seem too tall.  Many new cars are.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    Arrogant?  Or confident?

    If I want great fuel economy without hunting for a diesel pump or spending $34K for a Volt… where do I go?  The ex-CEO of Shell is talking about $5 gas this year.

  • avatar
    cmdjing

    A reliable, practical, highly fuel efficient, and safe car made by Toyota? KILL WITH WITH FIRE!
     
    That said, I am the proud new owner of a Honda CR-Z, a car much derided by the hoi polloi here.

  • avatar
    PeteMoran

    Hahaha! I love it when head’s explode. It’s just beyond some people that the average working stiff might be happy to grab a reliable, efficient, appliance for transport avoiding the tainted garbage of their parent’s experience.
     
    Anything Toyota upsets the self-appointed cognoscenti.

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Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber