One of the most hated cars of the modern day would have to be the Toyota Prius. A car which for vegan plant lovers was the saviour of the earth and for the V8 meatheads was the devil. There are two ways you can look at the hybrid (like the Prius). On the one hand, it's a great economical car, not just for city driving but also for longer distances and you feel like you are doing your bit for the environment when behind the wheel. On the other hand, it is seen as a waste of time and money as it isn't really saving the Earth and is just a con created by manufacturers to take all your money.
To me, these small hybrids such as the Toyota Prius, Chevrolet Volt and Honda Insight are a fantastic buy right now, here's why. Let's say you're looking for a new family car, workhorse to do the school run, or just another car. A hybrid is the perfect way to go about it.
If you are in the market for a Toyota Prius these days, you are in for a treat. I had a look on Autotrader, and the prices seem to range from £3,000 to around £11,000 depending on mileage, age, condition etc. Now, you have to bare in mind that a lot of these are likely to be ex-uber cars or Taxis so will have high mileage, some as high as 200,000 miles. But, look at it this way, these Japanese cars will happily do these high mileages assuming they have been properly cared for, and you will be doing your little bit to save the environment.
I can say with confidence, most of these second hand Japanese hybrids will be able to reach half a million miles with the proper care. If not, and I'm just chatting a load of codswallop then tough. My only concern would be the 12V battery in the Prius. People have said on forums that the average life for one of these is around four years. If that is the case, it isn't the biggest issue at all. Replacements are around £100. But, buy one with the bigger battery and if should last the life of the car.
I was watching a Youtube video from Jonny Smith and Richard Porter's Youtube channel, Smith and Sniff about Jonny's own Chevrolet Volt and I was very pleasantly surprised. I never really knew much about the Volt but it has some great little features including, a quieter pedestrian horn, pre-heat function from the key, various overnight charging settings where you can set a time for the electric motor to be charged for.
More impressive than all that is the MPG, and this goes for most hybrids. Let's say you drive a new Vauxhall Astra and think your 45mpg is good. Get a hybrid, and you will have an average of 80+ mpg assuming you drive relatively sensibly. This is why this is the favoured car among Taxi drivers and well...me.
They're cooler than you think
The picture above is an extreme version of a 'hybrid' but it still has the same technology. This system is aimed at improving speed whereas the Prius is aimed at better fuel economy. I really don't understand all the hate associated with these older hybrids, the Prius especially. I think they look alright (no worse than any other Toyota), they're nice enough inside, they are economical and can be silent at very low speeds. I think they were not ahead of their time, that's the wrong phrase to use but they were more advanced than we thought.
Getting one now is a good idea. If you look at the way the automotive industry is going, this makes perfect sense as a stepping stone into the future. Especially if you are one who doesn't like the sound of hybrids. No, they may not be the most exciting car ever, nor the fastest but this is our way to make a small difference to save the world. Who knows, you may like them so much that you go out and buy a Tesla!
Oh yeah, and Jonny Smith has one. Which means you too should buy a hybrid.