Why the Toyota Prius is the best car ever built.
Spoiler: It's because it's so hated.
There have been many disasters over the course of history on our great planet. World wars, tsunamis, volcanoes erupting, and the creation of the Toyota Prius. What was supposed to be the single greatest savior in the automotive world to the earths climate turned out to be a complete and utter farce. If you'd like some more information on why the Prius failed in terms of climate saving, go and watch Jeremy Clarkson's off-the-cuff-yet-surprisingly-detailed-and-profound rant on the Prius on YouTube. This article is not about climate saving, however, so we'll leave the climate talk at that.
I grew up in the US state of Vermont to a police officer father and a natural and organic food loving mother (spoiler #2: yes, she drives a Prius and has for many years). During my childhood, my father was issued takehome police cars such as Chevy Caprices and Dodge Chargers for many years. That is, he was until the ill fated arrival of the Prius. As a disclaimer, the Prius had been around long before the topic of this article, however during my childhood was when I remember it really beginning to gain traction on the US front. This was the time when fleet car companies started buying them, knitted sweater wearing old ladies started learning how to drive 15 miles below the speed limit in them, and climate activists the world over started being praised for taking such strides to reduce their carbon footprints by driving them. The Prius changed everything, and not for the betterment of the automotive world. Or did it?
Now, my father loves old muscle cars- V8, gas guzzling, rumbling big block engines. He was quite pleased with his Caprices and indeed even his Impala's. All of this would soon change, however. In "hippy-dippy" states like Vermont, the brilliant legislative bodies are always on the lookout for opportunities to publicly polish up their "green" image. It was at this time (when I was around seven or eight years old) that they decided to issue Prius's to police departments all over the state in an effort to look more green and raise awareness of pollution to the beautiful rolling green hills and farmland. All of the police officers soon quit. OK, they didn't actually, but would you have blamed them if they did? I remember my dads face the first day he arrived back home in his newly issued Prius. Prideful was not one of the words I would use to describe his expression. However, upon the genius of the local legislators, the state of Vermont soon realized that with the amount of power needed to run the blue lights in a police car, the Prius was not as good an option as they previously thought. Plus, they were expensive.
The above story is just one example of the rise and fall of the Prius. It came out of the gate like a stallion yet soon fell towards the wayside. And now, with the ever progressing technology of battery cells, hydrogen fuel cells, and the lawnmower sized engines with their fifty turbochargers being put in modern commuter cars, the Prius is sure enough phasing itself out. Sure, it has its cult following which has remained with it through the years, yet no longer do you see people ooing and awing over one outside of the natural food co-op. Indeed, no longer do I feel the need to sigh out of remorse for myself when stepping inside of my mothers Prius as it has simply become mundane.
And, while the Prius has brought misery to folks all around the world, it has indeed remained the best car ever built, and at long last I'll tell you why. It is because it made people COMPLETELY unaware that they even liked cars realize how good they had it before they bought a Prius. An old Chevy Malibu? A Rolls Royce Phantom compared to the Prius. The sound that a mufflerless Dodge Dart makes at startup? Suddenly this becomes nostalgia when compared to the mundane whine the Prius's battery emits when coming into life. The Prius is the best car ever built because it made people realize how much better ANY other car was when compared to it. It reinstalled a love of cars in people who had totally forgotten they even loved them, and had fallen deep into the black pit of "from A to B" commuters. The automobile has always brought enjoyment but the Prius made people realize this all over again.