a hybrid religion

I’m becoming obsessed, as is often my wont, with the Prius. I visit the Prius website almost daily, scour the news for articles, google the web for mentions in other blogs and online sources, carry around my printed brochure, etc.

Today, for example, Gizmodo (one of my regular reads, linked from the “interesting & cool” section in the right column), “the gadgets weblog,” included an item about the “gadgety new Prius.”

Earlier this week, Motor Trend published a very positive article. Interestingly the only slightly negative comment by the reviewer was that “a bit more of a traditional look might have been more appealing. The exterior design is one of the few things I don’t like about the new Prius.” Conversely, I think that the sleek aerodynamic styling of the 2004 model adds significantly to its appeal.

In an article entitled “Leaner, Meaner and Greener,” the Washington Post also reviewed the Prius this past Sunday, noting that:

First impressions were bad. The cues were wrong.

The Smart Entry ignition key wasn’t a key. It was a square electronic fob inserted into a dashboard slot — something more useful for punching a time clock than starting a car.

I pushed the power button but felt no life. I looked for the gearshift lever but found a joystick instead. It was my first hour in the 2004 Toyota Prius gas-electric sedan. I didn’t like it. But my distaste was short-lived.

The joystick became a joy, the easiest transmission-selection device I’ve ever used.

The reviewer went on to summarize that “[t]he 2004 Prius goes to the top of my list for best city cars. It has a practically unbeatable combination of good mileage, low emissions, power and scootability.”

Both the Post article and a feature in GEICO’s quarterly magazine, however, noted that one may need to drive more defensively in a Prius, because it’s so quiet in battery-mode (as when cruising a parking lot, or coming out of a garage) that pedestrians don’t hear it coming.

I’ve also become a bit of a Prius evangelist (similar to my earlier experiences evangelizing the Macintosh and the Saturn, and my current experience singing the praises of TiVo to everyone I know); in addition to my boss, who ended up placing her order for one even before I did, I’ve talked several other people at work into strongly considering the Prius.

Hallelujah, brothers and sisters! Release yourselves from the shackles of the gas pump! Breathe deeply of the clean air of Prius! Let me hear you shout!

3 thoughts on “a hybrid religion

  1. You want evidence of heartbreak and obsession? Today I got the call that my Prius was ready to be picked up. Then on the way there, I got a call telling me that my Prius had disappeared… it was sold to someone else.
    Ouch. Now they promise they’ll get me a replacement in two weeks.
    You know, the hype surrounding this model year Prius is bugging me a little. I felt somewhat special back in 2000 when I bought the first Prius. For a long time, I never saw another on the roads. Then suddenly, they were everywhere – seemingly all driven by senior citizens, which made me feel conspicuously unhip.
    Now it seems that everyone and his co-worker is ordering the new Prius. I’ll be driving a “common” car now – and that just doesn’t appeal to me very much, despite the fact that I just LOVE this car. I want to be unique.
    I’ll just have to look at it this way: perhaps the enormous demand for this car will tip the balance and people will start moving toward environmentally- and economically-friendly cars, ending the SUV’s dominance…

  2. Disappearing car: Ouch! I’d be so angry.
    Commonality: I know what you mean; are you by any chance an Enneagram 4, like me? The reason I originally drove a Saturn, and then later a Saab, was because I considered them to be uncommon and quirky (and such was part of the appeal of the Mac to me once upon a time). I tend to like to be a bit of an outsider, or at least to think of myself as such; I have a deep-seated need to think of myself as absolutely unique and special.
    I was very surprised to see recently that the median age of Prius drivers was somewhere in the mid-50s, but then I’m also constantly surprised to remember that most of my friends and I already are in our 30s and 40s.

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