The Prius has been the best selling hybrid vehicle since its release in 1999. It has kept its reputation since then as being one of the most reliable and affordable hybrid cars on the road. I believe the popularity stems from a few things. Toyota has had an excellent reputation for years as a reliable car maker and has proven that the Prius follows that same tradition. The Prius is also one of the more affordable alternative fuel vehicles on the market. It appeals to those who want to get excellent gas mileage but don’t want to spend the money on something that will break the bank. Not to mention, the Prius is way cooler looking than most of the other hybrids out there. If you are looking for a hybrid car, the Prius is a great option and will be a dependable choice. They have also expanded their fleet to include a fully electric option and a larger hatchback!
It’s important in these discussions to stick with the facts, and not just recommend a car because you like it. Lots of car manufacturers “have a great reputation”, so does BMW, so does Subaru, so does Lamborghini.
Subaru Forester is not only much safer in accidents, it also has a low-center of gravity boxer engine, and all wheel drive, which makes it safer to drive, at least in some conditions.
Finally, in 2011, the cheapest Subaru was $1,500 cheaper than the cheapest Prius. The average person uses 280 gallons of gas per year. The Prius gets about twice the mileage of a Subaru, that means the Prius would save about $420 a year over a Subaru. So it takes over three and a half years for you to break even financially.
As I wrote elsewhere, if you’ve been in an accident where you were nearly incapacitated, the last thing you want is to be in another crash that might damage you further — making you unable to work, for example.
The Prius is an interesting car, but it isn’t much of a money saver, and it certainly isn’t safer.
You also have to remember to answer the actual question that was asked. While this may all be true about Subarus, the question was not “Is the Prius as good as a Subaru?” or “Why shouldn’t I buy a Prius”. The question was “What makes the Prius so attractive to buyers?” and that is the question I answered. I’m sorry to hear you haven’t had good experiences with the Prius, but it doesn’t really have to do with why it appeals to buyers.
Apart from being an ecologically friendly car, and a relatively good car, overall, don’t forget that it’s politically correct and fashionable to own one. The last two, as much as anything, are responsible for giving it a larger market share than it would have otherwise.
I have two relatives who were eager to trade in a perfectly good Subaru Forester for a Prius, and were apparently willing to ignore that it’s a considerably less safe car.
Having an incapacitating car accident is no savings, I can tell you from my own experience. I’d never trade a Subaru in for a Prius. The small amount of extra environmental harm is completely inconsequential compared to my health.
Being fashionable and ecological is one thing. Being safe can be quite another thing.
Safety is more about how you dive the car than the car itself. A small car with a lower center of gravity like the Prius is more maneuverable than an SUV and has less chance of rolling over when executing sharp turns. While SUVs survive more accidents than small cars, they also get into more accidents because the drivers feel safer and take more risks. BTW, the same goes for riding a bicycle. Riding a bicycle is the best move you can make to extend your life span because the health benefits far outweigh the chances of getting in a serious accident. Bicycle riders who are attentive to their surroundings can avoid accidents easily. Plus, they can make sudden turns to avoid collisions.
Anyway, back on the topic of the Prius itself. The Prius was pretty much the first hybrid to gain a big following. The early models did not come with a plug-in option, so many people converted them to run on electricity. Converting the same car over and over again was a lot easier than converting a bunch of different cars, so people kept buying the Prius over the other hybrid models on the road. In general, mass-produced cars are easier to modify and repair because the parts are readily available. So, once the Prius caught on, it stayed popular!
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