Reasons to Choose a Toyota Prius

The Toyota Prius is a car that has a smaller damaging effect on the environment than conventional cars of similar size with negligible loss of convenience.  In this section, I will expand on this and offer other reasons why the Prius might be the right car for you.  Many of the advantages I describe apply to other non-conventional cars, such as the Honda hybrids and pure electric vehicles.  I do not wish to suggest that every advantage is unique to the Prius, I am just gathering up information about this particular car.

The Environment

Super-Ultra-Low Emissions

Today, what you can do to reduce pollution due to gasoline consumption is limited if you own a gasoline-powered car.  This is because the extraction, shipping and refining of gasoline generates pollution.  Once you have a car meeting Ultra-Low Emissions standards, almost all of the pollution is produced before you put the gasoline in your car.  Every little bit counts, but if you want to do more for the environment, don't stress SULEV over ULEV, instead use less fuel.

California Air Resources Board

... passenger cars and light-duty trucks certified to California's low-emission vehicle standards provide the following emissions reductions when compared to the minimum (Tier 1) standard:

Passenger car emissions reductions




Transitional Low-Emission Vehicle (TLEV)




Low-Emission Vehicle (LEV)




Ultra-Low-Emission Vehicle (ULEV)




Super-Ultra-Low-Emission Vehicle (SULEV)




Zero-Emission Vehicles (ZEV)




TLEV and LEV are no longer useful standards as most new cars meet these levels as a matter of course.

Consume Less Fuel

Under almost all driving conditions, the Prius uses less fuel than a conventional car of similar size.  In most cases, the difference will be considerable.  Most people who drive with only normal attention to economy will use only two-thirds of the fuel for the same distance.  My own experience is 48 m.p.g. in summer as compared to 32 m.p.g. in my previous car.  People who are willing (or find it fun) to stress economy in the way they drive can obtain larger improvements.  Only if you drive exclusively very short trips will you not get better economy than a conventional car.  In that case, you might consider a pure electric car.

Consuming less fuel has three benefits:

In addition, of course, you will pay less for fuel.  How importance this is depends on where in the world you live.  In Europe, your savings over the life of the car may repay the premium in the price of the car over a conventional one.  In North America, this is much less likely to be the case.

Luxury Features

Climate Control

Rather than an AC switch and a heater slider, the Prius has a thermostatically controlled climate control system.

Electric Heat

It is not necessary to wait until the engine warms up before you get cabin heat.  The Prius has small but effective electric heaters in the climate control system which will immediately deliver warmth through the air vents.

Built-In Navigation System

The Driving Experience

Prius owners have a high degree of satisfaction with the car.

Technical Sophistication