Toyota Prius review – silence of the lanes | Environment |

24 Feb 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Toyota Prius review – silence of the lanes | Environment |

The all-new Toyota Prius – of the lanes

Toby Litt the new Toyota Prius hybrid car David Levene/David Levene

I it down to Brighton, because it a very Brighton sort of car – a vehicle for a transition town. I was it to receive admiration, affirmation, even sly congratulation. But did it get envying looks from cyclists?

up from Green activists? out nods from dog-on-string

No, not really. In fact, it was much at passing unnoticed, particularly at unheard. When running on its self-recharging battery, the thing is soundless. (I usually drive a Audi A4, the cassette-player in which – rewinding – is louder than the

And so, while trailing a bearded, man for about a minute down one of narrow lanes – him in the middle of the and blithely unaware of the 5-door breathing down his neck – I had a the Prius might just be the car ever for playing What’s the Mr Wolf?

Once I realised there was a great temptation to the next half-hour sneaking up on and giving them a friendly in the tattooed calves. But this of course, be foolish, dangerous most of all mischievous. And there’s not a of any of these qualities about the It’s sensible, safe and – you almost say – puritanical. This is a car doesn’t just go, it also a stand.

Driving it made me feel chastened, as if I had my old RE teacher in the back

Over and above a fuel-saving Eco you can put the Prius into EV (Electric Mode, where it stops hybrid and runs entirely on its This only lasts for a of miles before it reverts to Eco, but if you do anything even aggressive – get up to entry velocity on a roundabout, say – the display will, in sadness than anger, you EV Mode has been turned off due to speed.

I was almost surprised it didn’t this up with, Hey, why don’t you just take a pill? When I first the radio on, it had been set to Smooth FM. The sheet on better driving in the compartment perplexingly but characteristically When driving at high drive at a moderate and constant

Okay, I get the point.

But it is this moderation that is the Prius’s selling point. The car gently you to drive in an environmentally responsible and that means you don’t to feel so guilty about the you are transporting yourself to buy a pack of tea from Tesco’s in three of hi-tech metal. And products this, ones we buy knowing will gently force us to our ecocidal ways, are being as the future – the future that to preserve the future of the future.

Although its looks are distinctive (a bit a snowglobe-on-wheels that’s been aerodynamicised and had an aerofoil added on the the Toyota Prius isn’t as a statement here as in the US.

There, the Prius has become a symbol of eco-smugness. You can join the Facebook I hate the Toyota Prius, and the tree-huggers that drive You can laugh at parody advertisements – one of shows a man dragging a bagged up, down corpse from the trunk towards a lake the slogan, Well, at least he a Prius.

In California, it seems, you can … with rocks or by ramming with less fuel-efficient with impunity.

All of which to show how threatened some feel by anything that unthreatening.

With more 1m units sold, the Prius is silently creeping up on American – and – car culture.

It is, whisper it, a very sensible A lot of intelligence has gone into its For example, the mph and SatNav arrows are by reflection, in the lower part of the side windscreen – in plain but not obtrusive.

The question it poses, is whether sensible, unobtrusive, measures can save us as we plunge the steep slope the other of peak oil. As for me, I’ve the future, and it walks.

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