Friday, May 23, 2008

cars: posts, Prius, progress

There seems to be only one skierpage after endless registering to comment, so were you motivated to be my Boswell you could search for all the pearls I toss before swine all over the IntarWubwubwub-Dot-Tubes. Here's one I wrote more pearly than others, fighting the unwarranted hostility towards the Toyota Prius:
Meanwhile, the Prius is a mind-bending class of its own. The most fuel-efficient car in the USA (48 city/45 highway) isn't a two-person runabout, isn't a subcompact car, isn't a compact car, isn't priced out-of-reach. It's a midsize practical hatchback for $21,000. The mega-lame bunk is the other car companies and Toyota itself haven't tried to compete. The Prius has been number 1 for years (ever since Honda discontinued the Insight). In that time every month brought another car company relentlessly pushing 4-door sports sedans from 350 HP to 400 and now 500+ HP, but the Prius coasts unchallenged. Where's the equivalent parade of Prius-killers busting past 50mpg? Where's the Prius competitor that gets 40+ but is fun to drive? Why do Toyota's smaller cars get worse mileage? All we have is the promise of GM's Volt around 2010 2011, and nothing from other companies.
There are literally over a dozen Prius parked within a block of here, and I'm surprised there aren't even more. Once you want a more economical less-polluting car (here's the EPA's full list for 2008 (pdf) ), there-can-be-only-one. Why buy a Smart or a Mini that's smaller only to get worse mileage? Why buy any other hybrid? Do you really need a stupid tall SUV? Almost every decision process leads inexorably to the Prius. And none of my friends who've bought one is smug, they like the car but are smart enough to know it doesn't solve everything/anything.

Meanwhile my search for an all-wheel drive snow car may have a light at the end of the tunnel: there will supposedly be an Audi A3 2.0TFSI DSG quattro, and an AWD Mini Clubman in 2009. But the mileage of both will probably be nothing special. Where's the Prius of AWD cars? (the Ford Escape sure ain't it).

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