Many Prius fans might attribute its weird wedge shape to the aerodynamic benefits it provides. Toyota engineers also agree with this fact, since the third generation of the Prius is also one of the most aerodynamically efficient production cars. With a drag coefficient of 0.25, that "flat pancake" shape actually has a purpose. So, you can not call it simply ugly, it's more like "form follows function".
Of course, other manufacturers are achieving similar drag coefficient results without appealing to such extreme styling. On the other hand, Toyota knows that the Prius's shape has transformed into a real attention-grabber for the environmentally-conscious driving one, so it's also good PR, not just Cd, behind the turtle look.
The front is actually pretty good-looking, even though it retains quite a lot of design cues from other modern bland Toyotas. Still, it's a mixture between your average boring Toyota look and a more youthful and especially sportier appearance. This was further amplified by the seventeen-inch alloy wheels, which look very "autobahn-ready". The main design feature separating it from its siblings is the blue hue inside the badge, which is Toyota's geeky way of differentiating its hybrids from the regular models in the lineup.
Getting to the side of the Prius is where things get messy. The car's profile is pretty much its main way of announcing with trumpets, confetti and firecrackers the fact that it's a hybrid. Which is both a good and a bad thing. Good for all the environmentalists who cannot tell a car from a vacuum cleaner and bad for all the real car guys out there. On a personal note, we think the side is an absolute hideous representation of a correct Kamback design.
The rear is pretty non-homogeneous also, with the twin rear windshield and the tall Lexus IS/Toyota Altezza taillights. The rear bumper, on the other hand, looks more like an aftermarket "tuner" option that a productions-specced piece. All in all, the opinions about the way the Prius looks are pretty divided and that is why we can give it neither a top mark, nor a very low one.Continue reading
Hold on, Sir May B. Bach would like to say something...
And I thought that Kia or Dacia were the only brands with a model line-up that I truly... ahem... despises. Toyota has jumped a few places on my "brands that I hate" list. After all this recall madness you're making me drive a car that can... ahem... actually kill me? And in a number of ways as well!
Read the full opinion and flame the editor →