Why Do Buyers Avoid Prius, Electric Cars? It's Styling And Price

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2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid

2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid

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According to the ninth annual Avoider study published yesterday by J.D. Power and Associates, many car-buyers avoid green cars because they’re too small, look strange, or cost too much. 

As we’ve previously found from other recent surveys, gas mileage proved to be the number one influencer of car choice in the study, replacing reliability, purchase deals and exterior styling from previous years. 

But while gas mileage now helps car buyers make their new car purchase decisions, J.D. Power says that many new car buyers avoid cars like the 2012 Chevrolet Volt because it costs too much to buy. 

Similarly, the survey claims that buyers avoid the 2012 Nissan Leaf and 2012 Toyota Prius because of each car’s exterior styling. 

In other words, they look too strange. 

2011 Nissan Leaf SL

2011 Nissan Leaf SL

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That’s not the only reasons cited for avoiding the Prius and Leaf.  Buyers also said that they believed the 2012 Toyota Prius suffered from poor performance, while the 2012 Nissan Leaf was just not big enough. 

Shockingly however, not all of the buyers citing opinions about these cars actually researched them, or even test-drove them, prior to completing the survey. 

In fact, 43 percent of the 24,045 people taking part said they relied on preconceived ideas and historical reputations to help them decide which cars to avoid -- not solid research and test drives. 

While those who avoided the 2012 Nissan Leaf, 2012 Chevrolet Volt and 2012 Toyota Prius said that the cars were either too expensive, small or ugly, those who did choose to buy gave some interesting insight into their decision-making process. 

2012 Chevrolet Volt

2012 Chevrolet Volt

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For people who purchased the 2012 Toyota Prius, reliability was given as a prominent reason for purchase, while the 2012 Nissan Leaf won buyers thanks to its low maintenance costs. 

Interestingly, those who chose to purchase a 2012 Chevrolet Volt said that the image the model portrays was a big factor in choosing the plug-in hybrid -- no surprise in a year when avoidance of imported cars rose to 14 percent, its highest yet. 


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