Debuting nearly nine years ago, the Toyota Prius took front stage on the hybrid scene.  Sales quickly outpaced predictions, but Toyota was in a way still disappointed.  Research determined that most Prius buyers bought the car as a second car.  Most buyers used the Prius for travelling to and from work, but selected another car for cruising around town.  Now Toyota believes that is all about to change.

Buyers of the first generation Prius were considered techies or environmentalists.  Buyers of the new Prius are not.  Toyota expects the new Prius to attract a larger, broader audience of buyers, and they anticipate the Prius taking the first space in many garages. 

At a recent media event, Toyota group vice president and general manager Bob Carter said,  " We knew the importance of the Prius and what it represented, but I don't think any of us could have predicted how quickly consumers would come to embrace this vehicle and its technology.  The second generation Prius is hugely successful and we did extremely well getting into the mainstream family fleet, but typically as a second car... with the new Prius, it has the opportunity for the first garage door."

The third generation Prius offers additional passenger space for family sedan buyers and returns better fuel economy than the outgoing model.  The EPA rates the new vehicle at 50 mpg city and 49 mpg highway.  According to Carter, "The Prius will enter the market with the best fuel economy of any mass produced car on the road today."

Distinctive styling, an affordable base price, lofty fuel mileage numbers and additional interior space adds up to a vehicle that should appeal to a broad audience and many may indeed see the new Prius as a first car worthy of garage floor space.

Source:  Wards Auto