2010 Toyota Prius

2010 Toyota Prius

Three weeks ago, when Jay Shoemaker from The Truth About Cars reviewed the 2010 Toyota Prius, he didn't hold back. He hated it. Loathed it. Despised it. He didn't like the car, its looks, the driving experience, the interior, or the instruments.

We poked some fun at him, and at the cranky, dyspeptic tone of the website grandly known as "The Truth About Cars".

But then, last Friday, the site published another review of the 2010 Toyota Prius, entitled "Take Two". And in this one, reviewer Paul Niedermeyer gives the 2010 Prius a full 94 points out of 100, against Shoemaker's stingy 55 points.

His opening paragraph glows with appreciation:

There are very few inanimate objects which inspire my personal appreciation, respect, and interest as much as the 2010 Toyota Prius does. It’s a happy-faced, slick, aerodynamically-optimized, practical, comfortable and dead-reliable vehicle which exists for the sole purpose of letting concerned Americans feel like they are making a small but genuine difference in their efforts to reduce their consumption of the world’s finite resources.

What happened? Well, it seems that Shoemaker's excoriation (on June 8) prompted a huge backlash in the comments.

Then came an editorial by Jack Baruth (on June 17) noting that he, too, loathed the 2010 Toyota Prius. But Baruth also included a poll asking readers to specify what they wanted out of road tests.

Turns out a full 86 percent wanted the site to "Rate the car in accordance with how well it performs its particular intended mission."

Imagine: Rating a 2010 Toyota Prius on its ability to transport people and goods using very little gasoline rather than, say, comparing its acceleration and handling to that of a Ferrari or Bugatti. How radical. How shocking. How utterly ... obvious.

Niedermeyer followed the wishes of his audience, and focused largely on fuel economy. His best was just a hair over 50 miles per gallon, right in line with the EPA combined rating for the 2010 Prius.

His conclusion:

Cars are kind of like people: they’re happier when they stick to their intended life mission and are judged accordingly. The Prius knows its mission and carries it out well. It has earned a bit of smugness along with its five stars.

It seems The Truth can be changed.

Pre-Production 2010 Toyota Prius in Orlando

Pre-Production 2010 Toyota Prius in Orlando

REVIEWER REVIEWED: NY Times Blogger Likes New 2010 Toyota Prius (With Video)

REVIEWER REVIEWED: Surprise: Troglodyte Auto Writer Hates, Loathes, Despises 2010 Toyota Prius!

REVIEWER REVIEWED:  Business Week on 2010 Toyota Prius: We Like It. We Really Like It!

[The Truth About Cars via MotorMouths]