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DETROIT -- The world's first commercially mass-produced hybrid car has claimed the honor of 2004 Car of the Year from Motor Trend magazine.

The newest version of the Toyota Prius, introduced in 1997, beat out 26 new or significantly reengineered models from nameplates such as Acura, BMW, Cadillac and Volkswagen.

"The Prius is a capable, comfortable, fun-to-drive car that just happens to get spectacular fuel economy," said Motor Trend editor-in-chief Kevin Smith. "It also provides a promising look at a future where extreme fuel efficiency, ultra-low emissions and exceptional performance will happily coexist."

A hybrid car switches between a gasoline or diesel engine and an electric motor to deliver the best mileage. The car recharges itself during the drive.

For now, the only versions available in the United States are small cars made by Toyota and Honda Motor Co., but several major automakers have models in the works, including trucks and sport utility vehicles.

Motor Trend editors said the Prius is capable of providing 60 miles per gallon in city driving and cited it as the first such hybrid to move into the automotive mainstream. They said the car is spacious enough to be classified as a midsize sedan.

"The beauty of the Prius is that it's a real midsize sedan that lets customers have the best of both worlds," said Don Esmond, the Toyota Division's senior vice president and general manager.

The newly designed Prius hit U.S. showrooms in October. Toyota expects annual sales of the next-generation hybrid car to top 35,000. U.S. sales last year were 21,193.

The base price for the car is about $20,000.

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:angry: <_<
 

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Originally posted by nsap@Nov 20 2003, 12:54 PM
DETROIT -- The world's first commercially mass-produced hybrid car has claimed the honor of 2004 Car of the Year from Motor Trend magazine.


:angry: <_<
:angry:
I am going to create in future a modern car magazine and I will choose cars for The Car Of The Year not MICROWAVES
 

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MT's COTY award isn't a beauty pagent and definitely isn't a performance car comparison. Past winners have included the Chrysler Omnirizon, Renault Alliance, Chevrolet Caprice (1977 and 1991), Lincoln Town Car (1990)...it's all about comparing each entrant to its target segment. I'm sure you folks haven't drivent he Prius, but the last generation model (I'll drive a new one in a few weeks) was a good car. The new one is larger, more powerful, and more efficient. I can see how it might be the best new car on the market.
 

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This doesn't change the fact that it's an ugly lump I'd never drive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't think should pick hybrids for of the year awards, there are only a few, and duh...they are going to get the best fuel econ... ;)
 

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I'd still rather drive a Festiva. Just as good in the fuel economy department, and you can pick one up in nice shape for about $300. It also looks decidedly less stupid.
 

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This is a lame choice by MT. The Prius is nothing more than a political pander designed to ingratiate Toyota with loudmouth environmentalists- even as Toyota rushes to build more V8 powered SUVs and design a credible full-size pickup. Everyone who is paying attention knows that the Prius' real gas milage is closer to 40MPG than 60, so this massive performance shortfall alone should be enough to disqualify it. Let's face it, this car is only significant because of the outrageous fuel economy claims that Toyota is making. Considering the real-world numbers that this car produces, I don't really see what makes it special.

Styling? (no way)
Performance? (no again)
Utility (certainly not- more on this below)
Comfort? (no more than any other small car)

Finally, the Prius is still just a dinky little economy car. Where does MT get off calling this thing a "midsize sedan?" These cars are not the mainstream of U.S. vehicle purchases, so Toyota isn't trying to make a real impact on gas consumption. The money and volume segments of the U.S. market are large SUVs and (real) mid-size cars. These are the segments where hybrids could make an impact, but Toyota (and Honda) chose low volume, lightweight econoboxes- the easiest cars to hybridize. They would rather claim 60mpg for a "35,000" unit model than 35-40mpg for a 350,000 unit model. The big mpg numbers are the ones that impress journalists, politicians, and environmentalists. By choosing the Prius, MT is admitting that it would rather ride the currently fashionable Prius hype than take a critical look at the real benefit of low-volume niche hybrids that can't produce under real driving conditions.


By the way, it's safe to say that all of the following cars got robbed:

Acura TL, Acura TSX, Audi A8 L, BMW 5 Series, BMW Z4, Cadillac XLR, Chevrolet Malibu and Maxx, Chrysler Crossfire, Ford Freestar, Jaguar XJ8/XJR, Mazda RX-8, Mitsubishi Lancer/Ralliart/Evolution, Nissan Maxima, Nissan Quest, Pontiac Grand Prix, Pontiac GTO, Scion xB, Subaru Impreza/WRX/STi, Suzuki Verona, Toyota Camry Solara, Toyota Sienna, and the Volkswagen Phaeton.
 

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Originally posted by Tim_M@Nov 20 2003, 06:16 PM
This is a lame choice by MT. The Prius is nothing more than a political pander designed to ingratiate Toyota with loudmouth environmentalists-
Don't forget Auto journalists, many of whom I've found are Left leaning politically by their statements and opinions.
 

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Some good did come of this. On MSNBC, when they are interviewing the MT Editor-In-Chief they flash the MT cover up in the background. But instead of the Prius it has the C6 on the cover with "2005 Corvette" in big, very visible letters. MSNBC has the clip on their website if you want to watch it.
 

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Originally posted by Tim_M@Nov 20 2003, 11:16 PM
This is a lame choice by MT. The Prius is nothing more than a political pander designed to ingratiate Toyota with loudmouth environmentalists- even as Toyota rushes to build more V8 powered SUVs and design a credible full-size pickup. Everyone who is paying attention knows that the Prius' real gas milage is closer to 40MPG than 60, so this massive performance shortfall alone should be enough to disqualify it. Let's face it, this car is only significant because of the outrageous fuel economy claims that Toyota is making. Considering the real-world numbers that this car produces, I don't really see what makes it special.

Styling? (no way)
Performance? (no again)
Utility (certainly not- more on this below)
Comfort? (no more than any other small car)

Finally, the Prius is still just a dinky little economy car. Where does MT get off calling this thing a "midsize sedan?" These cars are not the mainstream of U.S. vehicle purchases, so Toyota isn't trying to make a real impact on gas consumption. The money and volume segments of the U.S. market are large SUVs and (real) mid-size cars. These are the segments where hybrids could make an impact, but Toyota (and Honda) chose low volume, lightweight econoboxes- the easiest cars to hybridize. They would rather claim 60mpg for a "35,000" unit model than 35-40mpg for a 350,000 unit model. The big mpg numbers are the ones that impress journalists, politicians, and environmentalists. By choosing the Prius, MT is admitting that it would rather ride the currently fashionable Prius hype than take a critical look at the real benefit of low-volume niche hybrids that can't produce under real driving conditions.


By the way, it's safe to say that all of the following cars got robbed:

Acura TL, Acura TSX, Audi A8 L, BMW 5 Series, BMW Z4, Cadillac XLR, Chevrolet Malibu and Maxx, Chrysler Crossfire, Ford Freestar, Jaguar XJ8/XJR, Mazda RX-8, Mitsubishi Lancer/Ralliart/Evolution, Nissan Maxima, Nissan Quest, Pontiac Grand Prix, Pontiac GTO, Scion xB, Subaru Impreza/WRX/STi, Suzuki Verona, Toyota Camry Solara, Toyota Sienna, and the Volkswagen Phaeton.
Are you sure that the xB got robbed :lol: ?
 

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I answered this on another website, so not all the arguments were mentioned here.


The new Malibu may be the best Chevrolet mid-size sedan ever, but it really isn't making Honda and Toyota worry about their current products. The Malibu hit the nail on the head, but didn't do it with enough force to dislodge all the other nails in the board. It won't make the same impact that the Altima did when it was introduced.

I don't think that Motor Trend gets "bought". Why should they? If they favor one company over another, then why would another company bother to advertise in their magazine? How come if a GM product wins, it's because it's a great car, but when a non-GM product wins, it's obviously rigged?

Motor Trend compares the cars to others in their own classes. They don't compare an RX-8 directly to a Malibu. That wouldn't be fair. They look at the car overall, and they see how it measures up to it's previous model, and the models in the same class. Is the Malibu much improved? Yes, for sure. Is it better than the last Malibu? Yes, for sure? Does it out perform (style/power/room/usefullness) the Accord and Camry? Not really. (Though it does come close).

It doesn't all come down to looks. Function over form. Sure the Prius is at the bottom of the lookers list. A gorgeous girl that is lame in bed isn't a good thing. The Prius is the ultimate blind date. Sure it has "personality". It has qualities not to be found in others. It's better for a long term relationship than a one-night stand (XLR, RX-8)

I have no complaint about the Prius. It's distinctive looking, but not outright ugly. It's better looking than the last Prius, and way better looking than the GM EV-1 and Honda Insight. For some reason, non-Gas cars must look "different". (Personally, I think they'd sell better if the looked more normal).

The truth is (and this is often debated) is that ALL the manufacturers (especially GM) should have a car in this class. Hybrid power. It doesn't belong to just Honda and Toyota.

The Prius sets the standard for Hybrid cars of the future. It does pretty much everything that it does very well or well enough. It sets the mark for others to compete against it. It is a car that is necessary right now. Another sports car, fancy convertible or generic sedan isn't what is needed.

Because the Prius hits the bullseye and sets the new standard for automakers to achieve, I have no problem with it winning MT's COTY.
 

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Yes thats true, but its MOTOR trend not weedwacking environmento mobile trned
 

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I agree with Rex, the Prius is a good car. As ugly as it is it should wake GM up! Stop being lazy GM and get crakin on those hybrids!!
 

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So it gets great milage and.....:unsure: Is it just me, or does eveything coming out of Japan look like a box on wheels? I'm tired of all these mags, all they seem to like is the imports. If they compare one to a domestic the domestic "isnt as refined"? I can get a base Puris or a fully loaded SRT-4 for the same price. I know what I am getting. :D I'm sorry, but great gas milage takes a back seat to being able to get up to highway speeds. :lol:
 
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