Vintage Ad: 2000 Toyota Prius – 21 Years Of Love and Hate

There’s never been a car like the Prius. Not just because it was the first mass-produced hybrid, but because it arrived along with the widespread adoption of the internet, which uncorked a wave of tribalism and partisanship not seen before. The intensity of passions unleashed by this dorky little high-tech marvel of a car was truly mind-boggling, at least to me. How could so much hate be vented at it? And here I thought car guys would be attracted to its superbly efficient drive train. Not so, at least for a large segment.

Global Warming was a hot-button issue at the time, and a lot fewer folks accepted its reality than now. The Prius became a poster child of the divide around that issue, and it took a long time to simmer down.

And then Tesla came along to take the heat off the Prius, which is now so yesterday. Boring…


CC 2002 Toyota Prius: Toyota’s Big Hybrid Gamble Pays Off