I agree with this general assesment. If you put all the the mileage improvement features incoorated in a Prius into a Corolla but with a standard motor, it would sell poorly. IMHO, you have to achieve much higher gas mileage to put up with the limitations that the Prius chassis imposes. Though many of these features are finding their way into the average compact, there is a balance between accepted loss of performance to achieve economy and a down right dog with few redeeming features. If you ride in a Prius for any length of time, you know what it’s all about. If it got significantly fewer mpgs, you wouldn’t keep it long with it’s limitations.
We all know that hybrids don’t get huge benefits at highway speeds but IMHO, the average speed driven over time in most cars is less then 40 mph. And, over time, you are now realistically comparing 44 mpg or more to 30 plus. Realistically, it gets significant better mileage over it’s life time then just looking at highway mileage. Now, if you drive interstate highways 90% of your mileage, a good case can be made for not having a hybrid. That isn’t the vast majority of motorist. Even though their mileage traveling interstates may be significant, the time spent operating is often more in line with owning a hybrid for most. (mileage considerations only)
This balancing act is played to a lesser extent with all cars. Do I get the six or the eight when you buy a truck…the 4 or the 6 when buying an intermediate ? It all depends upon the limitations of one over the advantages of the other
.right now, nothing in normal operation gives you the combination of overall economy in purchase, operation range of a hybrid…,