"Prius = Dork"

This week on Car Talk, Tom and Ray heard from Kelsey in Sacramento. She’s about ready to dump her Chevy Blazer for a Honda Accord or Nissan Maxima. Tom and Ray thought that as a good “Sacramentarian”, Kelsey might lean more towards a hybrid, and suggested a Toyota Prius. But, Kelsey has some Prius issues. Her Mom drives one, and Kelsey thinks it’s “a little dorky, to be honest.” (You can hear Kelsey’s right here.)

That got us wondering. Does Prius = dork?

Could that equation be true?

Prius owners… are you feeling the urge to run out and buy a pocket protector?

Let us know what you think.

When I turned 16 and got my driver’s license back in the late 1950’s, my parents had two cars. One was a Buick with a V-8 engine and manual transmission. The other car was an older green Dodge coupe with a 6 cylinder engine and the “lift and clunk” Gyromatic. It was slow as molasses. At first, I thought that the Buick was the “cool” car. However, most of the time I had to drive Dodge. I complained to my dad about having to drive the car–I called it the “Green Turtle”. My dad responded that I should feel privileged to drive a “Green Turtle”. One of my classmates heard the discussion and the old Dodge was christened “The Green Turtle”. To my amazement, the Green Turtle became cool–even to being a “chick magnet”. I attended a high school where my family was at the bottom of the income level–many of my classmates’ families had Cadillacs and Lincolns, so apparently riding in the Green Turtle was an honor.
When I had a choice, I drove the now cool Green Turtle on dates, and I won’t go into any more details about the fun I had in this car.

I think whether “Prius” = “Dork” depends on how one feels about the car and promotes it.

I think the universal equation is:

Your mom’s car = dorky.

Unless your mom drives a Ferrari.

It depends on who you are talking to: Hummer enthusiasts or hypermilers.

It all depends. My “cool” may be your your dorky. It all depends on who you are and how you feel.

Get a Prius, and then put a bunch of conservative bumper stickers on it, that way they won’t know what to think.

When you are in high school, you are so worried that others don’t think your car is cool, as you grow up, you start to realize that nobody really paid any attention to what car you drove.

To be honest, “Prius” does not equal “dork”. At least the Prius has four cylinders. A friend of mine had a 1991 Geo Metro with the 1.0L 3-cylinder engine.

That was a dorky car.

If she thinks it’s “a little dorky”, then it is. She certainly doesn’t care if I agree or disagree. But she should also consider a Jetta diesel, which is not as obviously “different”. Maybe it will satisfy her fuel economy needs as well as her social needs.

Would hate to think ‘dorky’ means anything ‘green.’ Actually if gas hits $5/gallon, green will mean green with envy for a Prius. Aside form all the rock stars driving Prii (plural?), everyone should move toward hybrids or electrics now- if they can. It will pay off for selves and hopefully planet.

Dorky = Anything “Green”.
“Green” = Dorky.


A Prius will put the average dork in heaven, what with all the shiny technological gubbins to poke at, but that doesn’t make it dorky. Priuses do make me think “slightly preachy”, though.

And I can’t really judge dorkiness anyway. I drive, with every sign of enjoyment, a 94 Volvo.

Nah,nothing wrong with buying a Prius,the breed is improving,in case people havent been paying attention.I honestly believe the future belongs to energy recovery vehicles,personally on a cost per mile basis,given current conditions I would be more apt to opt for a good low tech"base vehicle".
Besides, whats wrong with being a dork?(I speak from personal experience,I even liked the VW “Thing”-Kevin

In my opinion, I do not think that a Prius is a dorky car. I would love to have on if I could afford it. But I guess the definition of a dorky car depends on who you are talking to. There are several other hybrids out there, Honda (I can’t remember the model name) has one that looks pretty cute.

Not so much a dorky car, as it is a snobby car. How many Prius owners have that smug attitude that because they drive a Prius they think they’re saving the planet.
I’m probably one of the few people that would be the perfect fit for a Prius; short hop driving that doesn’t ever really go that fast most of the time. However, I would only consider an Escape hybrid if I were to by any hybrid vehicle. I’d rather enjoy my drive than sit in a boring appliance car

That’s What I Find So Offensive About These Little “Cars”. Some People’s Acceptance Of Them Moves Us One Step Closer To Having Us All Drive These Silly Little Things.

If Obama has his way… :frowning:

Huh? People buying something because they want it is a problem? It’s always interesting how folks assign attitudes to others (smug), when they can’t know more than a few Prius owners. One I know considers global warming BS, is a conservative Republican, but wanted a high-quality, high mpg commuter car. The Insight owner I know is of the same bent.

I don’t think it’s so much green=dork. Look at the Tesla Roadster, it’s electric but is a sports car, which is cool. I’ve seen a story about a guy who converted a Shelby Cobra to run on Hydrogen. I think it’s the fact the Prius is sluggish on acceleration, small and most importantly in my opinion: ugly that make it dorky. Just think if you could magically make the Cadillac Escalade “green” but keep eveything else the same, I guarantee you it would not only still be cool, but would sell even faster with the promise of lower fuel bills.

A Prius is what you make of it. something else to look at is VW’s TDI series. The Golf or Jetta look cool and get good/great mileage.

When I was 17, I started doing something even dorkier than driving a Prius: I started riding my bike to school, which was about a 35-mile round trip. I had a new Nissan and my drivers license, but I wanted to improve my fitness and save on gas. Unfortunately, my decision earned me a universal dork-stamp at school.

Between academic scholarships and an athletic scholarship in varsity cycling, I actually made enough money on my undergrad to pay for grad school. Now I’m 21, I finished my degrees, I own my own business, and I’m ranked 4th in the country in my bike racing division. Almost all my high school classmates who made fun of me and my bike are still working on their undergrad degrees, or have dropped out.

Who’s the cool one now?