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Why does the Prius make so many people angry?

As some of you know I Leased a Prius, I love the car, best car I ever owned. So many people have so much hate for them and I believe it elicits the strongest emotional response to any vehicle ever made. I find this amusing, and actually a bit sad how shallow people are.

Do I fit the “mold” of a Prius driver, Yes and no.

The no category-

  1. I drive my Prius to the shooting range, there is plenty of room to haul my Guns, the money I save on fuel I can use to buy more bullets.
  2. I am not a liberal or a democrat, I am not necessarily a republican either. No Obama 2012 sticker on my prius. But I do believe that you should have the right to support whoever you want, and I will not argue with a persons choice.
  3. I am a redneck to a point.
  4. I have hauled a chainsaw with a 4 foot bar in my prius.
  5. I have hauled lumber in my prius.
  6. I don’t drink my coffee in a cup with the paper thing around it.

The yes Catagory-

  1. I drive “slow” meaning slightly above the speed limit,
  2. I coast to stoplights if they are red
  3. I don’t floor my car to race to the next redlight

The thing is I drive the same way in My pickup, Prius, Caprice, or the 30,000lbs truck I drive at work. I do the same things. Nothing about the Prius has changed me. If you want to drive a 10mpg Pickup, good for you, I have done it. Why does everyone get angry about the Prius, I have always enjoyed aggravating people and the prius does that just by looking at it.

I have a story, there is a truck here in the county, its a chevy diesel, jacked up, semi truck tires and rims, blows black smoke all of the time, A billy bad ass special as I call it, well one day this goober makes a point to smoke me out the whole time I was driving behind him, i could tell he was doing on purpose because he come flying past me in the left lane then cut me off slammed on his brakes, gave me the finger and and starts smoking me out because I was in the prius presumably. So he got me, tee hee tee hee… funny guy.

Well fast foward almost 7 months later, The same truck was on the highway broke down, I happened to be driving my pickup that day, so I stopped and asked him if he needed help getting it off the road, He said “I sure do Brother”. He indicated his cellphone was out of minutes and he needed to call someone as well.
I said ok, one question, Are you the only one who ever drives this truck? He responds “Oh yeah, no one drives my truck, not even my girlfirend”. I told him about what he did to me previously in my prius and asked him if he still had a problem with me. He told me no and acted surprised so I told him to go suck an egg and gave him the finger as I got in my pickup and drove away.

Not the nicest thing to do, But I was in one of my moods that day. He wasn’t so tough face to face…

I’m not angry with Prius drivers unless they do something to endanger me. Other than that, it’s live and let live as far as I;m concerned and there’s plenty of doofuses behind the wheels of everything else on the road.

What I find a bit ridiculous about them (and there’s a pretty fair number of them around here) is that the majority seem to be darting in and out of traffic and driving like they’re practicing for a NASCAR race while the reason many are driving one is because they claim to be environmentally conscious and allegedly have a concern about fuel mileage. Flat on the floor is conducive to nothing.

My daughter has learned to loathe them for one reason. She works with 3 people who own them and at quitting time she says that she sees them bail out of the parking garage at high speed while almost hitting her car and others. Making smug comments at work about, “Well, I"VE got a Prius and…blah, blah, blah.”.

I agree 100% with @ok4450

Most of the Prius drivers around here behave like absolute a . . h . . es

They race from light to light, pass everybody like they’re standing still, etc.

They have no respect for other drivers

Why do schoolkids make fun of the smartest/fattest/ugliest/prettiest/slowest/whatever kid on the playground? It’s in our nature to believe that the choices we’ve made are the best and that the choices that are different from ours must somehow be inferior. Every morning I drive by a 1974 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight Station Wagon. On the back window of this behemoth the owner has written “This car uses as much gas as 5 hybrids.” I have no idea what the point of this is. Is he proud of that fact or did he lose a bet? I don’t know, and don’t much care.

Your fella with the belching diesel is just convinced somehow that his mode of transport is better than yours and since your Prius stands out, it’s an easy target. I’d liken that attitude to a discussion about the size of his…well, better not go there.

My biggest gripe about people who complain about or disdain hybrid drivers is the snickering attitude that “those suckers don’t realize how long it takes to recover the additional purchase price from the increased fuel economy.” This is a faulty argument and makes no sense. It’s akin to saying “Look how much money that guy wastes on skiing every year. He’ll never get that money back.” In my experience around here Prius drivers are among the most thoughtful, informed, conscientious people. And as for the people who get sucked into buying a hybrid just because they think it’s cheaper, well, caveat emptor.

You can count me as one more person who has observed recently that Prius drivers seem to be vying with the BMW & VW drivers to see who can be the most aggressive drivers on the road.

I was brought up to be frugal/thrifty, so I respect somebody who wants to save money (gas) by driving one of these cars, but the thrift factor is negated to a great extent by, as ok4450 said, “driving like they are practicing for NASCAR”.

At this point, I have to agree that a very large percentage of the Prius drivers in my area are just…obnoxious when they are on the road. I can’t say what they are like when they are not in their cars, as I don’t know anyone who owns one of these buggies, so I have never spoken to a Prius owner.

On a side note, Jeremy Clarkson (of the original UK version of Top Gear) loves to trash Priuses because he apparently loathes anything that is advocated by environmentalists. I used to just chuckle at his comments, even though I don’t necessarily agree with them, but I have now come to truly despise Clarkson, as a result of his anti-American comments.

Last week, he was a guest on The Graham Norton program, which is carried in The US by BBC America. I think that Clarkson thought the show was limited to UK distribution, because he made some extremely inappropriate (and inaccurate) anti-American statements, including, “every place that I have ever visited was better than The US, and that includes Ukraine & Burma where we filmed recently”.

I do have options for my TV viewing, and from now on I will opt to NOT watch Top Gear UK, as I do not want to support anything connected with that moron.

I have not noticed any different road behavior from any Prius drivers in my area. In the sixties Volvo drivers acted like they were better than the average Joe; more “responsible” for driving a square box of a car rather than a Detroit behemoth. I worked for a Swedish company for 5 years then and my colleagues from there always salivated with envy about our large, powerful cars and cheap gas. A US car in Sweden would be taxed out of existence and the gas bill would bankrupt you.

On the coctail circuit you may find these holier than thou “evironmentally responsible” types raving about their Priuses and their next topic is their trip to the South seas where they created more carbon by getting there and back than they saved by driving a Prius.

Human behavior is often irrational. I was behind lady at Macdonald’s who ordered a double Big Mac, large fries, an apple pie followed by …a diet Coke.

A prius is a fine car, but so are many others.

There is a black Prius that’s well known around here, the driver will not under any circumstance try to accelerate or even maintain speed when going up hill, and will not exceed the speed limit at all regardless of the prevailing speed of the other drivers on the road. A few months ago I, along with about 12 other people were unfortunate enough to be stuck behind this assclown on a single lane road (one lane in each direction), the speed limit is 45 MPH with the prevailing speed being around 50 MPH under normal conditions. The Prius was doing a steady 35 MPH, until we got a moderately steep hill., the driver refused to even try to maintain speed going up the hill. Speed dropped to less than 15 MPH as we reached the top of the hill. After cresting the hill the terrain is flat again, and over the course of about a half mile or so the Prius’s speed increased once again to 35 MPH. On a slight downhill bit, the driver allowed velocity to reach a dizzying 40 MPH before getting on the brakes (again, the speed limit is 45 MPH). After a few miles of this the Prius made a right at an intersection and I continued on. By the time the Prius turned off onto another road there were at least a dozen cars being held up behind it, and this was not during rush hour or anything.

I’ve actually mentioned this to a couple cops I know, and they knew the car I was talking about, one of them said that the Prius had been pulled over once because the deputy who was behind it thought that the driver might’ve been drunk or was having medical episode. Turns out it’s just middle aged woman who hadn’t been drinking and was in good health, but is apparently very proud of her 54 MPG.

If you want to maximize your fuel economy, that’s fine, but when it get’s to the point where you’re holding up traffic for 1/4 mile behind you, then that’s a problem.

FoDaddy–I think that it is just a matter of time before some “good old boy” driving a monster-type pickup truck decides to “help” her by pushing her car uphill. Not that I am advocating this type of action, but I think it is inevitable when she inconveniences the wrong person.

FoDaddy, what you’re describing is simply bad driving. We’ve had lengthy discussion about the issue of not using the accelerator to maintain constant speed uphill, and the general consensus is that it’s simply poor driving.

I would add that people who do this to save gas are fooling themselves. There is, granted, greater resistance with greater speed, however the difference in the amount of gas one will use taking a given vehicle up a hill at 40mph vs. 35mph is immeasurably small. It takes X amount of energy to get a given car up a given incline. The only thing that changes with speed is the wind resistance. In short, it isn’t a “Prius thing”. It’s a bad driving thing.

“I have always enjoyed aggravating people” (your statement) might just be a clue to the reason people get aggravated by your Prius. Perhaps you’re using the Prius as an excuse to aggravate people?

Maybe you could put a gun rack and some NRA bumper stickers on it, then they won’t know what to think.

Thats why I love this forum, I learn so much from it.

I honestly didn’t realize in many areas of the country so many people who drove Priuses, drove like idiots. I don’t see the point of buying a fuel efficient car and driving it in a way that gets worse mileage than a standard economy car.

Honestly around here most prius drivers are people in their late 40’s 50’s and 60’s, I am always surprised how many older folks around here have gravitated to the prius. Most of the priuses around here go with the flow of traffic and just blend in, not doing anything to attract any attention.

I have seen someone in a camry hybrid driving like a complete jerk, but thats about it. We don’t have many yuppies around here so maybe thats why.

Where i live many of the worst drivers seem to drive “jacked ups” which is a late model truck, usually diesel, with a skyjacker lift kit and huge tires, usually with a pair of something hanging off the rear bumper that is intended to look like a part of the male anatomy. Many times these are accessorized with a confederate flag decal somewhere on the truck even though we live in the north and are yankees.
These trucks seem to never go off road and are used by guys with big wallets ( or more likely high credit card limits) and small *&^&s. They almost always are driving like jerks no matter what your driving, I always snicker when they blow by me and cut me off when Im in the work truck which is a real truck, they look so stupid.

My favorite one is a late model silverado all decked out, jacked up, it looks like a 17 year old kid driving it, it has a sticker that says “built, not bought”. Well He may have built it, but with daddy or mommys money.

Then next offenders around here is the luxo barge f-150 and f-350 drivers. Its odd usually a person in an f-250 drives reasonable. Now the regular pickup drivers are a hit or miss, not all of them drive like jerks.

The next group is young women in almost any vehicle from suvs to cars, again not all drive like jerks, but many do.

Heh, heh, I once saw a “Divorce attorneys for gay marriage” sticker on a Lexus. Made me chuckle!


You have a point, but when my prius aggravates people its just by mentioning it, if im driving the only thing I do is drive slightly above the speed limit if its 55, I go 60-62. I do this in all my vehicles and I do it because I feel theres not a reason to go much faster, after all 55 is the limit.

I do see your point and its a good one.

Is flooring it when going up a hill bad driving as well? There is a hill here that is on a 2 lane highway but uphill direction it has a passing lane, its a big hill with an intersection on top, its a 50mph speed limit, I have gone up that hill at 55mph have someone as soon as they hit the hill floor it, pass me on the left, slam on the brakes and cut me off and avoid the car thats turning at the top of the hill.

Seems to me that Prius drivers are experiencing what Japaneese motorcycle riders experienced during the '70’s and 80’s from the Harley Davidson crowd, many of whom didn’t even ride motorcycles but knew everything about motorcycles that you could learn from Playboy magazines and Hollywood movies.

“Why don’t you get a REAL bike?”
“Well, I kind of like motorcycles that can go 100 mph.”
“Heck, a Harley can do that.”
“In second gear?”

I didn’t know the Prius made people angry. Also, I’ve never noticed bad driving being limited to any one model vehicle. I do notice people in my area driving more erratic than usual every year at this time.

Whenever I’m on the road I assume that everyone else in a car is drunk. It keeps me alert.

Around here, a lot of fairly young folks drive a Prius, because it’s apparently hip or trendy


FWIW . . . I would love to see a youtube video of a prius being pushed up a hill by, let’s say, a full sized domestic truck with a honkin’ diesel under the hood

The best part would be if the prius driver was stepping on the brakes, to no avail . . .

The only Prius driver that I can honestly say ever pxxxxx me off was one about a year ago on a 4-lane who tailgated me for several miles at speed on a deserted highway; slowing down when I did in an attempt to get them off my tail, speeding up, etc.
Finally tiring of it the Prius driver blew around me at 80 MPH, almost clipping my car in the process.

The addition to that story is that the Prius had a rack on the rear with a Rascal scooter which had a 6 foot pole with an orange flag on top. The weight and crosswind was causing them to wallow quite a bit.
This Prius driver also drives that Rascal to Wal Mart on a regular basis; right through the heavy traffic on the main highway through town. They do not use the service road nor do they ride on the broad, paved shoulders of the highway. They go dead center through the slow or fast lane, all depending upon their whim at the time.

You should see the traffic pile up for blocks as they motor along at less than 10 MPH. Some may say they’re environmentally aware but my opinion is they’re either stupid beyond belief or have a latent death wish.
I figure it’s just a matter of time before Rascal meets 100k pounds of oil field truck…

Speaking of jacked up trucks, there is one around here with about 3’ of ground clearance, 4wd, and 26" alloy wheels with 30 series tires. Off road my …

I just think the silly swiss hats with the feathers in them look funny. I don’t know if they give them away with the cars or not but almost everyone has one.

I notice no MORE idiots in Priuses than any other cars around here (Dallas area), usually fewer. Do they drive a bit slow at times? Yes, but I never see them driving like idiots (fast/reckless) like other drivers do.

What I do notice is that folks PRESUME what kind of person is driving a Prius. The hybrid drivers I know (including me) are much more like the OP than the preconceived notions some folks seem to carry around…