Toyota Prius News

The Prius car, designed and manufactured by the Japanese car making firm Toyota, is a true icon when it comes to eco-friendly motoring. The car has been the subject of many stories in the news over the years since it became the first hybrid EV (electric vehicle) to hit the mass market. Politicians and celebrities have all jumped onto the Toyota Prius bandwagon and bought their own versions of this car, government agencies have purchased it for their workers, and the cars name has become a by-word for low CO2 emission driving.
The name Prius itself is actually a Latin word (a common format for naming cars is to use Latin words) which means ‘before’. Toyota says that they chose this name to symbolise the fact that the car was ‘before its time’ in many ways, and was released before environmental factors became a major factor in driver’s buying decisions for a new car.
In February 2011 Toyota took the unusual step of asking the general public to help them decide what the correct plural form of the name should be. The choices included Prien, Prii, Priu or the clumsy Priuses. The most popular choice was ‘Prii’, which is the neuter singular of the comparative form in the Latin language, and this is now the official plural designation which is used in marketing materials issued by the company.
The latest Prius cars were tested for safety in the year 2010 by Euro NCAP, who are the biggest safety testing body for vehicles sold in Europe. The car was given a full five stars out of five for adult occupant protection with an 88% score. For child occupant protection Toyota’s iconic hybrid vehicle scored 82%, and the scores for safety assist and pedestrian protection were 86% and 68% respectively.
Perhaps the biggest news stories over the years have been about celebrities and politicians buying and driving the Prius. This led the Washington Post, one of America’s best-selling daily newspapers, to describe the car as ‘Hollywood’s latest politically correct status symbol’ in 2002. The idea that owning a Prius hybrid electric vehicle had become just as much about expressing your political beliefs as actually helping to combat climate change by reducing CO2 emissions was underlined in 2007 when the New York Times based a leading article on a set of research data from CNW Marketing Research which showed that more than half of Prius owners (57%) stated that the primary reason that they bought the car was because ‘it makes a statement about me’, compare to just 37% who said that fuel economy was the main motivation behind their decision to buy.