The Toyota Prius first came off the production line in 1997 and immediately sparked an automotive revolution. Since the day it was introduced, Toyota has sold 3.7 million versions of the Prius worldwide.
Part of that success came from the fact that the Prius was the only hybrid in production when it hit the market. Today virtually every large auto manufacturer offers at least one hybrid model. Even Toyota has expanded its hybrid offerings to include models that compete with the Prius.
Not only is there a glut of hybrids on the market, but automakers are evolving toward fully electric cars, which may eventually push the Prius and its fellow hybrids into obsolescence.
Toyota’s June sales numbers seem to confirm the fall of the Prius. Is there hope for a resurgence?
In addition to more competition than ever before, the Prius is hampered by relatively cheap gas and the resurging popularity of SUVs.
Has the Prius become lost in an ocean of quality competition? It’s been two decades since the model debuted and its being the first to market no longer has any value as a selling point. While a return to the glory days is highly unlikely, there is hope that the old stalwart can claw its way back into the lead.
The 2016 Prius is arguably the best version Toyota has built. It’s better looking, more fun to drive, and has more technology than ever before. There’s a new plug-in model coming for 2017, the Prius Prime, that can go 22 miles on electricity alone and 600 miles between fill-ups. That model will go on sale later this fall and could be the car that puts the Prius back on top of the sales charts, even as the competition gets stronger.
What would it take to get you behind the wheel of a new Prius?