Saturday, April 1, 2017

Change Of Perspective


I've never liked the base model Prius.

It wasn't "priusy" enough for me. A radio with knobs, no touch screen...

You know what, for years, I've been stupid. I admit it. I see it now.

So yesterday, I spent the day with the new son-on-law helping him with his first new car purchase, a new Prius Two. A base model. We drove it. I rode home in it with him. You know? These 2017 base models are actually the value proposition for the entire line up. And this is entirely my fault because I've always ignored the base. I've always taken it for granted that without all the toys the base model Prius was somehow the neutered one to avoid.

So I spent most of the day exploring the 2017 Prius Two with the son-in-law. For him, it was the first Prius he'd been close to and watching him being amazed by it and, honestly, my own surprises at how cool it is, it was eye opening.

First off, the 2017 Prius Two has a very nice touch screen. It's small, it's not particularly high res but it is on the newer, very sensitive screens more like an iPad than a cheap video poker machine.

The interior is well appointed and, aside from the bells and whistles, has all the quality and basics of any Prius.

Cloth seats, whatever. I hate Softex™ so cloth is, at least, a step sideways, not a step down.

No nav. Uh, is this somehow a bad thing?  I use Waze in my Corolla that has nav because the Toyota nav is so awful. So...no nav, means I didn't pay for something I'm ignoring anyway.

One of the smartest things Toyota has done since the introduction of the Prius was creating TSS, Toyota Safety Sense, making it a package and including in every car. This is one of those sort of ho-hum things that most people, especially most car writers, will sleep through but this is important. Maybe ground breaking. It's a major car company including safety features, good ones, on a car without being compelled to do so via regulation (or acting ahead of regulation). This stuff will saves and decrease property damage. It's a huge plus even if it's not as exciting as cars burning rubber in circles.

The gorgeous new TFT display is the same as in the advanced tech model.

All of this is part of the base model Prius. And for years, I've stupidly paid no attention to it because it wasn't cool enough which, now I've actually spent the time to look at it, is completely cool enough. The Prius Two is the one. Everything else is gravy, extra, whatever. The package Two is the place where everything starts. And, for my son-in-law, with his first new car and first Prius, it's everything. And for me, who has owned three different Priuses but driven every other one I didn't own and most other Toyota advanced tech cars, it's an amazing deal.

I wish it hadn't taken me twelve years to figure that out.

(photos courtesy of Toyota)