Last Wednesday, I got stuck in the day before Thanksgiving traffic, along with every other person who owns a car in the U.S. As I was inching along, a rather angry looking 2015 Prius V slowly slithered up behind me. I was disgusted, but the V’s design has nothing on the rage of the redesigned praying mantis Prius.
Many people, including myself, think that the new Prius is ugly, but there is no debate that its design is very distinctive. It is a disjointed mess of creases, cuts, and curves. Basically, it’s what the old Prius looks like after it has been in a few accidents, which is common for Toyota drivers. Despite this, it looks like nothing else on the road, apart from the Mirai. This is not high praise since the Mirai looks like the old Prius and a jack-o-lantern fused together, fell through a tree, and then sat out in the July sun to melt.
Anyway, the problem with this design lies in the fact that the Prius sells like TV’s at Walmart on Black Friday. Priuses of all ages fill our roads, so everyone will be forced to look at this eye sore on a daily basis. However, this is not the end of the world that I thought it was; it’s actually a good thing.
The new Prius serves a purpose, other than scaring children; it will hopefully start a new trend of interesting automotive designs. Now, most of us can agree that basically every car currently on the road can trace its design back to something, usually an Accord coupe.
This is because a car manufacturer that pushes the boundaries is usually met with criticism and poor sales. Just look at the Nissan Juke. Reviewers poked fun at it by comparing its looks to a frog, and November’s sales reflected their opinions; Nissan sold a measly 1,897 Jukes. In the same month, Nissan managed to sell 22,565 units of the conventionally styled Rogue.
With any luck and some scare tactics, the new Prius might be able to change this. As I stated earlier, Priuses always sell in massive quantities, so it is safe to assume that this new one will sell in similar numbers. If Toyota can find success in an unusual design, other automakers will be willing to take the risk to potentially find the same sales success in their cars. This leads to more interesting cars from all manufacturers. Unfortunately, this also means we have to look at the abomination that is the new Prius until their drivers crash them. Maybe they’ll start to look like the old Prius after a few bumper taps.
Photo credit: Business Wire, Forbes