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I have a confession to make…

Jeff Glucker November 19, 2012 All Things Hoon

My name is Jeff Glucker, and I’m one of the co-founders of Hooniverse.com. I like fun machines that provide a sense of enjoyment and excitement from behind the wheel, and I enjoy talking about all-things automotive. That said, there’s something in my driveway that you might not expect to find there. I’m not talking about the busted-ass Civic or a random press vehicle that I might be driving. I refer to the newest member of the Hooniverse holding grounds.

It’s brand-new, focused on fuel efficiency, and is not something I’d ever shell out a dime for, but it’s here to stay for a few years.

*deep breath*

It’s my wife Jen’s latest company car, and it’s a 2013 Toyota Prius.

Phew… I’m glad I got that off my chest. Now allow me to explain why it was the best choice available.

My wife gets a company car, and her previous car was a Chrysler Sebring. We suffered through that heap for about a year until it was time for her to get something new. The choices were a Prius, the Chrysler 200, or, if we lived in a snowy area, we could opt for a Subaru Forester. We wanted the Forester, but there’s not much snow in Southern California… so the Prius is the “winner”.

It’s quite an upgrade over the Sebring, since it’s a Prius IV. It’s fitted with touch screen navigation, the new Entune system (Pandora, Open Table, etc), and a better audio system. Additionally, it probably saves her company quite a few bucks when it comes time to fill up the 50-mile-combined-driving rated Prius.

So there you have it… There’s a Toyota Prius in my driveway, and I’m not upset about it. Now, I just need to find a way to offset all of it’s fuel-efficient smugness.  

Currently there are "126 comments" on this Article:

  1. Alff says:

    Free car is best car.

    It could be worse. Company car is how my wife and I had three minivans before we had kids. Her choices were Oldsmobuick, minivan or F-150. My daily back then was an F-150 and I couldn't convince her that we should have two.

  2. Scandinavian Flick says:

    *Sigh* Well, I suppose it was inevitable. You know what must be done…

    <img src="http://img97.imageshack.us/img97/2902/priusu.jpg&quot; width="500">

    Ditch the Lexus badge though…

    In all seriousness though, I was just thinking about this. I would actually, unabashedly, drive a Prius if I had the money to have a dedicated commuter, rather than an all purpose daily driver/fun car/track car/etc. I would take a Prius C, put it on some nice wheels like Works/BBS/HRE/360 Forged/etc, then tuck them deep into the wheel wells, and drag it all over town.

    • jeepjeff says:

      Dude, I'm pretty sure my Jeep with blown suspension bushings has less body lean than a Prius. Have you ever driven one? You'd hate it. The Honda Civic Hybrid doesn't do as well in the mileage department, but it feels like a track car in comparison.

      I've heard rumors that the current Chrysler 200 is much better than the old Sebring. I might still have chosen that over the Prius.

      • Scandinavian Flick says:

        Yeah, but imagine how much more fun it would make my fun car feel!

        I don't think handling is a priority for anyone running a car about 2.5" off the ground anyway.

        • jeepjeff says:

          Ok, I have to give you that. Switching from the Civic to the Jeep makes the Jeep feel even more fun to drive.

          • Scandinavian Flick says:

            In seriousness, I have long been a proponent of limiting sacrifices made for the greater benefit of other factors. Balance and all that jazz. It's just that the high gas mileage market has a pretty sharp price cliff when it comes to being fun to drive. (Not to mention, the Model S is sold out for the first two model years anyway…) I hear the CR-Z is a decent exception to the rule, but that has the most confusingly miserable fitting interior I have ever had the displeasure of being violated by. I'm not actually sure who that thing is built for…

            Anyway, that's why I'd slam a Prius to the ground… Because with that car, I have nothing to lose by doing so.

            • jeepjeff says:

              With all the work you'd have to do on the suspension to slam it and give it more camber than Jeremy Clarkson, you may accidentally drastically improve its handling over stock. Particularly if you put normal tires on the new rims rather than LRRs.

            • Dean Bigglesworth says:

              Something like this? I've never driven the Prius C / Aqua or the Yaris Hybrid, but at least the european 2012 99hp 1.33l Yaris is pretty fun to flog around backroads, even with the cvt.

              <img src="http://cdn.speedhunters.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/AQUA.jpg&quot; width="600" img>

              • Scandinavian Flick says:

                More or less, but think less "boy racer" and more VIP. (as much as I hate that term…)

                • Dean Bigglesworth says:

                  It was the only pic of a really low Prius C that i found, perhaps unsurprising… I do sort of like the idea of silently and slowly gliding to work in my insanely low hybrid, though. On the other hand i like the idea of slapping some super light 15" wheels and semi-slicks on a Yaris and taking ramps at a bazillion kph.

                  • Scandinavian Flick says:

                    I'm surprised you even found that, so I'm impressed. The way I figure it, I'd like to own something low and slow. I'd also be mildly interested in owning something fuel efficient. Since I wouldn't be losing anything by slamming a Prius, it "makes sense" from a technical standpoint.

                    I'd probably bag it through, so it wasn't completely miserable to drive…

                    • Tiller188 says:

                      Low, slow, and bagged. So, Prius lowrider? …sure you don't want to go small-diameter whitewalls on wire wheels and pinstriped paintjob? Odd as it sounds to say it, the "VIP" (I don't much care for the term either) look on the Prius isn't SO far off from what I'd think looks normal-ish/fitting, but a Prius in the style of a 60s Impala lowrider? Now we're talking ridiculous (ly funny).

                    • Scandinavian Flick says:

                      I think you're picturing a typical hydraulics setup. Most airbagged cars sit with larger wheels, more flush with the fenders. I'm thinking more along the lines of a couple of my friends' cars:

                      <img src="http://photos1.meetupstatic.com/photos/event/7/3/3/4/highres_159569492.jpeg&quot; width="500">

                      <img src="http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l68/sherman53/photo-71.jpg&quot; width="500">

                      Both of which can be raised up to stock ride height for more comfortable driving around.

                    • Dean Bigglesworth says:

                      It does make sense. The mileage would take a hit though.. by how much, i have no idea.

                      Didn't really notice any difference in mileage on my Focus though, stock was 195/60 15" Good Year Eagle NCT 5 and the mileage stayed more or less the same with 215/35 18" Yokohama Parada Spec 2s on OZ Ultraleggeras. It's been back on the stock wheels for a few years now and that's the car i'm trying to figure out a replacement for, it'll be 10 years since i bought it next year. The 740 is mostly for when the Focus is broken.

                    • Scandinavian Flick says:

                      Valid concern, but I'm sure it depends a lot on the weight of the wheels chosen. I'd never go larger than an 18" wheel, and I personally aim for wheels that weigh about 1 pound per inch of diameter. My current 18s are 11lbs lighter than stock, so that helped a lot. (love the Ultraleggeras, btw. Nice choice.)

                      I think most of the mileage calculations are with the LRRs though… Grippier tires would probably take their toll on observed mileage.

                    • Dean Bigglesworth says:

                      Think of all the fuel you can save by not braking for turns! But seriously, i think the sticky rubber would impact mileage more than the (possible) added weight compared to stock wheels and tires. Especially compared to LRR tires.

                      The 18×8 Ultraleggeras weighed about 8kg, or about 17,6pounds, which is one of the reasons i got them.

                    • Scandinavian Flick says:

                      Now you got me wanting Ultraleggeras again… I love my 18lb Enkei RPF1s, but the Ultraleggera is such an awesome wheel. There was a guy selling a pristine polished set on CL not long ago for super cheap in my bolt pattern. ($600) I should have bought them, but I would have had to re-barrel the rears. They were 18×12.5 off a Gallardo.

                    • Dean Bigglesworth says:

                      Hah, i sold mine for 600€. Ultraleggeras look good on nearly anything. I might go for the slightly lighter Alleggeritas now, though. Need to get a new car first, though.

      • facelvega says:

        Had a new 200 with the pentastar as a rental. The interior is still only barely not bad, the exterior looks a little better than the old 200 (which isn't saying much), the handling isn't sporting but is actually pretty good for a family sedan, and the drivetrain is excellent, even the new bazillion-speed autobox. Fuel economy was even pretty solid in mixed driving. I'd have taken that car out of the options, but then I haven'ty been scarred by experience of the old Sebring.

      • Jeff_Glucker says:

        The 200 is much better than the Sebring… but in the way that drinking piss is better than eating shit.

      • FuzzyPlushroom says:

        I've driven the last two generations of Sebring (the '01-'06 being less miserable, barely, than the '07-'10…) but haven't tried a 200 yet. That said, 200 with Pentastar > Prius driven like it was stolen > 200 without Pentastar, I'd think.

  3. Rust-MyEnemy says:

    So when does she get the hemp sweater, dreadlocks and body odor?

    Or is it too late to halt the slide?

  4. POLAЯ says:

    Jeff is a guy that loves to have fun
    Mile after mile, to and from
    Now he got a hybrid for all to muse
    Tell the neighbors, your friends, everyone the news.

    Let's Hum Hum Hum Hum, Hum Hummm
    A Prius for everyhoone?

    Now there's a bigger one if you want to stick out any place
    A small one with tinted windows to hide your face.
    And even one you can plug in.
    I can see Jeff plugging it into his house with much chagrin.

    Let's Gluck, Gluck, Gluck, Gluck, Gluck, Gluckkkkkk
    That Prius must realllllly suck.

  5. danleym says:

    I posted this in the Hooniverse Asks earlier today, but it seems to be my lucky day and I have one car that answers two questions. This would look great sitting next to that Prius, and offset the fuel efficiency smugness.

    <img src="http://www.cars-on-line.com/55700/69chev55790-1.jpg&quot; width="500/">

    Oh, and I second Alff's statement. There is no way I would pay money for a Prius, but if someone was going to give me one, I wouldn't be complaining about it. Free is good.

    • Scandinavian Flick says:

      Make sure to put the "Yes." sticker on this one.

    • jeepjeff says:

      Have you driven a Prius? I'd turn down a free one.

      • danleym says:

        Nope, I haven't, and I don't like them one bit. Just saying, it's hard to complain about free. I don't know if I would have picked a Prius over a 200, I haven't driven either. But as a company car that I'm assuming is going to get driven a lot for work, and being a company car you're probably not going to hoon it out too much (if you're of the slightly more responsible type of hoon), sure, it works fine. Obviously there will be zero pleasure driving it, but if it's a free commuter vehicle, that frees up some cash for a more fun weekend/track vehicle.

        • jeepjeff says:

          I have one dedicated garage spot and there is limited parking near me (too many of my neighbors street park). I don't really have room for the two vehicles I do own, so adding a third vehicle would be a lot of extra headache (moving it to prevent street-sweeping tickets and having to time air travel or pay extra for parking to avoid said tickets; this is one of many reasons I'm going to buy a house). A free vehicle would have to be worthwhile for me to take it. So, I might actually turn down a lot of free vehicles, but having driven my in-law's Prius, I'd extra turn it down. Worst. Driving. Experience. Ever. The reliability just make it worse: it won't break down and give you an excuse to dump it.

          I've also set myself up so I don't need a commuter car. If you do need one, I can see not turning down a free one to keep the miles off of your Real Car™.

  6. SSurfer321 says:

    We've all discussed this ad nauseum and concluded that the Prius is an excellent commmuter if you're trying to save dino juice. But just don't act like its better for the environment than any other vehicle on the road.

    Your Hoon card is still intact, provided we get video of electric powered brake stands.

  7. mdharrell says:

    This is as good a time as any to confess that I recently bought a second Lyman Electric Quad so that the first one can be relegated to parts-car (perhaps parts-part-car) status:

    <img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8479/8186938682_69ba152f11.jpg&quot; width="450">

    That's it being loaded onto a truck last week in Arizona. It should arrive in a couple more weeks.

    What's worse, I actually paid money for it.

  8. jeepjeff says:

    Alright, Mr. Glucker: there are a few correct answers to "how do I make up for the Prius' mileage?" All of them have 8 cylinders and sit in front of a A-833 transmission. Bonus points for putting a Tru-trak in the pumpkin out back.

    Did you really have to ask?

  9. BGW says:

    Now, I just need to find a way to offset all of it’s fuel-efficient smugness.

    This is how someone in my old neighborhood managed. It seemed to work well.

    <img src="http://i.imgur.com/mO41u.jpg&quot; width=499>

  10. ZomBee Racer says:

    Congrats!! And thanks! Now "I'VE" got someone to laugh at, hee-hee-hee!

    Looking forward to your ridiculousness shenanigans… it must be done.

    • jeepjeff says:

      We should start a "the awful economy car is my wife's" club.

      • mr. mzs zsm msz esq says:

        I'm a member, my wife drives a 3.5L V6 van. The economy is awful, we get 22MPG in practice with long trips. It is a great car otherwise, and yet the most economical car we have.

  11. Baron Von Danger says:

    V8 swap?

  12. smalleyxb122 says:

    There, there, Jeff. As much as the Prius is too close for comfort, you are still twice removed from Prius ownership. Maybe thrice removed, if you factor in that it’s probably a lease, and therefore, your wife’s employer doesn’t even own it.

    Rest easy, your hoon card is safe. Wait, is that a real thing? If not, it should be. I want to be a card-carrying hoon.

  13. jtk2 says:

    I have no problem with the Prius as long as their drivers keep them from clogging up the passing lane. That said, a girl that used to work with me traded a VW for one and it ruined her… by the time she quit, she had dreadlocks, a moustache, and a permanent patchouli stank. Don't let that happen to your wife. Unless of course you're into that kind of thing.

  14. muthalovin says:

    You're dead to me, Jeff. I'm sorry.

    But once you get the 2015 NSX presser, it'll all be good again.

  15. Devin says:

    Going by the alternatives and the previous vehicle…

    Why does your wife's company hate her so much?

  16. Jeff_Glucker says:

    I posted this on Facebook, but I will post it here too… so you all don' think I've gone soft

    <img src="http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/522218_10151332690836565_699074335_n.jpg&quot; width=700>

    • jeepjeff says:

      It probably isn't clear from my anti-Prius shenanigans on this thread, but you've got a pass from me. It's your wife's car, and the other option was, well, not clearly better. (And I say this as a MOPAR guy…)

  17. wisc47 says:

    Hey it's free, see how much fun you can have in something thats so crappy.

  18. TurboBrick says:

    How to offset the Prius.. hmm… how about a sweet Bro-cursion with a lift kit and wrong offset wheels (sorry, I guess that was redundant)? It would offset the enviro-aspect, but might also win you the title of The Most Epic Asshole of the Year. Forget that… we keep asking these questions when we already know the Hotchkiss Challenger is the correct answer.

  19. P161911 says:

    It could be worse, my dad has a Dodge Caliber as a company car. it isn't a lease, the company bought it. It has about 200k miles on it and still drive just as bad as it did when new. Hardly any repairs needed, a very well made piece of crap. This will probably be his last company car, he's going to retire in the next 2-3 years.

    As for the Prius, would they mind if you flipped the exhaust manifold upside down and ran a straight pipe out the hood? That would help a little.

  20. rpdred6 says:

    theyre awfully boring to drive and look dorky, but they are great for what they are. The high MPG is unbeatable

    • MVEilenstein says:

      Not merely boring; they're numbing. Every sensation is dulled with electric steering, regenerative braking, CVT, etc.

      They're also surprisingly heavy. Saving oil by mining precious metals for the batteries isn't really appealing to me.

      • jeepjeff says:

        Numbing is the word. The handling doesn't compare favorably to a 20 year old Ford Aerostar with 300,000 miles on the clock. I've driven those two side-by-side (the Prius would have been an '08 or '09). Body lean was my big takeaway. That's what you get from suspension designed to be numbing.

        If you are willing to compromise just a tiny bit on mileage, much more interesting cars enter into the comparison.

        • MVEilenstein says:

          I can attest to that, as I have driven both a Pious and a 20-year old Aerostar. We had both when I managed a small fleet at my old company.Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

      • Devin says:

        They also have very strange upholstery. A weird kind of fuzzy nonsense that Toyota has been using a lot lately, I find it very unpleasant.

  21. POLAЯ says:

    Welcome to Esrevinooh.com Things are a bit backwards here….

    …Hey, That's the sound Missus Jeff's car makes!

    Essssrevvvvvvinnnooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!
    ——^——– ^ —————————-^
    Takeoff ___Acceleration _______Hybrid mode

  22. GregKachadurian says:

    It's funny because my sister was just looking at one of these. It really wasn't as bad as I was expecting. For 99% of the driving any given [normal ;) ] driver does in a day, it does the job just fine.

    That being said, I would have taken the Forester

  23. mnm4ever says:

    No shame in this at all, I would have picked the same car.

    I hate the Prius, hate how it drives, I couldn't ever spend my own $25-30k on one. But it is the perfect car to get for free, or as a company car. I could then totally justify a gas guzzling Boss Mustang, or 69 Camaro restomod, or classic Porsche 911, or a built Jeep Wrangler, or a Raptor, any other impractical yet desirable vehicles that us car guys lust after but don't meet our everyday needed. The Prius solves that, its decently roomy, rides nicely, of course gets crazy good gas mileage… its just insanely boring. But it would be a lot less boring when you know you have your dream car sitting in the garage ready to use when the time it right.

    A 200?? really, someone out there would pick a 200 over a Prius IV?? I could see Suby, but not the 200.

  24. Rust-MyEnemy says:

    I drove a Prius once. It was so forgettable that I damn near got up from the driving seat to go to the kitchen and rustle up a sandwich before suddenly remembering that I was running out of on-ramp.

  25. SHAME, SHAME, SHAME ON YOU….
    There are two ways out, one kick your wife out your house and two paint the damn thing green and park it in a forrest to hug trees and buy your wife a decent car, if you love her it's worth it. Screw that company car.

  26. dukeisduke says:

    I don't love or hate the Prius; it's an okay car. We have some friends that bought two used Gen II cars a few years ago, to replace a Suburban and an Impala as DDs (they still have both of those cars for occasional use). He just replaced the front struts and a tie rod end on one of them, at 160k miles. I've driven one of the cars, and I thought the acceleration was decent. The thing I couldn't get used to was how close the steering wheel is to the dash, and the instruments being in the center.

  27. Van_Sarockin says:

    The proper answer is to move to the mountains, so you can get the Forester. Really, you surprise me.

  28. LTDScott says:

    If it makes you feel any better, I sometimes use my wife's Highlander Hybrid to tow my race car. I figure it offsets my carbon footprint by maybe 1-2 laps.

  29. From_a_Buick_6 says:

    Honestly, I've grown to not hate the Prius. It makes a lot of sense as a commuter or family car. I kinda like the color and the new taillights on yours, too.

    Sure beats a Sebring. Geeze, Sebring company cars would have me looking for a new job or an extra car. And I thought the Buick Skylarks my dad used to get as company cars were bad…

  30. RichardKopf says:

    True story: I almost bought a Prius recently. I was all set until it was revealed that it had been in an accident. Think what you will, but I fully intended to autocross it.

  31. Maymar says:

    Confession time – I sort of legitimately want to buy a Prius. Yes, it's a fantastic un-car, and with the touring pack on the current generation, it's not horrendous to drive. But mostly, it's just that it's so unloved and vilified, I want one more.

  32. C³-Cool Cadillac Cat says:

    If there had been a diesel Fit when I was car shopping two years ago, it would have been my go-to for a commuter.

    There wasn't, and damn you, Honda, for still not having one, and while I wrestled with the 21 MPG, max likely to happen, V8 2005 STS, I'm happy with it.

    Wish I had found a 2006 Jaaaaaaag XJ Super V8, but I'll wait.

    Right now, gasoline in N. Texas is right about $3/gallon, so I have a $9/day commute. Sucks, but it's better than moving.

    • RichardKopf says:

      Dude, my Caprice wagon averages about 21 MPG on the freeway.

      • C³-Cool Cadillac Cat says:

        Oh, I believe it! However, your Caprice wag can't 0-60 in six seconds. The Northstar is about maxed out at 320 HP, as far as efficiency goes.

        I'm kinda shopping 95-96 Fleetwood Broughams, and most would not believe they can get high-teens in-town, mid-20's on the road.

        An LT1 tuned for comfort and really tall gearing makes for a nice road-trip machine.

  33. TrampaOnline says:

    Considering your wife was getting rid of a Sebring, it's a solid step up. You'll still have press cars. It could definitely be worse. I sold my project car for an SLR and a slight reduction in debt and now I drive my wife's '07 VW Rabbit. It's a fun little car, but I really miss having my own car.

    …I wonder if a 2JZ would fit in that Prius.

  34. TX_Stig says:

    There's also the high score of low mileage, ala Top Gear… reset the avg economy meter when you get in it and see how bad your mileage is each time you drive it. I will expect reports of your findings.

  35. mallthus says:

    License plate frame that says:

    "My other car is a Hummer"

    'nuff said…

  36. BobWellington says:

    Get some mud on it. That'll show 'em what you're all about.

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  38. Danae says:

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