I drove the Toyota Prius for the first time and, uh, I'm thinking of buying one.
I know. I know! The Prius represents everything many auto enthusiasts love to hate. But my girlfriend drives more than 100 miles a day, meaning she could actually benefit from the exceptional fuel economy. The young lady, a financial analyst by trade, quickly calculated the potential savings and inquired why I had never so much as mentioned the Prius during our car-buying discussions. The obvious answer, "Because it's not a car guy's car," didn't sway her.
What the Prius is, is a roomy, comfortable car that gets great gas mileage. And it isn't even all that bad to drive as far as front-wheel-drive, four-cylinder, mid-size cars go. Sure, there are some nerdy quirks, such as the weird texturing on the hard plastic dash and an awkwardly designed shifter. But for a base price of $22,750 (there's no way I'd consider one equipped to our test car's $26,550), the Prius is a perfectly reasonable option.
David Zenlea, Assistant Editor