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AUTOS: VEHICLE REVIEW 2015 Toyota Prius: A handsome, economical dullard
by Sam Gomez,

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Just the single fact that the 2015 Toyota Prius' combination gas/electric engine gets 51 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway, well, that's very exciting. Given the money you'll save on gas so you can spend it one booze, bears and bud ( in Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Colorado ), who wouldn't cozy up to something as affordable as the 2015 Toyota Prius?

Well, the long and short of it is that this is not a sexy car. Well, not overtly sexy. If you are looking for the pizzazz that, say, a Lexus offers, this ain't it. Sure, it's pretty enough, and it can perform, but like most hybrids, the power of the road is not to be had at full strength in this coin-saver. The point behind the Prius is to save you money at the pump, and that it does wonderfully. As for the rest of the car…

Acceleration can still be tricky, and that's always a drag for a brand new car. When I first test drove the Prius over a decade ago, just a mere 3-degree incline had the engine struggling. It truly sounded like the car was stuck in second gear and could not get out. It was a rough ride, to be sure, and yet I saved so much money on gas, I could buy a triple-Venti-something-full-of-sugar at a local coffee shop. The Prius' engine performs much better these days and really was nice and not a distraction—and I still had enough money for more processed sugar. The takeaway here is that all you engine freaks should pass on this one, because the positive impression of the Prius is left in your wallet, not in your heart rate.

Inside, there is plenty of room for everything. Well, not everything, but for you and three friends and just enough luggage for the weekend. Not that I ever packed the car to the gills, but groceries, boxes of computer equipment and other miscellaneous household items, to include a nice-sized microwave oven, got in and out of the 2015 Prius with ease, though my muscle friends did prove to be a little on the lazy side. Toyota will tell you that they can promise you a great car but they can't promise you great friends. Roger that.

One feature I just love on the 2015 Prius is how all you have to do to put the car in park is press a button. We all know the order of the gears; P-R-N-D. If you are parking, you have to go through Reverse to get the Park, and if you are starting, you have to get through Reverse to get to Drive and not get stuck in the wrong gear. We've all hit the gas only to discover we are in the wrong gear as we come out of dead stop. With the push of a button for Park, that potential goof-up is avoided. For me, that alone is worth buying the Prius.

And I may have been a bit harsh calling the 2015 Prius a "dullard." Your car is only as exciting as you are, and I had a great time in it. This car doesn't scream "gay," but it doesn't scream "cray gay," either—and that's good.

In fact, some people actually think a Prius can be quite the sporty vehicle. My friend and fellow car genius Jason Lancaster has some thoughts on how to spiff up a Prius and some suggestions on how to make my "dullard" into a real "dude" that's not a total "dud." ( See what an English undergraduate degree can do for your ability to inject alliteration into gay talk about cars? )

As 2015 draws to a close, the Prius is a car worth checking out so long as you just want practicality … because as we approach the dawn of a new presidency here in the colonies ( as the Brits like to call the United States ), practicality may be the only thing that saves us from getting a president who is anything but practical, economical, handsome—or safe.

Hand me the antacids.

Read more at .

Auto news

—Life of luxury: Los Angeles Magazine discussed must-see luxury cars at the Los Angeles Auto Show, taking place Nov. 20-29. They include Mercedes-Benz ( SL convertible, a C63 AMG S Coupe and a new S-Class Cabriolet ), the Porsche 911 Targa 4S, the Cadillac XT5, the Land Rover Evoque Convertible, the Rolls-Royce Dawn, the Bentley Bentayga First Edition and the Aston Martin DB6.

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