That was the first thing I thought when the folks at Toyota reached out with the idea of offering me a 2015 Toyota Prius Hybrid to whip around in for Father’s Day Weekend and beyond.
Yeah, sure…”Toyota is the best-selling automotive brand in America”, and “80% of Toyotas sold in the last 20 years are still on the road today”. I’ll give them that “Toyota has received more J.D. Power and Associates Vehicle Dependability Awards than another automaker” and that “no other automaker has more IIHS Top Safety Picks than Toyota”.
Sounds like Toyotas are pretty Dependable And Durable (see what they did there?) rides that would make any DAD proud to own and drive his family around in right…Right? But I still was all like “A Prius…for Father’s Day?” All that to say I had my reservations…That was until they dropped off the Nautical Blue 2015 Toyota Prius v Five with the Advanced Technology package.
I had my own pre-conceived notions about what a hybrid looks like – Tiny wheels, rounded edges, overall uber-compact look and feel. I must admit, the Prius v Five didn’t knock me all the way off my feet, but it did make me look twice. Probably what caught my eyes first were the aggressive 17” Five-spoke FORGED alloy rims. Most wheels on a family hybrid sport those plastic hub cab joints. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the rims on this Prius gave it a pretty aggressive stance…If you tilt your head and squint your eyes a certain way.
Next up on my “For a Prius, I’m impressed ” list was the front end. From the big and prominent Toyota emblem front and center of the grille, to the auto-leveling LED headlights, to the sporty lower air scoop, to the added style of the fog lights – The Prius v Five looks like it’s ready for a “time attack” run on the track…if said track was made specifically for cars with 1.8L 4-cylinder/electric “monsters” under the hood.
The rear spoiler splitting up the driver’s view of the road behind him rounded out the overall sporty look of the Prius v Five. Add the sharp but cool Nautical Blue paint job, and you have a Prius Hybrid that has definitely matured and got a little edgy since it first hit the streets over 15 years ago.
Moving to the interior, I thought the illuminated and branded door sills were a nice touch. It was crazy hot in Atlanta for Father’s Day, so I didn’t dare touch the heated front seat controls, but if Toyota reaches out to me in December for a I don’t know…a “New Year’s Night Out On The Town” campaign (I’m not sayin’ I’m just sayin’) , those heated seats would come in handy.
What did come in handy during my drive was the Heads-Up Display (HUD) that put the current speed and navigation “next turn” instructions right in my field of view for added safety and that “future is now” feeling while driving. I did not expect that feature to even be an upgrade option for a Prius Hybrid.
Another feature that brought music to my ears was the 8-speaker JBL sound system with Entune app suite that quickly cranked out my “Smooth Rap Jazz” playlist from my iPhone or my Pandora station while running errands…I just didn’t feel right blasting my “Neo Hip-Hop” playlist in a Prius…Gotta be honest to my readers.
This was my first time driving a Hybrid, so I did enjoy watching the “eco meter” to keep an eye on when I was actually using the engine vs. running on battery power. Speaking of which, the Prius v included three drive modes:
- ECO – Maximizes fuel economy
- EV – Runs on battery power for up to one-half mile
- POWER – Increased gas pedal response for faster acceleration
Now I must admit, as economic as the Prius v Five is, I did choose to keep it in “POWER” mode while doing most of my driving. Blame it on my led foot, but there were many times when I needed to whip in and out of traffic, and while the 1.8L 4-cylinder engine didn’t exactly spring to life with the slightest tap on the accelerator, but I was able to get on the gas and maneuver just fine. Of course, no matter what mode the Prius v was operating in, the dial on the fuel meter barely moved, which was definitely an advantage with all the driving I do on a weekly basis visiting IT clients.
After a couple of days driving the 2015 Toyota Prius v Five as a temporary Father’s Day gift, I have adjusted my pre-conceived notions about hybrid vehicles. Gives me hope that soon, all cars will be Dependable And Durable…and Sporty.
D.A.D.S. (See what I did there?)
Happy Belated Father’s Day from Toyota and BrothaTech
Gallery (click to view full-size)