Prius FUD keeps rolling
I'll write up our Bad Capital Metro Flugtag Experience tomorrow I think. In the meantime, Newsweek joins the parade of Prius FUDders by allowing Honda to reiterate the common assertion that the Prius kicks all other hybrid vehicles' asses because it "looks different". Of course, that's a load of crap; the most iconic hybrid vehicle out there was the Honda Insight. Problem was that the Insight was a nearly useless car - underpowered, uncomfortable, 2 seats, no cargo space. And for all that, you got about 5 mpg more than the Prius, back when the Insight was still being sold.
The reason the Prius sells so much better than the Civic Hybrid is because it's a much better car. The Civic is smaller (different market segment, even), gets a bit less mileage, and has far less cargo space. (The Civic's back seat doesn't even fold down - because Honda stuck the battery there). In other words, Toyota learned from Honda, and developed a better hybrid system that was able to provide small-car Civic-like mileage for a car with more usable space than the Accord. They just out-engineered the Honda boys.
Yes, a few people at the margins bought it because it was more obvious. But the car is now outselling the majority of "regular" cars in this country - and it's not doing so because of the hybrid halo. It's doing so because it's a medium-sized car which gets fuel-sipper mileage and can carry a friggin' rain barrel with the hatch closed.
The Prius is our only car. The Civic Hybrid could never have managed to be. That's basically all you need to know.