We know what you’re saying, “The Toyota Prius? This is supposed to be a list of the top 10 cars of all time!” Well, it is and no, this is not a mistake. Like it or not hybrids are important and they’re here to stay.
So what’s the significance of the Prius? Well, for starters it was the world’s first mass-produced battery-electric vehicle. Introduced in 1997, this homely little fuel miser has gone on to become a hit around the world.
In the U.S. alone the company sold more 200,000 of them through October. That makes it Toyota’s third most-popular model in America after the first-place Camry and the runner-up Corolla.
Prius is Latin for “to go before,” and this hypermiling hatchback certainly has. It’s spurred the competition on to offer their own hybrid vehicles. Companies from Ford to Kia now sell cars with electrified powertrains.
Now in its third generation, the success of the original Prius has spawned a variety of other models. Buyers can choose from a smaller version, the Prius C, a larger model in the form of the Prius V and even a plug-in variant.