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 |  Oct 22 2013, 12:31 PM

5. The One That Started it All

The-One-That-Started-It-AllIt’s hard to believe the Toyota Prius is closing in on its 20th birthday, but it is. This fuel-sipping compact launched back in 1997, going on sale exclusively in the Japanese home market. And since its debut the car has been saving gasoline by the tanker-load.

When it launched, Bill Clinton still lived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Steve Jobs just returned to Apple and James Cameron’s Titanic was gracing silver screens around the world. The ‘90s were heady times indeed.

The Prius has the distinction of being the world’s first mass-produced hybrid car, which was quite an achievement at the time. It’s truly the one that started it all. In fact its name is Latin meaning “to go before.”