Toyota Prius Ranked 2nd on Autoweek Most Searched for List…Will Plug-In Prius Sales Soon Skyrocket


For 2012, tracked the Top 12 vehicles that users of the site searched for during the course of the year.  The list is mostly chock full of vehicles that you’d expect general automotive enthusiasts to drool over.  For example, topping the list is the Ford Mustang and in third place in the Chevrolet Corvette.  This duo of gas-chugging coupes aren’t exactly practical, nor are they known to be fuel efficient.

Oddly, Autoweek’s loyal automotive enthusiasts ranked a vehicle in second place that we’d consider to be a fuel-miser: the Toyota Prius.  But this site ( isn’t interested in the popularity of conventional hybrids, unless there’s a tie to a vehicle that plugs in.

Topping the list is the number one pony: the Ford Mustang.

As we all know, the conventional Prius has a sibling that’s capable of consuming electricity.  It’s known as the Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid.  Before we discuss the importance of the Prius’ Autoweek ranking, let’s first turn to the site’s brief overview.

“Not a favorite among our editorial staff, the Toyota Prius maintains an enviable reputation thanks to its long history of purported environmental consciousness. Its popularity has been so great the nameplate has expanded to become a family of cars including the Prius V wagon and the smaller and even more efficient Prius C.”

Both the Chevy Volt and Nissan LEAF are absent from Autoweek’s list, which would seem to indicate that plug-in vehicles aren’t popular amongst general automotive enthusiasts, yet the conventional Prius placed near the top of the list.  Is the Prius, for lack of a better term, a gateway vehicle for those seeking extreme fuel economy?

If so, then Toyota should work to find a way to capitalize on this unexpectedly high level of interest in the conventional Prius and it would be wise to convince potential Prius liftback buyers that an even more fuel-efficient Prius exists.  Of course, that’s the Prius Plug-In Hybrid.

As we see it right now, Toyota hasn’t taken full advantage of the instant recognition of the Prius name.  If the automaker could find a way pitch its Prius Plug-In Hybrid to the enormous crowd of general automotive enthusiasts, then there’s no doubt Toyota would instantly leap to the top of the sales chart in the plug-in segment.

We’re not marketers, but there seems to be a definite opportunity here for Toyota to shoot past the plugged-in competition.

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8 Comments on "Toyota Prius Ranked 2nd on Autoweek Most Searched for List…Will Plug-In Prius Sales Soon Skyrocket"

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“Just because I have a plug, doesn’t mean i’m an EV” – PiP

Loveday, the unwashed masses might not be as dumb as you seem to think they are.

NO. All that means is that more people are searching the web for the actual 6EV miles of the Prius plug-in, as they compare with the American made Volt with 38 EV miles, or C-Max/Fusion Energi that offers 21 EV miles. Doing the math and then purchasing their Volt, or ordering the C-Max or Fusion Energi.

Currently the Volt has the best lease at $329/mo and $2,600 down. Then the C-Max Energi at $320/mo and $4,290 down.

The Prius plug-in is offered at $299/mo and $4,599 down and only 6EV miles.

Prius sounds like “Please Us” which is, basically, “Mind Control” 🙂

Many psychologists were used to come up with this name. Please submit to their marketing – you will be assimilated.

Good article. Important to recognize the importance of this vehicle in the million EV march. Every electric mile counts even when they come six at a time….

Unless those pseudo-EV’s take sales away from real ones.

Why no love for the PIP? Just because it may not meet your needs does not mean it is not the answer for some folks. What if someone had a single digit RT commute, but went to their country home every weekend that was over 200 miles away? Sounds to me like Toyota has the perfect vehicle for them….

I have driven my PiP for about 2,000 miles. 40% EV and 60% HV miles.

A flat cargo floor and 5 seats have been handy at times. Loving it’s efficiency and the total package.

I am averaging 128 MPGe or 264 kWh/mi (charging loss included) on electric miles and 55 MPG on gas.