The Toyota Prius is a hybrid electric vehicle made in Japan. It is stereotyped as being very popular with homosexuals, celebrities, and environmentalists concerned about their public image. One reason the Prius sells more than other hybrids, such as Toyota's own Camry Hybrid, is because it was the first mass-produced hybrid. Some other reasons given for Prius ownership are: owners wanting to make a statement about themselves, concern over foreign oil dependence, and the myth of global warming.
Released in Japan in 1997 and North America in 2001, the Prius has received praise for being extremely fuel-efficient and reliable, while still retaining a low price. The Prius' 2004 redesign gave it the iconic hatchback shape that many associate with the Prius. Popularity grew in 2008 when the fuel prices went up, and Prii have continued to sell more ever since. One million Prii had been sold worldwide by 2008, and by 2013, three million had been sold. In 2010, the Prius became a subject of Toyota's infamous sudden-acceleration recall. Though this tarnished the Prius' image some, it continues to provide people safe and reliable transportation.
In 2011, a larger, wagon form of the Prius called the Prius v was released, and a smaller hatchback called the Prius c came out a short time later.
The first and second generation Prii were powered by a 1.5 liter gas-electric four-cylinder, while the third generation's engine size grew to 1.8 liters. The v and conventional Prius use this powertrain, while the tinier c uses a 1.5 liter. The 2014 Prius is EPA rated at 51 city, 48 highway on Regular gas.