When almost a quarter-million Americans go out and buy one of the country's most fuel-efficient vehicles, a bunch of them are bound to be from California, right? The answer is yes, they are. USA Today reports that Golden State residents registered 60,688 Toyota Prius hybrids last year, making it the best-selling model in the state.

The newspaper, citing the California New Cars Dealers Association, added that the Prius outsold the No. 2 Honda Civic by about 3,500 units, or about the same number of Prius models that can be found roaming the streets of Silver Lake on a given day. All this isn't a total surprise, since the Prius led all model sales through the first three quarters of 2012.

Furthermore, Toyota as a whole accounted for more than one in five new California vehicles sold last year, while Honda accounted for about one in eight. Throughout the whole country, Toyota moved almost 237,000 Prius variants, including the standard Liftback, Prius Plug-In, C compact and V wagon versions. Do the math and it turns out Californians accounted for more than a quarter of all the Prius hybrids sold nationwide last year. Cowabunga.


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  • 31 Comments
      Oolly
      • 1 Year Ago
      I seldom hear of ICEs going 250,000 miles without a major repair. Just in the last month I've had co-workers who had to have a complete rebuild/replacement of an engine in a Dodge Caravan, and a transmission in a Chevrolet Malibu. The Caravan (replaced) had over 100,000 miles, but not much over. The Malibu (rebuilt) was an 08 with less than 100,000 miles, but that warranty runs out after 5 years form the data of sale. Both of these repairs cost more than a battery pack. These are just the people in my immediate area, not the whole company. I've yet to hear first hand of a Prius with engine, transmission or battery failure.
      Carguy
      • 1 Year Ago
      This article points out something that car companies have learned - that automotive trends are set in California and specifically in So Cal where historically German luxury cars, Japanese compacts, soccer mom SUV's, aftermarket wheels have all gotten their start. Not long ago the Prius was an odd ball trendy car which people were convinced was losing Toyota money now its a top seller. So if you believe the trend will continue you can't doubt the future of EV's as you see Volts, Tesla's, C-Maxs, Leafs popping up on the 405 freeway.
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      I can attest to that. There are Prius cars all over here. The new V wagon is pretty nice. And the inexpensive C model is pretty nice looking with great specs. But I am still annoyed by the Plug-In which is such a half-hearted attempt. I know they can do much better.
        Joeviocoe
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spec
        It has not been long enough for the PiP.... Toyota is a marathon runner, they will get their stride with the PiP eventually.... and quite possibly be a market leader in PHEVs
        gpmp
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spec
        Yeah, the plug-in was something of a disappointment. Enter Ford, with some real competition. Now maybe Toyota will will respond wholeheartedly. Still, I hope people buy lots of Fords.
          Spec
          • 1 Year Ago
          @gpmp
          Indeed. I think Ford's 20-mile electric range is a decent intermediate between the pricey Volt and a conventional hybrid. The PiP is just too under-electrified. You'd be better off with a regular Prius or moving up to a C-Max Energi or Volt.
      rollingrock11
      • 1 Year Ago
      the Prius is actually a nice looking car, but at the same time retains its hybrid appearance. it is cleverly styled in a way that is appealing to the eye. when I see a Prius on the road I will sometimes stop and stare at it. looks much better than the bland Corolla or Camry.
      usbseawolf2000
      • 1 Year Ago
      Affordable, practical and elegant solution that requires no electricity to save gasoline.
      rcavaretti
      • 1 Year Ago
      Let's see, take about 40 million people with some of the highest gas prices in the country, and of course you're going to end up with a high percentage of Prius or similar vehicle sales. Like the marketing guys even had to lift a finger to earn a paycheck that week.
        Spec
        • 1 Year Ago
        @rcavaretti
        Well the US car companies didn't figure it out and went bankrupt literally. Toyota started the Prius more than 10 years ago and carefully nurtured it as it was mocked mercilessly by many. Now it is the #1 car in California.
      RC
      • 1 Year Ago
      These wedge cars (LEAF & Prius) are so unattractive to me.
        brotherkenny4
        • 1 Year Ago
        @RC
        Yes, appearance is extremely important. Let us focus upon appearance, of our cars and our own personal appearance. Let us become metrosexuals, both with regards to our bodies and our vehicles. Because, appearance is our feminine side we must get in touch with our feminine side because for car guys sometime it's all the feminine we get to get in touch with. Let's man-scape our vehicles.
          RC
          • 1 Year Ago
          @brotherkenny4
          Do not underestimate design. The LEAF isn't selling because of the way it looks. If the Prius looked different Toyota would have sold far more priuses than it has. Design is paramount to success.
      Kevin Gregerson
      • 1 Year Ago
      Number 1 yuppie driver vehicle too. I've had more prius vehicles cut me off than any other make.
      mylexicon
      • 1 Year Ago
      We can celebrate when the Prius is built in Mississippi. On that happy day, the US will be simultaneously reducing our $300B crude deficit and our $80B passenger vehicle deficit.
      Oolly
      • 1 Year Ago
      Not much surprise here. Super reliable, very low maintenance costs, one of the best when it comes to resale, the cost to fuel is about half of the typical midsize car combined, the overall value is unmatched. There are many reason to select a car, but value is high on everybody's list.
        EZEE
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Oolly
        One other point - the batteries are lasting much longer than anyone thought. People are reporting 300,000 miles on their Prius (priii?) with the batteries still working fine. The big fear of paying thousands of dollars to replace the batteries doesn't seem that much of an issue. Also, if they do go at say, 250,000 miles, how many ice cars will have their original engines or transmissions at that point? In other words, the batteries appear to last the life of the car. Sweet.
      Levine Levine
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ten years ago, before GM became Government Motors, GM laughted at Toyota's inaugural Prius, saying the hybrid thing will never sell in mass quantity. Later, even as the Prius gained traction, GM's marketing department would down play the significancy of hybrid vehicles. Finally, to make up for lost time as well as confuse consumers, GM offered "mild hybrid" vehicles which used an alternator-starter powered by an extra 12V battery to kick start the engine as part of the start-stop technology. American ingenuity and engineering at its finest. The Japanese auto makers were in awe as well as shocked by such quantum leap in hybrid technology coming from Detroit! American arrogance is America's own worst enemy.
        Spec
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Levine Levine
        Of course, based on your posting history you would have been mocking any attempt GM made to build more efficient vehicles. Now, only after many years of struggling you praise the Prius. Just like you will be praising electric vehicles ten years from now even though you mock them now.
          Marcopolo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Spec
          @Ezee, Also well said !
          EZEE
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Spec
          I might just say 'Ford' as they were there from the start (although didnt market their hybrids the same way). When Ford and Toyota both sued each other for copyright infringement, they both looked and saw how each side developed their systems, and both agreed to not sue. American engineering was there, early on. Also with GM, yes, th were a bit late, and, I would prefer more models (that's just me), but the volt is still a marvel of technology. Nothing like it, anywhere. That fact that it is also proving reliable floors me (I would tell anyone to look at how that system works, compare it to anything out there,many report back). This really is a glass half full attitude. Yes, Toyota hit the right formula. What of Honda, what of Nissan? Their hybrids.....meh. Nissan has the Leaf, but on outright sales and size of the hybrid lines, we have Toyota number one, Ford number two. As far as full on electrics, although the leaf is good,mi would give the Tesla the nod at number one (Merica eff yea!), as that car competes, and destroys ICE cars in its class, with no apologies on range. Even dumb ol' Fisker...maybe not the best car out there, but how many other startups, in other countries are there? Thank you Spec, for trying to have a good attitude. Marco and I cannot be there all the time! :-) I mean, I don't want to be all puppies and rainbows if a hurricane is approaching, but you cannot ignore Ford, who has nearly a full line of hybrids, nor tesla... Both American.
          Marcopolo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Spec
          @ Spec Well said !
      lad
      • 1 Year Ago
      So, what would you buy in this changing world? We now know the price of gasoline could blow sky-high without Government subsides keeping the cost down; the current crop of EVs is disappointing because of the limited range and high costs...so, people who must buy a car look to a proven high mileage car for the immediate future.
        Carguy
        • 1 Year Ago
        @lad
        As someone who has both a Volt and an BMW Active E with "limited range" - I am confident that the next step is a combo of Volt/BMW i3 like cars with 40-100 mile EV capability and a gas range extender and Tesla-like cars with 150-300 mile ranges. The benefits of EV's are hard to explain to people who have not really driven or lived with them (that was me a year ago).
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