Customer feedback from owners of the Lexus RX400h and Toyota Highlander Hybrid has prompted Toyota to consider revising the badging on hybrids so that the vehicles stand out more. This goes against Toyota's own research, as well as research conducted by Honda and Ford, that says consumers want discreet hybrids that look like they're conventional-powered counterparts. "People didn't want a vehicle that looks like a freak show on wheels," according to a quote from Dan Bedore, a Ford spokesperson. Regardless, Toyota is considering increasing the number of hybrid badges on its vehicles or possibly using an alternative to the conventional rear tailgate badging. Perhaps hybrids would be more apparent if they were all painted green with a big white "H" on their hoods. Honestly, if you want people to know you drive a hybrid, buy a Prius or an Insight.

[Does hybrid equal status symbol? -ed. RH]

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