2010 Toyota Prius – Click above for high-res image gallery

We often talk about the the polarizing exterior design of some hybrids and upcoming electric vehicles as a negative attribute which could hamper their sales success. But the look-at-me design of the best-selling Toyota Prius may indeed be the driving force that draws buyers in – that's according to the author of the best-selling book Predictably Irrational, Dan Ariely.

We've touched on this polarizing design topic before and it usually ends the same. About half believe that the Prius is a hit because it's immediately recognizable as a green car and the other half wish Toyota would design the Prius to resemble something more conventional. Ariely adds that Prius drivers smile more than others because the vehicle's design makes it easy to show off the eco-friendly choice they've made:
This is my personal observation. When I drive and I see people driving Priuses, they look to me like they smile more than others.
Whether more smiles come as part of the ownership experience has yet to be determined, but we constantly ponder the "what ifs" regarding the Prius. What if Toyota redesigned the Prius as a copycat of a more traditional car? Would it be more or less of a success? Definitive answers are nowhere to be found, but speculation is always encouraged.

[Source: HybridCars]

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