This post comes from Autoblog Open Road, our contributor network. The author is solely responsible for the content, and any opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Autoblog and its editors.
The only time I ever think about cars is when I periodically group-text my car guy friends to ask which one I should buy next. The answer is a version of, "Please, please don't make us do this. Just get another Civic, because you only ever want a Civic." I have silently borne their derision for many years but have recently upgraded to a Prius, and now am prepared to meet their even louder derision with an onslaught of enthusiasm.
I love my 2015 Prius something-or-other! It is hands-down the best car I have driven in Los Angeles. First, I can listen to music or podcasts, which was not really possible in my 2010 Civic, bless its hardy soul. I mean, I had an aux cord somewhere, but it would kill the phone battery, and the charger was fickle, or maybe it was the outlet. My point is: Bluetooth is a remarkable and probably recent invention. Every day I am treated to a fun little fact about my car, like it unlocks when I get near the door. I called my husband to tell him this, and he says every car has that now. Unlike me, he hasn't spent much time in Michigan, so I am probably more correct about cars than him.
Hollywood people don't like an unnecessary life hassle, because every minute of our jobs is an unfathomable wrangle with objectively difficult people.
The Prius is LA's best car because it is essentially hassle-free. Hollywood people don't like an unnecessary life hassle, because every minute of our jobs is an unfathomable wrangle with objectively difficult people. Fly actor X to godforsaken location. His dog doesn't have travel papers or shots, this trailer is too small, the director is quitting because the writer won't change this scene, and always the chorus of "the financing is falling through!" It's so tiring. We don't want our cars to be tiring. This is why so many commercial parking structures in LA have a valet and car wash, so you can just commute and not deal with parking or upkeep. My old office valet guy was our auto-body guy too – I would leave a scraped-up car at work on Friday and come back Monday morning to a clean and perfect version.
The dang gas refill, though, is an inevitable dip into the mundane. Buying a Tesla seems to be a popular workaround, but if, like me, you live in a street-parking area with nowhere to charge, the most common move is a gas-minimizing Prius or Lexus hybrid. Lest you think I'm being coy, let me clarify that I was also born in a third-world country and am constitutionally unable to fathom spending Tesla money on anything but an education.
The main reason I bought this car is because I can change my baby's diaper right in the trunk without hurting my back. I can feed us lunch on the go back there, and make it feel like a picnic. I lug around his travel stroller and the billion groceries I buy every week without ever having to bend over. It is also extremely comfortable for stowaways, like your brother's best friend who has flown in to surprise him for his going-away party. Evan is a six-foot-tall, broad-shouldered CrossFit enthusiast and reports a smooth and spacious ride for him, his carry on, and the bouquet of flowers he presented to my brother (they are very close). Between its gas mileage and my new freelance gig, I fill the tank every four to six weeks. Granted, I live in Venice and can walk to most things, but even someone who doesn't drive much in LA drives more than most – to pitch meetings, far-flung friends, dim sum.
Asking me to spot the difference is an exercise as pointless as showing me two potatoes of equal size and asking which one is from my kitchen. They both make French fries.
I am also in the small minority of Angelenos who don't particularly care what a car looks like. I realize that we live in a status-obsessed city where so many define themselves via a gorgeous luxury vehicle. But I was also a good talent agent who drove a five-year-old Honda with no sound system or powered anything, so that part of my brain is missing.
I was surprised today to hear that the consensus among car critics (as they definitely like to be called) is that the 2016 Prius looks "atrocious." After seeing the photos, my honest opinion is that it looks exactly the same as my car. Asking me to spot the difference is an exercise as pointless as showing me two potatoes of equal size and asking which one is from my kitchen. They both make French fries.
My car gets me from A to B with minimal stops for gas and maintenance, it makes transporting a toddler slightly less torturous, and it probably also makes French fries, but we're still getting to know each other, so I'll have to group-text my car guy friends to confirm.