Prius Overhyped? BMW 5 Series Diesel Gets Better Mileage
What is the attraction of the Toyota Prius, if not its superior fuel economy?
The British newspaper The Times decided to find out whether the hybrid Prius was, in reality, superior in fuel economy to a more conventional car.
The answer: no.
Indeed, the newspaper headlined the story thus, “Toyota Prius Proves a Gas Guzzler in a Race with the BWM 520d.”
(more after jump)
That may be a bit of an exaggeration, but the reality is that a full size 5 Series sedan, a “saloon” in the British parlance, beat out a Prius on mileage.
Here’s the test which The Times put the two through:
Both cars were driven from London to Geneva, “using motorways and town driving.” That’s a direct route of 460 miles, but the newspaper added an additional 100 miles of urban driving, specifically to give the Prius an advantage through use of its hybrid drivetrain in the in-town setting in which it works best.
50.3 mpg for the full-size BMW equipped with a four cylinder diesel.
48.1 mpg for the Prius.
Bottom line: drive a Prius if you’re looking to make a politically correct statement, but don’t presume to believe that you’ve found the only true way to save fuel or reduce emissions – or even the best way.