A friend of mine recently sent me THIS link to a story entitled "Toyota Prius proves a gas guzzler in a race with the BMW 520d" from an English Newspaper where two automotive reporters test drove a Prius and a large BMW to Geneva,
The BMW was not only a much better car in their estimations, but also more fuel efficient.
I’ve read a bunch of these type of articles where they compare a
Prius to some other cars by driving the two cars cross
country…usually somewhere nice, over some beautiful roads.
They always come to the same conclusion: the Prius is more
marketing, more hype, and the old and tested technology, like diesel or
gasoline, is cheaper and better.
It becomes an emotional “I told your so” argument from the car
community to the Greenies that has very little to do with the actual
science and validity of the comparison.
For instance in this story I would question how many Londoners actually drive to Geneva everyday?
Don’t most people, almost all of the time, drive around town? You know in town, in stop and go traffic.
The simple facts speak for themselves. Insurance companies know that
ninety percent of all cars accidents happen with 5 miles of your home.
That’s because, unlike this story, most of us are usually driving to
and from our house most of the time. So unless these writers live in
Geneva, they are pretty far removed from how almost all cars are really
Would it not be logical to actually compare the two cars in the way they will be used 98 percent of the time?
The Prius does great in town when it comes to mpg, diesels do better
on the open road. They choose 400 miles of highway and country driving.
Hmmm, hardly seems like a fair comparison. In fact one could say the stacked the cards in favor of the diesel.
To make matters even less scientific, the BMW they choose (520d)
cannot even be imported into the U.S. because the engine’s emission are
In fact there are currently zero European diesels that are legal in all 50 states and that includes the Mercs, VWs and BMWs.
The reason that diesels do so well when it comes to mpg is that
diesel has more inherent energy than petrol. It also has 15 percent
more CO2 which is the stuff that the story failed to measure.
They also failed to measure the HC,NOx emissions of the diesel
because they are off the charts, at least when compared to a gasoline
Let’s me just say that diesel is a boom to both allergies and drug companies around the world.
Unfortunately this story mainly pointed out subjective driving
critics of both cars and the failure or success of Toyota's “green”
So yes I’ve read this sort of thing many times before, but it is
always more about the specific point of view of the author or
publication, and less about the science and facts of the comparison.
Too bad, I’d love to read a genuine and scientific comparison of the
Prius to other cars. But that would involve a lot of research and zero
driving of a BMW through the French Alps…and who wants to write that