Name Critic rates Prius

Our Rating

Toyota’s new version of the Prius hybrid car is now shipping, this time around showing modern styling and aerodynamics to go with the latest in gas-electric hybrid technology. But is the name appropriate and will it become one of their major brands?

Well we definitely think so. Despite the fact that another trademark registration of this same name (for fishing tackle!) clarifies their application with The English translation of “PRIUS” is “before or formerly”.

Linguists might be able to argue that the name roots imply first or priority. As the first mass market production car with Hybrid technology, it was only appropriate that the range should have a futuristic sound, and we congratulate Toyota on not using an old name or bland numbering scheme. Now if only the word could be pronounced more easily by native Japanese speakers!

But doesn’t a new name for an exciting futuristic car deserve at least a little futuristic graphics treatment? We find it disappointing, but realize that it has to play subservience to the Toyota mark.

An interesting side note here is that Toyota now provides only names (mostly coined) for its wide range of vehicles, including the new Scion cars and division. But their Lexus division only uses one brand name and then various model numbers. Both schemes work – as long as there is consistency! See and for more details.

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