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Why A Hybrid Can Be Great For Driving In Utah

Brian Champagne

Acura just announced they are killing their supercar the NSX. They’ve only sold 67 of them so far this year, but it was one of the fastest hyrids on the road.

UPR Contributor Brian Champagne checked out the hybrid that started it all, and how it’s getting passed in popularity.


Toyota loaned us an all-wheel drive Prius. Driving one makes you miss it when you get back into a regular car or truck. Because going up a hill, and you may have seen a hill in Utah, the electric and gas motors work together so you still get decent mileage. Same thing pulling away when the light turns green. Your gas-only vehicle is getting some of its worst mileage then.


Going down hills and coasting to red lights, which you may have seen in Utah, it uses your momemtum to recharge the batteries. With gas, you just coast.


You can buy a Prius Prime with extra luxury stuff, but we appreciated the old-school parking brake, lift-yourself liftgate, and manual seats with a VW-style crank for getting the angle just right.

The basic Prius doubled the Prime in July sales. Toyota and its luxury brand Lexus now sell 14 hybrid models. The OG Hybrid that celebrated its 20th birthday last year is now in third place for the company, behind the Sienna minivan and dominant RAV4 hybrids. The Prius still quadrupled Honda’s Insight hybrid.


Honda announced it will be all-electric by 2040, moving from a goal of 20% by 2030.


Accelerating on I-15 the Prius sounds uncool, and there’s a backup beeper inside the car that sounds annoying. Cheap plastic wheel covers help keep the price at around 31-6.

Hybrids make sense in Utah because of our hills, stoplights, and lousy air quality. They made up almost one in four Toyotas sold last month. Honda’s at 14%. For now.


Brian Champagne grew up in the less-famous Central California but left after starting his television news career there. He worked 22 years in news for NBC, ABC, Fox, and CBS affiliates in four markets. He served as chief photographer for KTXL-TV in Sacramento, but worked in front of the camera, too.