From the off one has had a strained relationship with the Toyota Prius Hybrid.
One got the message about its primary purpose, and understood insofar as one needed to the workings of it all, but for some reason it just didn't cut the deal.
Maybe it was the bad experience once when the Prius left me holding up a line of traffic because I couldn't get it to move that clouded the judgement.
Anyway, that was yesterday, or many yesterdays ago.
Just had my latest Prius Hybrid (electric and petrol power) experience. The reaction?
Really liked it! You know, I would give serious consideration to buying one, if I were in the market for a new car.
Now there's a change.
You know how, in simple terms, the Prius works. The drive comes from electric and petrol power working together or separately, depending on the needs or demands.
When you stop the motor stops, but the electric power remains on and you are ready to blast off.
Yes, blast off, with plenty of torque on tap.
And when you do take off the transition between the electric and petrol drive flows ever so smoothly as the electronically controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (e-CVT) helps sweep you along in an ultra quiet car, the neat cabin of which is an oasis of peace and tranquility.
The Prius scores big on two fronts. One is the cost of ownership.
Toyota advertise Prius as costing 30% less in terms of maintenance, and the suggested fuel returns of over 90mpg (one got around 60) is an obvious attraction too.
Prius is environmentally friendly with emissions now down to 70g/km thanks to a heavily revised petrol engine, so the demands of those with a 'green agenda' are met.
The striking performance of Prius is something we haven't heard much about, but it grabbed my attention forcefully.
We had to make a late night drive from Cavan on one occasion, mainly along motorway, and the car performed - that is the best way to describe it - superbly, zippy, steady, comfortable and extremely quiet.
Honestly I feel this was my 'Road to Damascus' journey with Prius!
One pushed the car. It responded far better than I ever imagined it could. One got to appreciate far better what the car and technology therein were all about.
The low stance of Prius gives the car a lower centre of gravity, and consequently a very assured feel on a light rein.
In terms of looks, one particularly liked the angular shapes around the body, especially at the rear lights and boot area.
The rear spoiler, we felt, obstructed the view when using the interior rear view mirror, although we acknowledge its purpose in terms of drag and so forth.
The interior of Prius is smart looking.
The test car was pure white with dark interior furnishings set off against body coloured in-lays on the centre console and gear shift, as well as on the lower end of the steering wheel.
One loved this stylish design....fresh, modern, befitting a motor of today like Prius.
The inserts set off the interior like a good necktie enhances a fine shirt.
And the base of the unit in the console is a wireless phone charger, for a compatible device, of course.
All the mod cons in terms of driving aids are there, including the must have information display screen in the centre of the dash.
The interior of Prius is spacious, and so too is the boot, which can be extended by employing the 60/40 split and folding rear seats.
Nice car? Better than one ever thought.
New Prius has enlisted at least one more admirer.
Prices of Prius begin at €31,450 (includes €1,500 VRT rebate).
Toyota Prius 1.8l petrol Hybrid e-CVT hatch Luxury €33,550 (includes €1,500 VRT rebate), 1798cc, four cylinders, 16 valves, fuel injection, total power 122bhp, electric front motor: permanent magnet synchronous motor, max output 53kw, max torque 163Nm, Hybrid battery Nickel metal hybrid, max speed 180kph, 0 to 100kph in 10.6 seconds, fuel consumption 3.0 l/km (94mpg combined), 2.9 (97mpg urban), 3.1 (91mpg extra urban), C02 70g/km (combined), annual road tax €170.
Main features of Prius Hybrid are 15" alloy wheels, chrome surrounds on front fog lamps, LED front and rear light guides, automatically retractable door mirrors, driver-only Smart Entry and Smart start, rear combination lights (LED), LED headlamps, 3-spoke urethane steering wheel, dual zone climate control, Toyota Safety Sense with Road Sign Assist, pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alter with steering control, automatic high beam, pearlescent white insert on centre console and gear shift knob surround, 60/40 split folding rear seats, coloured TFT multi-information display, Toyota Touch 2 multimedia system, 6-speed, Bluetooth; additional on Luxury 17" alloys, smart entry system, 3 spoke leather steering wheel, electrochromatic rear view mirror, heated front seats, noise reduction layer on front windows, head up display, wireless phone charger.
Sat Nav is an option and costs €885.