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Will former Prius drivers drive more aggressively in a Model 3?


Active Member
May 26, 2013
Mission Viejo, CA
OK. File this under "random thoughts." It's been inferred that Tesla expects to get a lot of former Prius owners with the Model 3. My question is this...Do you think they'll drive more aggressively once they get the Model 3? My hunch is "maybe" for a couple of reasons. 1) There's no more "gasoline guilt." Assuming you're getting you're electricity from a green, renewable source (i.e. solar panels), you can floor it without guilt. And 2) It's going to be a LOT more powerful than the Prius, and therefore, more fun-to-drive.

I hope Tesla sells a LOT of Model 3s to Prius owners, AND they finally discover the skinny pedal on the right. :cool:


Active Member
May 5, 2016
Bay Area
Some people are simply not the lead footed aggressive driver type, it doesn't matter what car you put them in. There's a lot of conservative 328i drivers out there, even though the latest incantations of that car are quite respectable turbocharged cars with responsive low-end torque.

But seriously, expecting people to drive outside their comfort zone is not gonna make the world a safer or better place. I would much rather spread the message of keep right except to pass, and being aware of cars behind you that want to go faster and courteously letting them by at your convenience.
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Rideshare Monkey
Sep 29, 2015
CA, United States
I remember years ago when I let a friend, who was a dedicated truck guy and had never driven anything like it, drive my Miata on one of Northern California's best twisty highways.

After about 10 minutes he commented, "the thing is so seductive it just begs you to drive faster!"

I expect my miles/Kw to go down a bit from my Volt, and since I'll have so much more electric range, I'm OK with that!
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Nov 3, 2016
I realize this thread was geared towards future 3 owners.

Having rolled in Priuses for 10 years, and then stepping up to the X, I thought I'd pine in. Really hope ya'll don't mind, as I suspect those especially getting the performance version of the 3 may find themselves harboring similar sentiments down the road. :)

If by 'aggressive' you mean driving like you own the road, equipped with the quiet confidence of knowing you can smoke almost any engine-revving chump out there, knowing you control warp engines that enable you to dart between lanes if need be, being able to floor it (emission guilt-free) every so often from a dead stop just because you can, then sure- I drive a little more aggressively than I used to. :cool:

RIP Prius


Supporting Member
Dec 28, 2007
I definitely drive my S more aggressively than my Volt.

The extra power can be seductive, espically with smooth instant one pedal control of the vehicle (which the Volt also has, but with a lot less power). However, having way more range than I would possibly use in daily driving is the real enabler. Hypermiling is never needed for daily driving with the S (it can come in handy for longer highway trips though). With the Volt, I usually conserve my 38 EPA miles for daily use, so that I would not have to suffer the barely noticeable vibration and noise from the ICE range extender.

So yes, I do expect many (but not all) former Prius drivers to drive more aggressively in the 3.

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Oct 3, 2016
San Diego, CA
Coming from a Volt and Leaf, I know I drive my MS completely differently. With the Volt, because I was just in the limit of being able to drive on electricity only (less than 40 mile round trip commute), my cheapness made me try to drive it in a way to ensure I never had to use gas. On the leaf, any bit of extra acceleration in the car reduced the range significantly...I drove it like a grandpa.

now that I am in the MS, and free charging at work, I never have to worry about range. Not only that, you don't have to worry about ruining an 'engine' because of not letting it fully warm up before stomping on it, or stomping on it too much and blowing a piston. So I thoroughly enjoy accelerating up to around the speed limit whenever I get the chance.

I've owned multiple turbo cars in the past (some custom setups, two Subrau STi's), and I would occasionally romp on it, I didn't do it constantly since it would not be healthy on the engine. I also would baby it until the engine warmed up. I like not having to think about this anymore and can freely push the car whenever I want.
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Jason Bourne

Mar 29, 2016
Based on my experiences with Prius drivers, including two in my immediate family, I think the answer to your question is: very likely not.

First, I would guess that most Prius drivers are not the speedy aggressive type. I think it's unlikely that an aggressive driver would want a Prius in the first place, despite the fuel economy benefits.

Second, driving aggressively in any car lowers the range of a full fuel tank. People generally interested in maximizing fuel consumption will probably continue to drive gingerly, and usually directly in front of me in the left lane when they shouldn't be.
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Well-Known Member
May 7, 2009
Kihei, HI
I have an early 2004 Prius. When everyone on Prius Chat was talking about hypermileing, I was firmly in the "Just-Drive-It" camp. I drove the Prius exactly as I had driven the 1989 Honda Civic before it: I floored it when I was in a hurry, and I drove it moderately otherwise. I never went super-slow, but if I was not in a hurry I accelerated like the average driver. After I installed the EV switch, when I was on residential streets I would accelerate normally on gas, and then engage EV mode for the steady-state to the next stop sign.

I drive the Roadster like the sports car it is. If there's nobody ahead of me and the road is clear and it's safe to do so, I floor it up to the speed limit (35 on most city streets here). I do not swerve in and out of traffic, or try to pass on narrow streets, but I definitely use that incredible torque to merge on the freeway and generally drive in the fast lane. Unless road conditions are less than optimal. My electricity comes from hydro, so I don't have carbon guilt when I drive the Tesla.

I'm waiting for the P-AWD Model 3, so I expect to drive it much as I drive the Roadster.

But then, as I said, I was never a hypermiler in the Prius, and I always argued against hypermileing in traffic because it's just plain rude.

ETA: Range is not an issue for me because with 245 miles of range, I've never gone below about 50% SoC.


Apr 5, 2016
Mantua, NJ
I drive a Prius plug-in and have little "gasoline guilt" since I generate 100% of my electrical needs with my Solar City roof panels. I WILL NOT drive my TM3 any differently since floorboarding it just reduces range. For me, speed does not equal fun. Being personally responsible equals fun.

Ditto. I don't think I'll let go of the games I play each day wanting the estimated MPG in my 2005 Prius to read a certain target number by the time I park at work or home. This leads to more coasting to stops, gradual acceleration and maintaining 30 mph on local roads to use only the electric motor as long as possible. I'll simply switch from maximizing MPG to maximizing miles per kWh.
(Model S and X owners - Is miles per kWh an option on your display or does it only show Wh per mile? I think miles per kWh is more intuitively useful.)

Note: I'm also a Solar City customer and any excess juice I need will be coming from Inspire, a 3rd party wind-only supplier.
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Active Member
Jun 14, 2013
I think it is an interesting question.

Like others on here, I also had a Prius (well, it was really my wife's car). When I got the Roadster I certainly drove it much differently than the Prius (or even various sports cars that I have had). The responsiveness and the instant torque was like crack - the more I drove it the more I wanted to push it.

Eventually that feeling wore off. My (apparent) natural conservatism took over and I regressed back to driving "like a grandpa" (to quote derekmw above). However, that itch still surfaces now and then, and it is nice to know I can scratch it at any time :)

Interestingly enough, data supports my conclusion above. Following is my annual Wh/mi in the Roadster:
2013 262 Wh/mi
2014 246 Wh/mi
2015 246 Wh/mi
2016 224 Wh/mi (this also coincided with a residence move that cut my highway - higher Wh/mi - commute in half)

My daughter is working on her Econ PhD, and some of her research is related to the impact of providing real-time efficiency feedback on driving habits. I will be interested to see what her research shows, as I anticipate that people are either wired to respond (i.e. it is a challenge that they want to beat) or couldn't care less.


Oct 3, 2016
San Diego, CA
My daughter is working on her Econ PhD, and some of her research is related to the impact of providing real-time efficiency feedback on driving habits. I will be interested to see what her research shows, as I anticipate that people are either wired to respond (i.e. it is a challenge that they want to beat) or couldn't care less.

I think, both actually. In the Leaf, as silly as I feel admitting it, I tried to get the best efficiency - because it always threw it in your face. It would tell you how you ranked for your region. This combined with range anxiety (my commute got longer during my ownership of the Leaf), I think caused me to strive for the best wh/mi possible.

With the MS, I choose not to display any efficiency details. I don't care and don't want to know. I have 245 mi range, and my commute is now 16 miles round trip. I can floor it the entire way to work and back and still won't come close to draining my 'tank'.


Well-Known Member
Jan 20, 2016
It really depends on the individual, not the car. Trust me, if you drive motorhome cross-country then hop in a supercar, you don't floor it at each stoplight. After running the supercar you don't start drifting on the way home in the motor home. That being said I don't think many Prius buyers select the slowest model because they enjoy driving.

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