...and it's far better than even I can believe.
I was walking home from the train, and for some reason, a little white car draws my attention. It doesn't look familiar, so I start to wonder why it caught my attention.
This little white car, a four-door sedan that looked smaller than my old Camry, is on the other side of a major intersection, coming toward me, but not yet close enough to see the logo on it. It is being driven like it is either severely underpowered, or the driver is the stereotypical little old lady with blue hair who is looking through the steering wheel to see out the front window.
The car turns down the cross street, in the direction I will be going. When I make the turn, I see it backing into a parking spot.
I get closer, and can see that the logo on the trunk is Toyota's, but I can't read the text that says what model it is.
I get still closer, and see that the model of this tiny four-door sedan is... Huh? Prius?
Understand that until I saw this car, I had never seen a Prius that didn't look like the userpic for this entry (modulo color). Not even in pictures. And yet my PriusDAR seems to have pinged right on this oddity.
Relating this episode to another Prius owner in IRC revealed the information that what I was seeing was the "classic" Prius, with inferior-to-present batteries, from the first year or so that the Prius was available in the US. It does NOT have the HSD (Hybrid Synergy Drive) that the current Toyota hybrids do. The 'dashboard' was centered, like in the Yaris, not directly in front of the driver, as in most cars (including the present Prius). It also did not appear to have the SmartKey system that I do, and the "gearshift" was a large handle, not a small knob-sized one, but still on the dashboard, not the steering column.
Quite frankly, if this had been my image of a Prius before buying, I'd probably have ended up with the Civic hybrid, or gotten another gas-engine car. But it's still astonishing that I picked this car out.