Hollywood Takes to Hot New Subcompact
Forget the new T-bird, the old Mercedes, the classic Rolls or even the Hummer. The hot new car in Hollywood is ... the $20,500 Toyota Prius?
That's what the New York Times says. Citing the Japanese subcompact's great gas mileage (what better way to address problems in the Middle East?) the paper counts Cameron Diaz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Stephen Collins and Ted Danson among the car's fans.
Diaz's Prius is customized, "Hollywood style," says The Times, which means that it features a black paint job and leather seats.
"I wanted to do my part," said the "Gangs of New York" star, 30, who purchased her first Prius a couple of months after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Should she step on it, the admittedly lead-footed Diaz got about 18 miles per gallon in her old Mercedes, she said, pointing out, "I can milk 40 to 45 out of the Prius, if I'm driving like a good girl."
An attractive feature of the Prius, as far as energy-conscious stars are concerned, is its electric motor that takes over for the internal combustion engine at low speeds and when the car stops - though drivers tell The Times that the silence of the electric motor can be disconcerting at first.
"When you're sitting at a light, you're thinking, 'Did my car just die?'" said Diaz. "You have to be careful going down alleyways, because people don't see you coming."
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