The first Toyota Prius entered the US market with little fanfare in 2001. Gas was still cheap — costing around $1.60 a gallon — and the hybrid sedan appealed mainly to technophiles and environmentalists.
Everything changed, though, with a complete redesign for 2004. Gas prices were on the rise, and the Prius now made a fashion statement with sleek new styling and earth-friendly credibility. When Toyota released the third generation in 2010, gas prices had climbed to nearly $5 a gallon in recent memory, and the high-mpg Prius looked better than ever.