Here at Rockinvans Campervan Hire Scotland, we’re all aboard the Eco-Friendly train, and we vigorously salute the valiant efforts of the Toyota Prius Hybrid in the war against smog. So when the Pruis Camper Conversion was recently unveiled at the Tokyo Auto Salon, you’d have thought we’d have been all ‘ooh’s and ‘aah’s and admiring glances, but instead all it provoked was a collective intake of breath: the sort of kind that comes only from unfortunate taste. Now, we hate to pee on anyone’s campervan-ey parade, but this conversion just doesn’t tickle our road-tripping taste buds: it’s just a bit too much like a good car wearing a bad toupee.
The odd detachable shell adds more than 20 inches of length to the prius, 22 inches to the height and is made of reinforced plastic. Now, we’re no experts in aerodynamics, but we can only imagine that the sheer size and weight of this less than dainty structure plays all kinds of naughty havoc with the fuel efficiency of the Toyota Prius…which is what it was designed for, after all. It’s all just a little confusing.
What we can’t deny is the clever use of space (there is quite a lot of it, mind you), and the array of bedding/seating options available. The back seats of the car can be slid down in order to create space for a double bed in the back, while the top section (the bit that looks like a bad wig, remember?) can house a further double bed. Somehow, the folks at Toyota have even managed to squeeze in a retractable coffee table or ‘side sofa’ to the Prius camper.
A look inside the Prius.
Our favourite feature? The back door: that way you can sneak out after a comfortable night sleep, and avoid the gaze of the gathered group pointing and staring at your odd new creation.
The Rockinvans verdict: a clever use of space, but it just aint sexy. Sorry Toyota.