I wasn’t old enough to know what drew people to buy a VW bus back in the 60’s and 70’s. It was a pretty unique vehicle until GM and Ford eventually brought van’s to market. I’d have to assume that it offered great space and flexibility for a reasonable price. I’ll have to discuss it with my Dad, who bought one in 1966. They didn’t have it too long, probably due to the low power that a former car-club guy would have hated.
We recently purchased our second Prius. Like the VW bus was in the 60’s, the Prius is still pretty unique now. Outstanding gas mileage with the convenient flexibility of a hatchback make it a hard vehicle to beat from out standpoint. I really wish there was a bus-like hybrid available, but nothing has made it beyond the concept stage.
Though roughly 50 years separate the technology of our bus and our Prius, I love the simplicity of each. They both take advantage of physics principles. Both are lightweight and offer better fuel economy than other vehicles in their market. While the VW bus is not as environmentally clean, it is very simple in design and maintenance aspects. While the Prius does not have the space and is complex technologically, it is relatively trouble-free and has a good deal more storage and flexibility than the sedan shape of many of its competitors.
It’s no Westfalia, but we’re happy so far with our new Prius and after nearly 140,000 miles, we’re happy with our old Prius as well.