Hearne: Study Fingers BMW & Prius Drivers as “Biggest Jerks”

72822703It was bound to surface…

After years of being on the receiving end of snide stares and regular guy slights, BMW and Toyota Prius drivers alike have been fingered as being jerks in a recent study linking bad driving habits to wealth by the Institute of Personality and Social Research at the University of California, Berkley.

Hey, BMW drivers are one thing.

The marque’s snob appeal is legend. But Prius drivers? Tree huggers ostensibly bent on saving the earth and fostering world peace – them too? According to the study yes. Because in California where it was conducted, the Prius is considered a “premium” car.

Go figure.

First let’s examine some of the stereotypes.


Starting with Ranker’s “Top 5 Reasons Priuses Suck.”

hertz_prius1) Ostentatious:

“Alright, full disclosure: I drive an entry level BMW sedan that cost me little more than a fully loaded Honda Accord. Nothing too showy. And yet, I have had more than one Prius driver admonish me for driving something so ‘ostentatious.’ Prius driver’s love that word, ‘ostentatious.’ They fling it like a monkey flings its poo at any car they deem too “white collar.”

2) Environmentally & Economically Stupid

“I’m not going to try to claim that a Hummer H3 is more economical than a Prius. Sure there was a study done, but the method of achieving those results was asinine. No. Priuses are green, I agree. That said, I’ve heard far too many Prius owners claim they bought their car because it’s the *greenest* car on the road. There’s only one problem with that. Priuses aren’t the greenest car on the road. Generally speaking, the greenest car on the road a well-maintained *used* car.Why? Because most of the pollution a car generates over its lifetime is created during the process of actually making the car. By purchasing a used car, the pollution generated by the car’s construction is on the shoulders of the individual who bought it new. The last time I checked, there was a waiting list for new Priuses. Environmentally conscious, indeed.”

3) Prii

“Prii (pronounced pree-eye). That is the correct plural form of the word, ‘Prius.’ Why do I refuse to use it? Because along with everything else involving this asinine car, it’s smothered with a big, heaping pile of self-satisfied smugness. You never hear anyone just say, Prii. What they actually say is, Prii, then follow it up after the awkward silence with, ‘Yes, that’s the correct word.’

“Good for you, dingus. How nice of you to make everyone else in the room feel dumb. Good to know your sense of superiority doesn’t diminish when you get out of your car. I use ‘Priuses’ even though it’s wrong, because unlike you I’m not desperate to prove I’m the smartest person in the room.”

4) Ugly

“Could there be a car on the road designed to be more unattractive? It’s not that the car is horrible to look at; there of plenty of cars that could beat the Prius in that department. It’s the sense you get that the Prius was *intentionally* designed to look that way (hideous) in order to distance itself from all of those ‘ostentatious’ beautiful cars Prius drivers hate so much.

At least with most ugly cars you can tell the designers at least tried to make it pretty… they just failed. Prius owners will try to tell you that it’s just a nice unassuming car. No– sorry. This isn’t a case of wearing your favorite pair of jeans. This is the automotive equivalent of intentionally wearing rags to a black-tie ball so you can feel morally superior to all of those phonies who showed up in tuxedos and gowns. It’s just more of that Prius Driver brand of unwarranted self-superiority.”

5) Forces You to Drive Like a Jerk

What’s the first rule of driving? ‘Keep your eyes on the road.’ And what do Prius drivers do? Stare at their MPG. In any car, that’s dangerous. And while you could argue that this problem is true for anyone who drives a hybrid, Prius drivers in particular seem to be *obsessed* with it. As the show ‘Top Gear’ proved, when driven normally, Priuses get worse mileage than an M3. To really get that Prius level of MPG you have to drive like a putz, accelerating slower than the flow of traffic, and braking more while going downhill.

In a nutshell, Prius drivers cruise at a speed based on their MPG instead of the average pace of the cars around them. In other words, Prius drivers typically drive like self-absorbed jerks. Say what you want about Ferraris and Porsches, but unless you’re in a movie, when they’re surrounded by traffic they drive at the same speed as everyone else. They’re forced to, otherwise they’d be the first to be pulled over. It’s the Prius drivers who drive like they own the road, not the wealthy in their sports cars. Yet another issue heaped upon us by the self-importance of the “morally superior” Prius owner. No thanks.”

Now on to the “I Hate BMW’s” Facebook page.

BMW_DoucheBMW Douche: A simple minded individual who has let a badge get to their head. BMW Douches often believe they drive the best car in the world, and that everybody hates them because they cannot afford one. This ignorance affects their driving skills as well; cutting people off, not using a signal light, tailgating, etc. To a BMW Douche, everyone that doesn’t drive a BMW is a hater, and simply hasn’t experienced the ‘ultimate driving machine.’ They often purchase the bottom of the line 3 series, then consider themselves a true BMW fanatic, better than everyone else on the road. BMW Douches are becoming more common nowadays with low lease rates and abundance of available credit.”


“BDAS – an acronym for ‘BMW Driver Asshole Syndrome’

The BMW is a German car brand popular with drug dealers and hooligans across Europe. Anyone with “something” small and the need to compensate tends to gravitate towards the BMW – the ultimate penis compensator.

As such the tendency to drive like a maniac and king of the road is extremely prevalent amongst BMW owners. Expect them to overtake at 40% the speed limit, cut you up on off ramps and to park on the side walk by a hospital or school as they feel fit.

Many psychiatrists believe that owning a BMW is a reflex action to draw attention to the owner. Having no physical attributes to speak of, BMW owners must compensate somehow and 1/2 ton of metal seems to do the trick.
A: ‘That guy just cut up an ambulance, gave the finger to a bus full of nuns and parked by the no parking sign in front of a school for the blind’

B: ‘Oh, don’t worry about him, he’s got BDAS – did you expect otherwise?’ ”

In other words, as with the Prius, being a jerk behind the wheel of a Bimmer is epidemic.

crosswalkIn a New York Times interview with researcher Paul K. Piff  – who helped conduct the new study – 8 out of 10 cars “did the right thing” when it came to yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks and taking their turn at four-way stop intersections.

However, researchers found that the more expensive cars were the most likely to jump their turns, Piff said.

“You see this huge boost in a driver’s likelihood to commit infractions in more expensive cars,” Piff told the Times. “In our crosswalk study, none of the cars in the beater-car category drove through the crosswalk. They always stopped for pedestrians…

“One of the most significant trends was that fancy cars were less likely to stop,” said Piff, adding, “BMW drivers were the worst…(and) in our higher-status vehicle category, Prius drivers had a higher tendency to commit infractions than most.”

ku-mediumKansas City artist / car aficionado James Brinsfield’s take on the study:

“Haha. Yeah I agree to some extent. Both brands though are for very different people who are united by their perception that they own the road because they have such insight into what is the perfect car – but obviously that’s about where the similarity ends.

“I own a BMW and I’m an aggressive driver. Why not? Usually I’m the only person on the road who knows how to drive and knows the rules of the road. The worst drivers?  Really, women driving humungous SUV’s – inevitably they are texting or talking on the phone and not paying a bit of attention to driving or the traffic environment around them.”




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10 Responses to Hearne: Study Fingers BMW & Prius Drivers as “Biggest Jerks”

  1. paulwilsonkc says:

    What a disgrace and I’m here to call you out! You pen this story the week after you make an auto trade as to not put your formerly Prius driving, hot Oriental wife in bad light.

    Pretty disingenuous of you.

    This is going to force me to (1) form a personal friendship with Harlinator, then, (2) start writing for NPR and make my first story what a waste of time local blogs are, using KCC as my main example. (Oh hush, it is too apples to apples)

    Prius – Hot Oriental chic drivin Tree Hugger Favorite

    BMW – Every constipated Sprint employee’s dream car (I’ve had 6)

    Fiat – Still GAY

  2. mike t. says:

    interesting side note here…. abbey road studios actually has a live web cam trained on that very same crosswalk. in the photo of the beatles, it would be behind the VW up on the wall.

    watch it often enough and you’ll note several things. one, even 44 years after the release of that album people still recreate that walk every single day. some in costume. wedding parties, kids doing handstands… you name it… even mickey mouse was in it once.

    you’ll also notice that some london drivers are sick of people of taking up their time posing for a picture an iconic band made famous 44 years ago (this august btw). and, as such, you’ll see cars go through the walk nearly sideswiping the tourists.

    biggest offenders? range rovers.

  3. expat says:

    As a motorcycle enthusiast I would say Mercedes drivers are the worst. They seem to inhabit a sweet spot between unwarranted privilege and sense of entitlement, especially when women are driving. If I had to speculate I’d guess their husbands bought them a car they can’t drive properly and think if anything happens hubby will pay to fix it. On the other hand there are a lot of extremely high end cars in my neighborhood (Maserati, Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini, etc.) and the guys driving them seem to have more common sense/a greater sense of responsibility on the road.

    • mike t. says:

      well, that makes sense expat. when you have a car like those mentioned, you have alot of horsepower and torque at your disposal. you have to respect it or risk you, your car and who knows what or who else.

      that said, i’ve seen video of people doing some pretty stupid things behind the wheel of some lambos.

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