I expect to find myself overstepping the 30mph mark in a cheeky Mazda, but not in this

It is commonplace to remark that the Toyota Prius surprises pedestrians by sneaking up on them when they, in their bovine 20th-centuriness, are still expecting cars to make a noise. What I didn’t expect was how much it would surprise me while I was actually driving it.

It is so noiseless, and I am so conditioned to associate cars moving with engines revving, that even while my foot was on the accelerator, I was still astonished to find myself hurtling towards a tree. And that was nothing on the poke it has as you pootle around town. I expect to find myself overstepping the 30mph mark in a cheeky Mazda, but to catch myself hurtling like a country driver in a car whose raison d’etre is to be the goody-two-shoes of the road was… well, it was like the arrival of some horrific and unwanted self-awareness. Maybe it’s not the car and has never been the car. Maybe I just have a heavy right foot.

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