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Ed Begley, Jr.

Richest Cities in California Slum For Rides, Prefer The Prius

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Wed, Aug 8, 2012 at 9:00 AM
click to enlarge DAVID / FLICKR
  • David / Flickr

California has more billionaires than just about anywhere in the world except the United States itself, China and Russia. Really.

So, if you were to survey a couple of the Golden State's wealthiest communities, what car make do you think would enjoy top rates of ownership? Maybach? Maybe Ferrari? At least Porsche?

Not even. No, 1 percenters are penny pinchers hiding behind environmentalism:

Prius tops the list of the most-owned cars in two of California's ritziest zip codes. And the lowly Toyota starts at slightly under $30,000 (more than 10 times less than, say, a chauffeur-driven, $350,000 Maybach).

The smug-magnet of a hybrid topped the lists of fave cars in Century City and in Ross, Calif. (in the Bay Area), according to a new survey by vehicle-pricing website TrueCar.

In what the company said were America's top 10 zip codes for wealth, the Prius came in fifth in ownership rates overall, behind the Mercedes E-Class (first), BMW's 328 (second), Mercedes' C-Class (third), and Lexus' RX.

Kristen Andersson, senior analyst at the site, said:

click to enlarge GIRL IN THE PINK PRIUS / FACEBOOK
  • Girl In The Pink Prius / Facebook

For affluent buyers who live in places where environmental concerns reign supreme, the Toyota Prius is the ultimate status symbol in eco-luxury.

Eh. We think they're a bunch of poseur cheapskates. After all, do you see the wealthy of Bel Air trading in their energy-hording mansions in favor of more-efficient studio lofts?

That's what we thought.

Aw. We're just kiddeen, ricos. All your designer gluttony, use of tax loopholes, and employment of underpaid, undocumented immigrants is totally forgiven by your ownership of a Prius.

It's the Catholic Church of cars.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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