I’ve never been able to work out if the arrival of a Haynes manual should be seen as good or bad news for the car it features.
On the plus side, the publication of one of the brand’s how-to books proves the vehicle in question has achieved a certain prominence, both in terms of sales and long-term viability. I can remember looking in vain for Haynes guides to some of the more obscure ‘80s bangers that passed through my hands during my motoring youth.
But a Haynes guide also implies that the car featured within its pages is getting close to the sort of semi-junkyard status where cash-strapped punters opt to do it themselves. I can still remember the cold response I got from a senior Fiat PR when, as a naïve young journo, I asked if the arrival of a Haynes manual for the original Fiat Bravo barely three years after it was introduced meant it had become a banger. He hung up on me.
Which is why I don’t know what to make of Haynes’ latest manual – for the Toyota Prius.
It’s true that early versions of the mk1 Prius have now dropped through the £3000 barrier – but it hardly seems the sort of motor to inspire the oily-knuckled wrangling that the guide encourages.