For the past 20 years, Leonardo DiCaprio has been among the most recognizable actors in the entire world. Starting back in the late 1990’s, DiCaprio made his mark with films such as “Romeo + Juliet” and the smash hit “Titanic”. DiCaprio has maintained A-list fame ever since and won his first Academy Award in 2016 thanks to his performance in “The Revenant”, earning international headlines.
It’s no secret that ever since DiCaprio achieved mainstream success in the late 1990’s that he’s been an advocate for protecting the environment, especially after his Oscar winning speech. In 1998, he started a non-profit organization for raising environmental awareness, with global warming being the main focus. The foundation has raised millions of dollars and has even released a pair of documentaries. While some advocates don’t exactly practice what they preach, DiCaprio has been living up to his reputation as eco-friendly.
That’s because the star doesn’t like spending a lot of money, and says that his means of travel don’t have a big environmental impact. DiCaprio said that “I don’t fly private jets. I still have only one car and that’s a Toyota Prius.” That’s right, despite being worth millions of dollars, the only vehicle that DiCaprio drives around is the Prius. In 1997, Toyota introduced the hybrid vehicle that has become more green and fuel efficient in the past 20 years.
The Prius itself is typically under $30,000 even with all of the bells and whistles while getting an impressive 58 miles per gallon in the city and 53 miles per gallon on the highways. In recent years, DiCaprio has been seen palling around with Tesla founder Elon Musk, and even has one of the electric cars that he drives every now and then. Still, it’s the Prius that DiCaprio tends to be seen in more often.
Back when DiCaprio was dating actress Blake Lively (who is now married to Ryan Reynolds), he replaced her fuel inefficient Range Rover with a Prius of her own. The custom vehicle was still only around $40,000, which was hardly a dent in DiCaprio’s wallet. Now that the couple has split, it’s hard to say where Lively’s Prius is now, but DiCaprio is still driving his.
Even though the Prius is incredibly fuel efficient and friendly on the wallet, how is it in terms of performance? You might be surprised that the 2016 version that DiCaprio has is able to get to a top speed of 112 miles per hour. The Prius has the ability to go over that speed, but for the sake of fuel efficiency, Toyota has put a governor into the car to make sure it doesn’t go over that speed. The Prius is also quicker than you might think, able to go from zero to 60 miles per hour in 10.4 seconds.
DiCaprio’s Prius is part of the fourth generation of the model that started in late 2015 in Japan and early 2016 in the United States. This generation featured a massive redesign that not only improved the look, but made it even more efficient. The sportier featured the ability to plug the vehicle into an outlet to conserve fuel even further. Toyota’s model is now lower in weight, with DiCaprio’s vehicle estimated to be between 3,000 and 3,100 pounds.
What made the fourth generation lighter was a new battery with a lithium-ion core and lack of a spare tire. Some might think that the Prius doesn’t have a lot of power because of its fuel efficiency, but actually has a towing capacity of around 1,600 pounds. For someone like DiCaprio that wants to cut down on fossil fuel use, hauling his own trailer to move instead of a diesel-powered truck is a great way to go.
When talking about his Prius (and he’s had several of them), DiCaprio says that he himself is getting around 50 miles per gallon. “There is no extra inconvenience; I fill it up at the gas pump and it performs like any other car. But I fill it up about once every three weeks. We have the technology to make every car produced in America today just as clean, cheap and efficient.” It was interesting to hear that he only fueled every three weeks, as the average American goes through 12.6 gallons of fuel per week.
The average price of gas is around $2.15 per gallon right now, which means the average person is spending just over $27 per week on gasoline. For DiCaprio and his Prius, he’s only averaging around $8 per week. All that while not having to sacrifice much in terms of performance or appearance. For quite some time, DiCaprio’s influence was helping to sell a lot of Prius vehicles, though the numbers have dropped in the past year.
That’s not to say that the Prius has become worse by any stretch, but eco-minded people seem to be turning to completely electric cars such as the Tesla. For those that don’t want to spend up to six figures on a vehicle, the Prius remains a great option with the plug-in styles getting up to 100 miles per gallon. DiCaprio still loves his, saying that “I can’t find any downside.”
DiCaprio has also purchased a Prius for his parents and stepmother to get the entire family on board. Greenhouse emissions are found to be around half of that of a normal vehicle, which might not mean much if there are only a few on the road, but these days, there are millions of people driving a Prius. When it was first released, there was a bit of a “stigma” for driving a vehicle like the Prius around when Hummers were still popular, but thanks to celebrities like DiCaprio, the Prius has become one of the more common vehicles on the road.