I bought a new Toyota Avalon. 7 years later replaced it with a top of the line Toyota Prius that cost $5,000 less (not counting inflation). I liked the Prius better. Better seating position. Better visibility out for the driver. Better view of instruments. And the Prius used half the gasoline of the Avalon.You are quite correct, but those who act or think like Prius owners don't really care about the initial cost.
For them, it is often about virtue signaling!