Bought mine in 2009 for $7500 and 140,000 miles on the odometer. Now it has almost 200,000 miles and not a sneeze!
The 1.3L engine is a little slow even with electric assist, but not as bad as most people think. I have no trouble merging on highway. Going up a long stretch of highway need to move to the slow lane, esp. after all the battery capacity is drained.
Without A/C, the average gas mileage is pretty good, hovering between 44 to 50 MPG. In the summer, however, when it is hot outside, A/C can sap gas mileage, esp. on short local trips. On longer trips, the A/C does not drain as much energy because once the interior cools down, the A/C is not engaged as frequently.
I really like manual transmission, and have a small family to haul. This is the best combination of gas mileage, fun factor, practicality and cost.
More efficient A/C compressor. This car has a mechanical (not electric) A/C compressor that requires the gas engine running. But it is a decade old technology, probably still pretty good and competitive compared to other cars of the same age.