2001 Toyota Prius 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
I am 56 years old and this is the first car I have ever loved. I am proud to be driving it. My average mileage over 86,000 miles is 49.2 and I have not had to replace the battery. Keeping the right tire pressure makes a difference of 2-3 mpg. It has plenty of pep on the highway, feels solid in the wind and on wet pavement, and will cruise at 70 mph. It is maneuverable in traffic and parking. It is bigger inside that it looks. Four ride comfortably. I have had almost no trouble with it. The warranty was generous and Toyota's service has been superb before and after the warranty expired. The 2005 has some nice features and a bit better mileage but I do not want a hatchback.
The self righteousness of driving a hybrid is sublime but, if I had to pick a single tangible feature, it would be the consumption screen that displays a bar graph of average mileage over five minute intervals. It will make you very lightfooted.
The audio controls are spread out awkwardly on the dash. The steering wheel blocks the driver's view of some controls. I'd like a cell phone holder somewhere-- nothing fancy, not a charger or a speaker, just a small bin on the dash or pouch on the side of the seat so I can find it in the dark.