2002 Toyota Prius 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
I purchased a Toyota Prius not just because it gets good gas mileage but also because it is one of the lowest polluting production cars available. My MPG varies from 39.6 to 50.1 depending on the traffic conditions and my driving practices. The 50.1 was obtained while driving a steady 60-65 mph for a distance of 1000 miles. Given its size I also find it a surprisingly comfortable car to drive over long distances. I am less tired after driving for 8-10 hours than I have been in a standard size sedan. Also, it has all the creatures comforts you could want. This is especially true of the newer Prius'. One change I did make that improved the ride was to put on a set of 80,000 mile tires.
Low polluting, high MPG, low overall cost to own and operate, safety rating in its size class, smooth ride for its size, build quality.
Better acceleration - this has been improved in the newer models. It would be great if it could come as a plug in model as well. There are retrofits now but I would prefer one built by Toyota because of their reputation for quality. However, they state they do not intend to do this.