2003 Toyota Prius 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
I bought my 2003 model Prius in late 2002. At the time only two hybrids were available in the market, the other was Honda civic. I chose the Prius because it was roomier. I had a major engine problem a year ago but thankfully was covered under warranty: The fuel injectors were replaced. Otherwise the only other problem has been the tires wearing out fast. Make sure you get a warranty on tires.
Average MPG is 47, lower for city which is 38-40. Roomy and tall. Big trunk. Low emissions.
Allow larger tires so they don't wear out. Fold down seats would have been nice (came in later models).