As a driving enthusiast, I am partial to the 6-speed manual gearbox. People ask me all the time if I like my car, and I will tell them I LOVE it, but it needs another 40-60 HP to really wake up the throttle response at low RPM. It is super fun to toss into corners, and the steering response is excellent, as is braking, although the latter could always be improved with some aftermarket brakes. The wheels are ho-hum, as they are the same wheels Toyota puts on the Prius. Something more personal should be added to the list of dealer options, as most people won't outright spend close to (or over) a thousand dollars on wheels, but they will sure finance them. The touch screen audio/navigation system needs a lot of improvement, as does the voice activated command system. I would prefer these were omittable options myself, but if you want the nice seats/interior, you get the 'upgraded' stereo with it. Road noise is noticeable, but if I wanted quiet, I would have purchased something more "luxury" in the first place. As I said, I enjoy the experience of driving: both hands on the wheel, connected to the car and the road ahead. If driving [for you] is just another chore--a means of getting from point A to point B, then this car is probably not for you. Entry/egress is not quick, but once you're in the car, you're IN the car. The deep bucket seats make sure your backside stays put during spirited cornering, and the heaters in the Limited trim are great in the winter. Now, if they could just add the steering wheel to it... The back seat needs to be omitted, as it is good for nothing more than tossing a windbreaker or foul weather gear into it; I'm sure it's only there for insurance discounts. The bottom line for me is: it may not be practical in the least, but it is great fun to drive, especially to run through the gears manually, and the exhaust note at full throttle above 4,000 RPM is music to the ears. Who needs a radio? ;-)
Once I got used to the rear wheel drive, this car could really hug corners. The gear shifts were perfect. I loved that the dash didn't have a lot of extra information. It was simple and basic, all information available in one place (i.e., one clock, 1 speedometer, etc). After coming out of a car with overwhelming amounts of useless information in the dash, the red lights and simplicity were welcome. Also it had every extra thing I wanted, heated seats, soft leather, bluetooth, adjustable headlights, option to see outside temp, mpg, etc. Tight gears and steering, perfect handling. I will say that I test drove the automatic and would not have bought that car. All the difference was in having the manual. The back seats are all for show, they don't hold anything more than the 40 lb dogs with the back laid down. I got weathertech mats for front and back and they fit perfectly.