I love this car for many reasons. It just makes logical sense. It's reliable, it doesn't depreciate that much, it's safe, and no one steals this car because hybrids and electric car parts are in low demand and hard to interchange with other cars. In terms of electric features, I don't use it nearly as much as I should because I don't have a charger at home and as much as SoCal supports electric vehicles, I still don't have many use cases where I'm charging in public. I've owned a BMW in the past and I have to say, it's nowhere near as luxurious, but at the same time, I don't have to worry about it breaking down or having a costly repair.
Bought it in 2012 and passed 12K already. 1. This car does save gas, especially, if you work provides you electricity. 2. The GPS interface and disabling most of the features while in motion pisses of, even passenger couldn't do anything. 3. Absence of the spare tire is a big minus, the "repair kit" is useless: unreliable and very expensive. I ended up buying a full size spare for the same price! 4. Firmware algorithm allows your engine run while warming up in electrical mode w/out it being connected to transmission or charging the battery - fuel waste. Summary - if you do not need a carpool sticker at CA then buy yourself something more driver friendly, or wait another 5 years.
... and it takes only 8.3 gallons of regular gas to fill the tank. Moving from a 2004 highlander (I know, not a comparable vehicle), it already saved me 30 gallons of gas in just 15 days of ownership. Leased for $310 a month, it has already paid itself 40% of its monthly payment. Looks sub-compact from outside, but not bad on the space inside. Comfortably sits 4 adults . Feels heavy like an european import (loaded batteries under the trunk). So-so pickup from complete stop, (11 seconds for 0-60 mph), but for $200+/mth savings on the gas, I will take it. Please note: My office is only 9 miles each way and I've religiously charged every night for 15 days.MPG not guaranteed
With a super low lease price and electricity in our area under $.10 a kwh, this was a no-brainer! We live and work within 5 miles of just about everything we need, so the 12 mile range on all electric is perfect! We have an 8 yr old and a 2 yr old in a car seat, and they both fit fine in the back, even behind me at 6'2" Lots of space in the hatchback, and lots of nice features included in the base model. Have driven nearly 1,000 miles and the lifetime average is 55mpg (all electric miles included bumps up the mpg a bit).
As other published reviews have mentioned, you are trading MPH for MPG and I have found this to be accurate. You will get to where you need, but not very fast. I plug-in a few times a week at home and the free mall chargers. I average over 600 miles per tank. I think for me, this averages to about 3 charges per gallon since the gas mpg is about 48 or so and I'm averaging over 80mpg. Filling the tank is about $28 for about 8 gallons. The full 3 hour charge at home is about $1 based on $.33/kwh, so being the cheap guy that I am, I try to avoid plugging in at home :)