I commute 160 miles a day to work and run errands so of course my decision to purchase was based primarily on economy (best highway mileage in its class). After 3 months and 16,000 miles I'm now impressed with all the other features that make this car a great value. Styling, comfort, handling, and of course the MPG.
This car gets great gas mileage, which is why I was particularly interested in this model. I have always owned SUVs in the past because I am very tall and hate having to hunch over or lay all the way back with my knees in my chest like in most cars. But the Prius is shockingly comfortable. My boyfriend (who is 6'4) and I did a 10 hour road trip the first month I had this car and we were amazed not only at the gas mileage, but at how well the car held up through a freak snowstorm, rain, and driving over the mountains, all while being super comfortable. I never thought I would say it, but I honestly love my little Prius.
I owned a hand-me-down 2005 Prius (first generation) for years and never had any problems with it. Shame on me for not doing sufficient research into the differences between the first and second generation Prii. It is a COMPLETELY different car. Do EXTENSIVE test drives with this car on several types of surfaces. The visibility in this car is so bad it feels unsafe: major blindspots. Virtually non-existent suspension; hits every bump like it was a pothole. Rattles like crazy, especially on rough road and at high speeds. Cheap plastic interior components. Poor turning radius. Deafening road noise. Worst of all, it gets nowhere near the gas mileage they claim; I have never gotten more than 40/45 miles on the highway, and never broken 30 city.