Been driving a Prius as my main car since January 1st. It's changed me.
The whole idea of a Prius is getting good gas mileage. To date I'm averaging 47.2 MPG.
My next car is still roughly 3 years 10 months away. But cars are my life...I've begun looking...and it depresses me.
Prior to driving the dorkmobile Prius 25 MPG was fine with me. My 2003 Toyota Matrix, 2005 Acura TSX and 2008 Mazda 5 all averaged....25ish MPG. I was happy.
Now that's not enough.
I dig not spending a lot of money on gas.
Additionally I like having a hatchback. The Matrix and 5 were hatchbacks. Crazy useful. The Prius is a hatchback...I dig hatchbacks.
My list right now is as follows:
VW Passat TDI (not a hatchback, but stellar gas mileage)
Audi Q5 (hatchback, but iffy gas mileage)
Ford Edge (ditto hatch, but decent gas mileage)
Volvo XC60 (currently top of the list, iffy gas mileage hatchback)
Of not all but the VW are SUVs. There is an Audi A3 TDI hatchback, but it's very small. So no go.
The Volvo XC60 is a mid-size SUV. I like most things about it. If I go with the Volvo I hope to pick it up in Europe.
Volvo has an overseas delivery program that includes airfare, hotel and european insurance while driving around. This is a way to get a nice vacation, drive our new car and not pay for a rental car. Once the vacation is over you can drop it off at one of several locations and it will be shipped to your home city in the United States. Pretty nifty.
One nice thing about the Volvo...you don't see them at every stop light.
Also Volvo has a 5 year warranty, 5 years of free scheduled maintenance, and 5 years roadside assistance. Will check them out at the next autoshow.