My Prius continues to delight in how well it performs its ideal function - a smooth, efficient, city car. I am sure it works well outside urban areas (based on what I have read on the net) but I have not had the chance to test it.
I don't try too hard to drive it differently to any other car but the Prius feedback mechanisms (such as the energy usage display) encourage you to drive a tad more efficiently - coasting up to lights, coasting across the top of a hill, coasting down the other side.
In many ways it reminds me of riding a bike where you catch every chance to tap inertia and gravity to save your energy for the big hills.
Driving the Prius is incredibly relaxing even in the cut and thrust of peak hour traffic. There is almost a risk of being too relaxed and not remembering that you are surrounded by fast and heavy missiles which really hurt if they hit. The safety options on the Prius are some comfort but really you don't want to risk a run-in with an urban assault vehicle (SUV).
My commute takes in some of the hilliest bits of Sydney so I am not surprised that I am not closer to 5 l/100 km. The best I have done part way through a tank has been 5.3 l/100 km, thanks to a longish run to the airport.
All in all it the Prius is vastly better suited to my needs than my previous steed (Audi allroad TDi) and uses less than half the fuel, and I am sure emits much, much less than half the pollutants. The Audi was a diesel which though cleaner than diesels of the past still generates too much Nitrous Oxide and particulates. The Audi would have been a bit better if I could have gained supplies of biodiesel but the Prius is so much better for my needs and the environment.
An unexpected bonus is that the Prius seems to have more rear legroom than the much larger Audi. The Prius styling disguises how tall it is. It really sits somewhere between a standard sedan and a SUV - which seems to be an ideal height.
I look forward to getting more kilometres on the Prius. It feels fully run in now but I believe that I will get better fuel consumption when it is run in. I'd love to be getting 5.0 l/100 km but we'll see how well behaved my right foot is. As a reformed (reforming?) petrol head I am surprised that I am so focussed on seeing how smoothly I can drive this car.
I have no complaints with the Prius. The only wish I have is for a smooth integration of an iPod into the hi-fi system. I worry about letting just anyone loose at what is undoubtedly very complex wiring.