My sister rented a Toyota Prius hybrid electric-gas car yesterday and really likes it. Here's her giving our mother a quick lesson in driving the Prius. I think it's interesting how nervous mom is getting the thing started, but once she was driving for a couple of minutes, it just became another car to her. And she is not the most confident driver in general.
I took it out for a spin afterwards. As mom says, it's very smooth and quiet, deceptively so. On the country road from our house into town, I quickly hit 50 MPH without even noticing. No rev, no gears shifting, just GO.
Living in California, I may have to suck it up eventually and get my own car, I think. It's a painful decision, as someone who cares about the environment and our impact on it. So driving a vehicle with a much smaller environmental impact is very attractive to me. BTW, the website says that the 3rd generation Prius gets 50 MPG, not 40 as my sister states. But then again we were driving an older model.