(As a student) I have many European friends here for exchange. None of them are overweight and most walk all over our small city or take taxis or public transit without question. They wonder why we drive the short distances that we do. We, as Americans, tend to view public transit and somewhat "lower class" and of course it cramps our fast-paced style. I, myself, have a car to get across the state for pre and post surgery appointments, but I want to try and use it as little as possible in the city, perhaps inspired by my less lazy friends.
The Prius, as mentioned here, may be a "good" car, but heh, so is my car. It gets me from Point A to Point B without much drama. I am with the party that thinks it's a showy display rather than a true solution. When not in school, I live in a retirement city and the people who drive them are usually early-retired people who seem like they can afford them.
Lastly, I have a question regarding the Prius. At what highway speed does it get prime mileage (let's suppose on a flat grade)? It seems like most, if not all Priuses I see are going at around the speed limit of 65. And I of course am passing them. My 1992 Nissan Stanza serves two purposes: speed and transportation. It leaks oil, too, so I am a hypocrite by driving it, but I am in college so unless someone wants to pay for my college so I can get a Prius or at least get the $700 valve job, then let it rest. I suppose that could be a positive aspect, that people are driving the limit, but it sure gets annoying when a Prius (or any car) hovers in the left lane doing 65 next to a semi and because they're driving a hybrid, suddenly that gives them an excuse to be an annoying driver.
But I digress...