This car fits my schedule and lifestyle to a T. As a minister, I frequently make short trips to visit people, nursing homes, hospitals, etc. My car gets 11-17 miles per charge, depending on how I drive it. That covers most of my 'territory.' Even on the routine trips to the YMCA, 35 miles away, the car still gets 75-100 mpg. Plus, they let me plug it into a regular outlet in the back. After 2,500 miles, I'm getting 75 mpg. That's 50% better than my old 2009 Prius (50 mpg). And it is Winter now.
Even in HV mode, the '12 is much better than my '09.
The exterior is classy, sportier than the older model. No complaints there.
The interior layout of the '09 was more functional, IMHO, than the '12. The seat is too hard, but the new model has much more leg room. This is extremely important for taller folks. The dash and console, as well as the steering wheel controls, are not as easy to use as the '09. I've driven the new car for 2 months, and still feel that way.
The car charges in 2 1/2 hours. I haven't had a real desire to get a 'fast charger.' Many of my stops are about 2 hours, so I can usually charge up. Sometimes I charge up as many as 3 or 4 times in one day. I average about 10-12 charges per week.
The rear camera, bluetooth connectivity, and HV/EV switch are especially nice to have.
The car handles just like my old Prius, good - comparable to other cars in its class.
I would recommend this to anyone who has easy access to electricity. I have found that even if (especially if) the trips are long, I'm saving more than 'another' model listed as a range-extended electric vehicle (rated at 37 mpg). On a couple long trips (non Interstate) I got close to 60 mpg with ambient temps around 20?F. "Your mileage may vary."
The 3rd generation engine heats up faster, and retains that heat more than my old Prius. So, after cruising through town in EV mode, it returns to HV mode and achieves the mpg of a fully warmed up engine. That's very noticeable up in the northwoods.
The extra cost of the extended battery may not pay for itself during the life of the car, but it's sure saving me money. I estimate that I have saved $40 in gas in the last 6 weeks.
In the end, I recommend it.