Fast but not that frugal
Rattles from dashboard and the 12v battery died.
This car has stunning performance, though when you hoof it, it takes a while for the petrol engine to start and provide you with the power you're requesting.
It feels like a heavy car and the ride is a little crashy. My dashboard has started to rattle, which is very annoying. Handling is good, but it is annoying that you have to retract the center arm rest and flick the suspension into sport and the engine into power mode when you want to press on - you have to take your eyes off the road when doing this! CVT transmission works well, but the option that looks like you can change gears manually isn't - it simply adjusts the force of the "engine braking" (actually the motor recharging the battery pack).
It has loads of toys, mine does without sat nav, but other than that it is well kitted out. However, they have raided the Toyota parts bin and it shares some common traits/parts with my previous Toyota Prius: column stalks are the same, touchscreen software is nearly the same, rear view mirror rattles with the bass from the stereo. Fuel filler cap is very cheap.
The boot is tiny, thanks to all those batteries!
Sound system is excellent - wonderful sound. However, there is no aux in so I have to use a tape adapter for my iPod!
Fuel economy is not that great, around 25 MPG in town, 32 on a run. Less than you would get from a 3 litre diesel, and I'm quite a careful driver! However, it's much faster than a diesel and silent when standing still. It is also exempt from London's congestion charge (though they are phasing this discount out).
Styling wise, I think the front looks fantastic, the rear less so. Alloys are good but starting to corrode.
Overall, this car doesn't bring a smile to your face like my previous e39 BMW 5 Series 525i. It is very fast, but lacks character.
Dealers are excellent and reasonably priced (if you shop around).
Overall, I'm going to sell mine soon because it just doesn't get under your skin as an excellent car can. I'm also concerned about the long-term longevity of the hybrid battery pack and potential replacement costs!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 21st December, 2010