I have a 2009 Prius, it's been a fantastic vehicle. Surprisingly, it's plenty fast and fun to drive because 0-30 is peppy due to acceleration from the electric motors. It gets off the line to 10 MPH really fast and then from there starts to loose it's pep. No way you are going to beat a Porsche at 0-60 but you can keep up with them to about 20 or 25 MPH. I find it very quick in areas with lots of stop signs because you can get to the speed limit pretty quick. $12k will get you a pretty nice used Prius. I think that's about what mine is worth and it's low mile, kept in garage 100% of the time, etc. Also the cargo capcity of a Prius is surprisingly large. The hatchback has lots of room and when you fold down the back seat you can lug around some pretty big stuff. Overall I'm very happy with the Prius. I'm not going to turn any young ladies heads with it but my bank account likes it.