C is for the car that you drive:
I confess, I primarily drive an SUV. Not one of the disgusting enormous ones, but I guess that's a matter of where you draw the line... mine's disgusting to some folks, I know. All I can say in its defense is that it gets 20 mpg, which is doing better than many large sedans and minivans, and we do sometimes need 4WD.
Our commuter car, driven many more miles annually, is a 1996 Corolla at the end of its life. It's got no rust and still runs pretty well, but at 272,000 miles it is time to look for its successor. The air conditioning gave out last year, which was the deal breaker for me. Plus there is an increasingly unsettling noise coming from the left rear corner. Something to do with the suspension. Between that and the timing belt it is overdue for and that we're not going to replace in a car that old, I fully expect it to grind to a halt at any moment.
To replace it, we looked hard at the Prius vs. another Corolla. I mean we looked really hard. Spreadsheets were created, numbers were crunched, variables were tweaked. We were trying to see if the savings in fuel costs with a Prius would recoup its significantly higher purchase price. Between the higher cost of the car, higher sales and excise taxes, and the higher cost of financing/opportunity cost due to our not investing that money, the Prius just didn't add up to a smart financial move for us, despite the significant gas savings anticipated. So our new Corolla should show up any day now. At 35 mpg, they're no slouch in the mileage department either.
As an aside, why don't cars come in decent colors? You can have white, black, silver, dark grey, and something like sand. Yawn. Maybe red. Yawn. Maybe blue. Woo hoo, blue. Why is the VW bug the only car that comes in cute colors? Where are the yellows, oranges, greens and purples? Do they not offer colors because people won't drive them, or do people not drive them because they're not offered?