prius has two motors, one electric one petrol. not sure why you'd say that was simple drive train?
taxi guys have a particular useage - lots of urban, stop start so the hybrid / battery works well for those guys vs. say a regular diesel. for non taxi drivers though in regular use the hybrid doesn't really stack up - longer trips means the battery is irrelvant plus you have all that extra weight to carry around.. not a good solution for high miles driver IMO.
IS looks like a nice car but they are very expensive compared to a civic (like twice as much). small boot (saloon only?) would also rule it out for me plus won't get the mpg like a 1.6d honda. Only benefit i can see is the performance - but that isn't what the OP was asking for ?
I work in Automotive R&D so I know all about drivetrains most people haven't seen yet. Prius is very simple by virtue of its Power-Split-Device. Its not a CVT, its just a simple planatary gear set with two motor-generator units and an ICE on the inputs. The relative speeds of all these control the speed of the car, control how power is blended. Its very clever. Very simple. ICE is low torque, faux-Atkinson cycle, natural aspiration and port injection. Chain cams, no ancillaries except I think the oil pump. Everything else runs off the inverter. Its the reason I bought it. However, to drive it is starting to just bore me too much. And you're kind of right, it does make more sense in more stop-start traffic where you can keep the battery full with braking events, but even on my usage, I see 50+ mpg. Some times dips to the high 40's though and at that point my wifes Mazda 3 skyactiv petrol is doing about the same. Then again these cars are a generation apart.
Does that 10p a mile factor in depreciation? Also, just about done at 100k miles??? It must have been properly mistreated then, my 2006 2.2 iCTDi has just gone through MOT with NO advisories and is on 174k miles. It drives spot on too.
You're not going to go wrong with any of the Civic's of those years.
10p a mile is just fuel. Thats my most visible cost. Tax/Insurance etc are generally similar between cars, same with tyres. I do my own servicing and they all need servicing and it all costs about the same.
On my Civic the suspension was tired, the clutch was tired, the interior was very tired, i had a rear caliper seize on, the sun managed to bleach the material on the seats! The center console structure was so weak it used to flex around when you rested on it. The mud flaps used to catch on absolutely everything and get damaged, got sick of replacing them in the end. Headlamps had started to cloud, the fog lamps managed to lose all their silver reflector (really not sure how that happened), stone chips all over the bonnet, many of which had gone down to the metal and had gone rusty, the paint seemed incredibly soft.
It got looked after OK. Its just a tool afterall. I mean it was serviced on time and properly, bits were replaced when they were broken, cleaned regularly etc but it still felt like it was falling apart (except the engine) at 100k and 11 years old.