Was in the Bay Area Thursday and Friday to do some work at Sun's Menlo Park campus, and rented a car for the flings from SFO to hotel to Sun. Wound up in an Oldsmobile Alero from Hertz car rentals. I'm not sure whether I've ever driven an Olds before, but this one is palpable evidence for why that whole division got the sack. The car is crap. The last car to come off an Oldsmobile plant in 2004 was an Alero. They should have just closed with a washing machine instead.
It feels bigger on the outside than my 1994 Hobda Civic (now that's a great car), but it's way smaller on the inside. I felt like I was being fitted for my funerary pine box, or something. It handles like a blimp, and the convenience controls such as the central locking seem to have a mind of their own. It was the first rental car I remember getting with more than 10,000 miles (it had 14,000) and my guess is that Hertz wasn't able to off-load it to any gullible dealer.
On the other end of the spectrum, when it's time to finally give up the Civic (maybe this year; we'll see), I think I'm fiending for that Toyota Prius. My Dad has one. It's a great car. Knocks it out of the park in gas mileage and emissions, has a sterling reputation for quality, and drives smoothly as sweet cream butter (much like my Civic does even now).