Diesels are being considered, not a big Jetta fan though. Now if they make the new Scirrocco with one ...
4.25 in pounds is about US$8, so about 2.5 times the price here. The SMART cars haven't caught on. They're about $19k in Europe, $28 here. Course there's just one dealer in Colorado, so that's part of the issue.
This isn't a great full time car, but for short trips, running the kids to school through the neighborhood, groceries, it's not bad. I drove it with 3 200lb adults and it did ok. Not sure about 4, guess you'd strain the electric motor and it would run out of charge quicker.
This is a start and it's the first electric car I'd consider. Previous ones were limited to 25mph, which isn't great. If you check out the Obvio, however, they have a 200mile range, 100mph electric version. At $45k it isn't necessarily a deal, but a long way from the Tesla. And it's a real drivable car. I think as we start to see cars that can get 80mph/200mile range, they'll become more mainstream.
The hybrids are becoming hot here, but they're not being done well. Like a lot of software, the marketing folks are working on them rather than the engineers. Honda's Accord did worse on gas mileage and you pay a premium. Ford's Escape has too large a premium, so you don't feel it's worth it.
Toyota has done a great job and more companies need to focus on the engineering, bringing a solid car at a good value, not asking a premium for marketing.