Personal cars have a high external cost (accidents, pollution, traffic, obesity), and I don't see the correlation with wealth. Countries richer than the USA — including the one I choose to live in — have good public transport.
It's obviously not the only factor, but it is *a* factor.
Western Ukraine is somewhere I'd like to visit. I've only briefly been to Kiev but the country looks beautiful. I've also been to Atlanta. It's a city ruined by traffic. There's a beautiful park near the centre, but it was deserted, perhaps because it's inconvenient to walk to it. The downtown was empty of pedestrians, there didn't seem to be any places to eat or relax. It's a shame. No-one who lived there seemed to realise the city is named after the Atlantic Railroad, and is important because it's at the junction of two major railroads.
I'd pick Kiev over Houston or Atlanta for, say, a 6-month contract. I wouldn't want to live in any of them permanently. (I'm not sure about Seattle.)