So the pros for this vehicle are: great gas mileage and comfort. After reading the reviews, perhaps I purchased a lemon but I will never recommend this car to anyone. 15 minutes after driving this car off the lot, all my lights came on. Fortunately the dealership replaced the hybrid battery. I have had to change the sensors and now it is burning oil. There is NO pick up in this vehicle. If you live in the mountains, do not buy this car. Every one will be passing you! After about a year of having this car, I am in the market for a new vehicle.
Bought mine in 2009 for $7500 and 140,000 miles on the odometer. Now it has almost 200,000 miles and not a sneeze!
The 1.3L engine is a little slow even with electric assist, but not as bad as most people think. I have no trouble merging on highway. Going up a long stretch of highway need to move to the slow lane, esp. after all the battery capacity is drained.
Without A/C, the average gas mileage is pretty good, hovering between 44 to 50 MPG. In the summer, however, when it is hot outside, A/C can sap gas mileage, esp. on short local trips. On longer trips, the A/C does not drain as much energy because once the interior cools down, the A/C is not engaged as frequently.
I really like manual transmission, and have a small family to haul. This is the best combination of gas mileage, fun factor, practicality and cost.
More efficient A/C compressor. This car has a mechanical (not electric) A/C compressor that requires the gas engine running. But it is a decade old technology, probably still pretty good and competitive compared to other cars of the same age.
The hybrids fuel economy is great until you do the math on the cost to own. You're going to pay an extra 2k for the hybrid. Over five years, you'll save about $2925 in fuel. Sounds great until you have spit out $3900 for a new hybrid battery. Honda lost their case because they knew the battery had a shorter lifespan than advertised. So they were forced to extend the warranty to 9 years. Again, sounds great until find out they did an "update" at your last service visit on the battery that extends its life another year. Ironically, just enough for the warranty to be invalid. All together, you can expect to pay about 3k more than your gas guzzling neighbor. Cust. Serv. is a joke.
I love my car. I got it because of the gas prices going up and I loved the way it looked. I don't regret it. I get about 45mpg because I like to speed. It is light, small, and fun to drive. The one thing that I just don't like is when I'm driving up those crazy steep hill going to Las Vegas. I have to catch momentum and then keep it on 3rd gear.
I still believe it is the best looking hybrid ever built.
It's hard to go up on long steep hills.
Update to my 11/19/09 review. I'm still driving it and have done nothing but regular stuff (oil/filter, brakes, tires). I now have roughly 205k miles on it. The IMA warning light came on about 1.5 years ago (around 190k miles). Honda said the hybrid battery was testing weak and needed replaced ($2,500 and 3-year/30k warranty). I decided not to replace it and to just see what it'd do. Battery doesn't keep charged up as well as it used to, but I'm still getting over 40mpg driving in town. I found a place that will put in a used battery with a 1-year guarantee for $1,275. Besides the battery, everything else seems to be in great shape.
Hybrid battery - originals were guaranteed for 100k and mine is still doing great work at 205k
Other major components seem to be of great quality as I have had to fix nothing out of he ordinary.
Radio/speakers, AC, heat, clutch, automatic locks/windows, transmission...all of this stuff still works perfect.
The only thing I wish was that there was more information out there on what happens when your hybrid vehicle gets very high mileage and what you can expect from your vehicle if the battery gets old or goes bad.
I'm glad I decided not to pay Honda $2,500 for a used battery when mine has been fine for 15k and continues to work.