I purchased the CVT and have not regretted the purchase at all. I get an average of 52 mpg in LA with stop/go/AC. The car had 80,000 existing miles but Honda's extended warranty (150K) for the battery as well as the Honda Care extended warranty (7yr/100K) has taken care of any concerns. I enjoy the car so much that I will be selling my other car because I no longer drive it. Looking forward to the release of the 2009 Insight.
I drive mainly on interstate highway. My commute to work is about 96 miles round trip, all but 10miles are super highway. The vehicle has nearly 115,000 miles with an overall average mpg of 64.3. I haven't had any problems with the car and have replaced 4 tires once, and the front brakes just once. Because of the conditions of our Mass highways, I have had to replace the windshield twice and will need to replace it a third time before the next inspection. My Insight is a 5 speed manual with air conditioning.
Gas mileage and the ease of driving. The instrument panel provides very useable instantaneous and long term information about the fuel mileage. I continue to use the instantaneous numerical and bar graph to tune my driving to get the best mpg. I think all auto manufacturer should provide these gauges.
There are serious blind spots on both the driver and passenger sides of the vehicle. Because of these blind spots it is very important that the outside rear view mirrors be clear. I believe it would be extremely helpful if these mirrors are heated.
This car accelerates better than I expected. I thought it'd be a dog, but it's much quicker than I thought it would be. The only problem I've had is with the odometer. It's stuck on the current trip mileage and won't return to overall mileage, so I'll need to get this repaired so I'll know when to change the oil. I've been cross country with this car half a dozen times or so, I wish it had cruise control, but that's not an option. The ride is a little more harsh than most cars, but I'm used to it, and going long distance is no problem. I can get the advertised 65 mpg highway IF I drive 55mph, but I just drive it the normal hwy speed and get about 50 mpg hwy. Overall I get 47 mpg.
2 things. 1, it gets GREAT gas mileage. 2, it attracts attention... you'd think I was driving a 1966 Ford GT Mark II the way people flock to check it out.