The Insight is hands down one of the best cars I have ever owned. I own and operate a small courier business and drive over 40,000 miles a year and this car never stops impressing me. Even at 148,000 miles this car has never asked for anything except basic maintenence and one set of front brakes. The ride and handeling are very good for the cost of the vehicle and the driver's seat is exceedingly comfortable even for long trips. It is a basic car in terms of luxury but it has a lot of nice features that overall make it comfortable, and the handeling and overall driving experience is impressive for a vehicle I'm this price range. I always get better mpg than the car is rated for without really trying. You get a lot for your money with this vehicle.
We have owned our 2010 insight for three years and have 37,000 miles on it. The professional reviews are right in that it is a lot like the early Japanese cars that were on the market in the 70's which were very reliable but very basic in design. If you want a reliable small cars for commuting back and forth, it is a great purchase. We use it to go back and forth to town and it gets us about 50 mpg as it seems to love going about 50 mph. Yes it rides a little hard and is short on sound insulation but for what we use it for, it's ideal. I wouldn't use it for a long drive though. We'll be passing it on to the children and probably getting another the last year of production.
Very low initial cost, great mileage, dependable, nice body style.
I have owned my Insight since March 2011 and have driven 50,000 miles. I have averaged 41.3 MPG for the entire life of the car so far, which is what I expected and am very pleased. I have had to do nothing but 5 oil changes, air filter, cabin filter and one CVT trans fluid change as recommended. There have been no other issues with the vehicle. Tires are finally bald and will be replaced at 50K miles as well. Number don't lie though, I did the calculations and with the lower price and good fuel economy you would have to own the Prius for 7-8 years before it would start saving you money over the Insight.
Driving using the MPG light colored system is actually more then a gimmick. The Prius tends to get you 45 MPG and you just drive the car (at a higher price) however the Insight you must learn how to apply the appropriate gas pedal pressure to get great MPG by keeping the colors green on the screen. Really works and it teaches you how to drive your other car that may not have this feature. Car also drives better then people seem to think and I never felt like the car couldn't steer out of the way or handel a winding road, however immediate acceleration is lacking.
Backseat is too too Small! If you are over 6 feet tall your head will hit roof and you cannot even slouch down to avoid this because there is no leg room either. Fabric in the car tends to get dirty very quickly and has a funny odor, not bad odor just funny. Also Paint and Body Intergrity are poor, it takes barely anything hitting the car to cause a chip, scratch, or dent. All this being said; if you are looking for a car that can carry 2 people comfortably at 40 MPG for a $20K price tag, I really think it is a good buy. Just don't buy the car because you think it is better then the rest, this car does everything average nothing is outstanding except the price!
I bought my base 2011 Insight to replace a very nice 2009 Rav4. It has in over 1000 miles already saved fuel costs by 1/2.
So far the only maintenance items I have had to do is oil changes (approx 8-10K miles. I follow the maintenance minder on the car. I still do CVT fluid changes approx every 2nd oil change (about every 20k), (1) interior air filter and (1) air filter. That is it. I did change my stock steel wheels to a used set of alloy wheels (with better Michelin tires) about 30k ago. I felt the Michelins handle a lot better with little or neglible impact on mpg . My car has nearly 70K trouble free miles and I average between 45-50mpg on my commute.
Pros: Regularly exceeds EPA mpg Quite and reliable Excellent used car value
Cons: lack of center armrest on base model real window visibility Paint chips easily
I am thrilled with this car! I bought it for a year-long 220-mile round-trip commute that would have been miserable and expensive in most other cars but was actually pleasant in this one thanks to the comfort, handling, and iPod connection. The front-wheel drive also got me home safely during an epic blizzard last winter. After 32,000 miles in 18 months, and now commuting 60 miles round-trip on a winding rural road, I can still say I love this car, as do my growing kids and two big dogs. I'm averaging 45 mpg across all conditions and terrains, and the 12,000-mile oil changes are nice, too. One change I did make for my rural area was wider tires, which are more durable and widely available.
Exterior profile, iPod connection, mileage, spacious hatch area, real-time mileage indicator (which has changed my driving habits for the better!)
After 18 months I still haven't gotten used to the air temperature and other climate settings.