EX 4dr Hatchback (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
Update - still a solid little car. I need to preface everything I say next with this, the Insight is the cheapest hybrid out there. If you're going for MPGs and utility at bottom dollar, and don't mind a few quirks, it's an awesome car.
Driving quality is... weird. Car rolls backwards on hills very readily. Hybrid drive is the slightest bit balky when it triggers. Pedals feel loose and floaty, in a minor way. I call this car "The Gadget" because a few elements of the drive train feel like they're still just prototypes. The flip side is, strangely, car has plenty of pickup. Gets on the highway very comfortably, can accelerate into small gaps in traffic no problem. All that combines with an average of about 40-41MPGs in good weather, 30-31MPGs in very cold weather.
No major mechanicals after one year. I hear Honda's are famously reliable, and I believe it. I replaced the tires, the OEM tires were shot after 75K miles. Replacement tires have some issues, not sure if that is the wheels or the tires. My fault if it's the tires, Honda's if it's the wheels.
So, I should start with the positive - bought a 2010 Insight EX in 2015. On the used market, they're going for sub 10K, and that means that entry level combustion engine cars are the same price as entry level hybrids. I had to give the hybrid a shot!
In all the classic measurements of a car, the Insight excels. Acceleration is solid, it gets on the highway comfortably and can speed up to avoid hazards. Food for thought here, this car does 0-60 in 11.9 seconds. That compares to the gasoline Lancer of the same year at 11.4 seconds. The difference in fuel economy is a staggering 26MPG vs 43MPG. I'll leave you to do the cost/benefit analysis there.
The interior is very comfortable, I love the seats. Safety features are cool (I'm upgrading from a cromagnon car with 1 airbag, so I'm excited to see 5 obvious airbags). The headlights on the EX are dazzlingly bright.
For issues, there are 2 minor design flaws. Cabin view is not great - rearward visibility could be better with better pylon placement. The hatchback could also be roomier, it gets pretty tight back there. These are minor flaws - the view is most of the way there, and the hatchback is a great feature decently executed.
The most perplexing issue with this overall great car is the winter performance. I am a Chicagoan. Sometimes, Chicago winter is colder than the dark side of the moon (and that is factual truth, google it). This winter has been average. The Insight's electric engine does not engage below a given temperature, usually below 20-30. The gasoline engine provides decent to good driving performance, but a much lower fuel efficiency. I'm averaging 31MPG in January.
Also, the A/C unit is relatively weak, so it takes a significant amount of time to get the car hot. Maybe it's attempting to route heat to the hybrid drive's battery, I'm not sure - in either case, winter performance is out of line with general performance.
The car is very econmical to operate and gets way better mileage than EPA estimate. Lifetime average fuel economy to date is 51 MPG (measured). Best tank average to date is 60 MPG (measured). The car computer over estimates mileage by 2 or 3 MPG. It gets significantly better mileage in the summer than in the winter. The 60 MPG tank average was during Aug. in Florida with slightly overinflated (40 PSI) tires on my daily 25 mile commute. I've change the oil 3 times in 25k miles. No other maintenance cost or issues to date. Honda replaced the IMA battery for free after a warning light came on when it was 2 months old. Really like the styling but they should use better interior materials. iLuvIt
14 months/4000 miles!
After a lifetime of German cars and much research I decided on the Insight, my first hybrid, and I don't regret that decision for a minute. My driving is probably 90% city and, of that, 95% is flat terrain. The only regular incline is the first 50' of my condo's parking garage entrance. My mpg pales in comparison to others and
averages a little under 35. However, my previous car averaged about 15 so I feel I'm still way ahead of the game! Yes, the "get up 'n go" got up and went but that's part of the hybrid/higher mpg experience. I'm not picky about handling as long as the car feels safe and, for me, the Insight does. I'll re-up at the end of my lease!
I bought this fully equipped 2010 model as a Honda Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle with 42K. I needed to add to my honda family, the Element getting higher in the mileage dept, 188K and I needed a fuel efficient car for commuting to my place of work.
EX 4dr Hatchback (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
This was the most undervalued vehicle from 2010. Bought new. Get 41mpg still with Eco on. Driven all over US. Highway excellent. Safe. Still have original rotors. No problems except when 1st bought recall on a rubber trim. Just bought a Pioneer radio with Carplay. Amazing vehicle. I expect will see 200,000 miles plus. Got $3,000 back from extended warrantee because I never used it. Mine made in Japan before tsunami. Best investment. Replaced a crappy BMW convertible that nickled and dimed me. UPDATE 2017: 170,000 miles and counting. Repaired tire pressure sensor and brake lights. 1st major repairs. $500.