I recently purchased a Black Insight EX with Navi after careful comparison with the Prius. I concluded that the Insight is a much better value, ($10,000 less than top of the line Prius, although it doesn't offer quite as many options) and is much more enjoyable to drive. I purchased this as a commuter car (60 mile round trip to work) and for running errands. I consistently avg 45mpg (calculated by fuel up to miles driven). Overall I am very pleased with this vehicle and believe it would have see better sales if it was marketed better. Also, contrary to Edmunds review this car is capable of electric only operation although in very limited circumstances (flat level ground under 25 mph).
The Insight is a essentially a super efficient fwd conventional automobile. The hybrid system is a small DC motor/generator is wound around the output shaft of the engine and provides power for acceleration and recharges the battery when coasting. Streamlined and somewhat narrow, big and unusually tall folks will not be comfortable. Soccer moms will find the hatchback storage too small. The interior is crisp and functional but upscale buyers will likely opt for something more sophisticated. The Insight is capable of 50+mpg but hyper milers will want more. For me, it is a brilliantly simple design that is affordable, economical, beautiful and a pleasure to drive.
This is my second review after one year. I'm averaging 48-49 mpg but routinely get 60+ during ideal conditions. To get the most out of the Insight you need to drive it correctly otherwise you will be disappointed. The Insight is a very efficient conventional automobile with hybrid assist. It is very affordable being less complicated than the Prius. As an engineer I find the Insight brillaintly simple while the Prius is more a technological feat.
Note that if climate control is in auto the engine will start as necessary at stoplights to maintain the desired temperature. This has been incorrectly reported in a number of reviews. No problems and I would buy again without reservation.
Bought a 2012 with 96,000. Yes, the mileage was a little high but we got a brat deal. My husband drives an 11 year old Accord and has never has as much as a sneeze. During our last oil change, our mechanic commented how low the oil level was and thought it was due to my neglegance for not bringing it in sooner. 6 months later, the engine died. And I mean beyond repair. To replace the engine would have been 10,000 and that still wouldn't have fixed all the problems we had. Our mechanic was appalled to see a Honda such poor quality and ours is not an outlier. Please, please do not buy this car!! Do yourself a favor and spend the extra money on a Prius, that's what we did and it is a far, far superior car.
I'm writing this now because I have to trade my 2012 Insight in at 108k miles. The first year was great with the exception of the fact that when you stop, the engine cuts out (which is normal) but as it's syncing back up to accelerate, it rocks back and forth. One person got into a minor accident with me, she ran a red light because of texting and I didn't see her, she slammed into my passenger side front part of the car at around 15 mph. This crunched most of the car, I learned then just how fragile the car was, it's a tin can, someone hits you, you're not looking good. So otherwise, it got it's 44 mpg on the highway. I started a family and the backseat is tiny, the overhead part is tiny, don't buy this car if you're over 6 feet tall, it's just so uncomfortable for the back and even in the front, you can't get a good feeling in that seat ,it's very tight. So why am I trading it in? Well, the car broke down, engine light, VSA, Hill stability something, I dont know, end result was that oil has flooded the engine, seals broke down. It explains why I needed oil changes more often. the 0W-20 the car takes needed it every 2500 - 3000 miles (sometimes sooner towards the end). It wasn't leaking, the guy in the dealership (full support, how nice of them, of COURSE they'd support me, I'm trying to figure out just what's going on) said that the nut on the oil can on the bottom was loose and I was losing oil while driving. So now I have no engine, and a battery that's showing signs of needing to be replaced, and it's just very disappointing. The rule is, if you buy hybrid, save up a bunch because the battery bill will be big. If you buy this hybrid, don't. It's got way too many issues compared to even a normal hybrid, people don't even want to work on this because of the compactedness of the engine. I bought a Honda thinking it would last, not this Honda. No way. Avoid!