I compared several vehicles that met my requirements in a new vehicle and the Insight showed up. I had never heard of one before. Perhaps it is so unknown because Honda does not promote it. Few people are familiar with it but it meets my needs perfectly. I do not think most of the criticisms of it are fair. It is not noisy. It is comfortable. It runs smoothly and the gas mileage is terrific. The AC does turn off when the engine stops at lights, etc. but that is overcome by moving the car into Park which I do in our recent 100 degree weather. It is fun to drive. I am not a car nut. I expect my vehicles to get me where I am going as cheaply as possible. The Honda Insight LX does that.
I am always surprised to see so few (I should say rarely) Insights on the road.
Toyota Prius seem to be the only hybrid people think of.
Not only the Prius is expensive, I am not so sure it's a better car: Insight
dashboard is better and the possibility of disabling the automatic traction(not available in the Prius) in case of getting stuck in the snow is a plus in the Northeast.
I almost didn't buy it based on some of the professional reviews I read, but I decided to go by those written by real consumers, and I am glad I did.
The car is flawless, fun to drive, and very will built. I has enough power to get up on the freeway and keeps up with traffic while getting over 45 mpg, and I drive it very hard.
I have found the ride to be good, not harsh, and is similar to other small cars of similar weight.
I am 6'3" and have plenty of room and comfort.
It is not a Prius, and does not try to be. It is the original hybrid, predating the Prius.
The unit is one of the few fully built in Japan, and the quality demonstrates that very well.
I bought my wife a 2011 Honda Insight. As of now she has 23746 miles and has purchased 533.715 gallons of gas(yes, we record Odom-trip-# of gal-price per gal and date). Currently getting 44.49 mpg and that is actual all driving mpg!
I was so impressed I traded in my Chevy HHR for my own 2012 Insight. As of now my Insight has 13818 miles on 305.667 gallons for 45.20 actual MPG and that is city and highway combined!
Yes the AC turns off when I sit at a red light. I drive from the NJ suburbs to block b4 the Holland Tunnel, so my ride isn't smooth sailings! The ride in my Insight makes this commute bearable.
EX PZEV w/Navigation 4dr Hatchback (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
This is the most uncomfortable, loud, gutless car you can buy. The mileage is not worth it, and goes down quickly if you have to do even small inclines. (not hills, just normal on the freeway or average road inclines) There is no way to get your money out of it if you buy it new. You can't hold a conversation without yelling in the car because of the noise. The car is so gutless, you put yourself at risk to pull out of your street if you see another car coming. Not to mention you can't see out of the car easily at all. A lot of blind spots. Don't get the light fabric seats. They stain with water. You may not listen to this. That's fine, but be warned, you will not be happy.
Update 7/2016 - this car continues to disappoint me. You will never even break almost even on this car. It will be huge loss. I can only hope it can make it until I can afford to put it down.