Pros: "Gas mileage, driving position, fun to drive"
Cons: "Brake/acceleration quirks; problems down the road?"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I bought this car used about three months ago with under 25,000 miles on it. It is was in pristine condition and after nearly 40 years of driving base models (crank windows) all of the bells and whistles have me captivated. We are honeymooning here.
I did research on the car before I bought it and learned about its idiosyncrasies. So far, the worst things about it are: (1) jerky starts when engine is cold--both in drive and reverse; (2) the brake pedal falls sometimes coming to a full stop when the engine disengages; (3) too much play in the steering; and (4) the infamous blind spot.
I drive the car in the ECON mode almost always but I have discovered that the jerkiness abates when it is off. Driving without the ECON is good for steep hills, passing on highways, and after starting the car when it hasn't been used for more than a day. To avoid the brake pedal issue, I put gentle pressure on it but push it to the floor for a full stop.
I am a short driver and the seating position and lumbar support are a perfect fit. I sit high and the visibility is great. The car does not have a back-up camera but the blind spot has become almost a non-issue. The rear-view and side mirrors almost completely eliminate any blind spots. (It also helps that I am a safe driver.)
I don't use the "sport" mode and the paddle shifters can be annoying--it took a while to get used to them. Putting the ECON button on the steering wheel would improve ease of its use. The center console is very small, the cupholders are a reach, and the change compartment would have been better placed to the left of the steering wheel.
I haven't taken very long trips (more than two hours each way) but the car is comfortable. It is what one would expect from a compact economy car--a bit bumpy and noisy. I rarely have passengers so ease of access and rear seat comfort are not an issue for me. However I do need to be careful not to bump my head when loading any cargo onto the rear seats.
So far, I have gotten as much as 47 mph on the highway (temperate conditions) and about 41 combined. In the recent cold spell, I have averaged 39 to 40 in city driving. No complaints here.
My big concern is that some of the Insights, I believe mostly 2012-2013 models, have oil burning issues. I have not seen any evidence of that in my 2010 but who knows? Hybrid battery life could also be an issue. And I understand that the Civic hybrids have had battery longevity problems. But the Civic batteries are made by a different company than those used for the Insight.
I am keeping my fingers crossed."
"I purchased an Insight LX a couple of months ago, and have been very happy with it thus far. While I was originally planning to purchase a Prius, my wife already has a Prius and we decided that it would make more sense to get a smaller (and cheaper!) vehicle for my commute (about 12 miles each way).
The insight is not going to blow anybody away performance-wise (although in sport mode with econ off it blows the Prius out of the water), but my 47.1 mpg average over about 6000 miles so far more than makes up for that. I haven't had any problems with the car, and find it to be generally comfortable and sort of fun to drive. I miss having a manual transmission, but the CVT in the Insight is, from what I hear, a necessity in terms of getting the maximum benefit from the hybrid system.
While the Insight is small, its form factor makes it surprisingly versatile. I frequently need to move large boxes, and my dog's kennel, and have had no problems in that regard (far better than my old '08 civic). The car actually feels smallest in terms of its width, though other than sacrificing center console space, that doesn't seem to be a big deal. I definitely would not recommend this vehicle for anybody who routinely needs to have three people in the rear seat, although I've had two adult passengers in back on a few occasions and have had no complaints.
The interior is definitely that of a budget vehicle, but is generally well-configured and attractive. I'm a huge fan of the hybrid-specific display readouts, which provide some useful fuel economy information and nice cues regarding real-time driving efficiency.
In terms of features, the Insight EX and EX Nav are certainly more full-featured than my LX, but I can't complain too much (considering its purpose as a commuter vehicle). The LX lacks cruise control and variable intermittent wipers, but includes temperature-based climate control and an external temperature sensor, which I'm not used to seeing on base-level vehicles.
All-in-all, I'm happy with my little Insight, and would highly recommend to others who are looking for an efficient, versatile, and relatively inexpensive vehicle."
"I have enjoyed my Insight which is my second hybrid. It is much better than the Civic hybrid that I drove for 6 years. My mileage is averaging 48.5 MPG for combined mileage. The hatchback has provided more than enough cargo space for me. The instrument panel and controls are very easily accessed and were a primary reason for me choosing the Insight over a Prius. The only negative at this point is the view of the speedometer. The steering wheel blocks a portion of the readout. This would vary with the tilting of the steering wheel and the individual's height."
"Insight is good on gas and easy on the wallet. Not good choice for taller people commuting long distances. Uncomfortable after long commute. Noisy on Interstate. Good pep in Sports Mode. Like the features and design of the car. Driver seat is comfortable just not enough leg room."
Cons: "Poor rear visibility, one cup holder blocked"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have a 45 minute commute to work everyday so I needed a car that was comfortable and had good fuel economy. This car is great!
It is rated for 40-43 mpg but my commute is mostly flat, with mostly good weather (and I drive very efficiently) so I tend to get 55-60mpg on my commute. My overall average since I bought the car is 53.2mpg (including any interstate driving, bad weather, etc).
I find the seats to be very comfortable and I really love the vents. I know that might be strange but I hate it when I have a hot spot where the sun is shining on me and the vents can't direct air to that spot. I am always the perfect temperature in the Insight.
The hatchback/trunk area has a surprising amount of room and if you lay the seats down there is a good amount of height available too (my 75lb dog likes to ride back there and she can fully stand up in the back with no problems)
There is a storage space under the trunk interior, surrounding the spare tire that is large enough to hold your jumper cables (you won't need them though), first aid kit, etc
Having the usb charging/play cable inside the armrest console is pretty convenient. It keeps my mp3 player out of sight and out of the sun so I can leave it in there all the time.
Front and side visibility is excellent and driving the car in general feels great. The car corners smoothly, has little road noise and reacts quickly to any driver inputs. I also love the convenience of the steering wheel radio controls, it lets me flip through all the stations without having to take my eyes off the road. The car is low and sleek enough to minimize drag and maximize fuel efficiency but is high enough off the ground that you will clear a standard parking stop - no need to worry about tearing off the bumper or anything crazy like that.
The cons are very minimal but here are the only things I think Honda should try to improve:
- The rear visibility is pretty poor, I always feel like i have a big blind spot back there no matter how much i adjust the mirrors
- the AC/lighter outlet is directly above the driver's cup-holder so you can't charge your phone from that outlet if you have a drink in both cup-holders
That's it! This is a great car. My last car was paid off and got about 22mpg. With this car, my gas cost plus car payment is only $100/month more than the cost of my last car (which had no car payment). The maintenance costs a little more but it needs less maintenance so you don't experience any added cost there. I think anyone who has a commute would love this car!"