Getting firsthand information from an actual car owner is one sure way to get an idea of car performance once it leaves the lot. Autobytel features real consumer reviews that give the unbiased experience of a car.
Pros: Excellent gas mileage and ULEV or SULEV emissions ratings yet still fun to drive
Cons: No cruise control, weak sound system
Advice: Check out insightcentral.net for lots of good infoI've just purchased a new 2002 Insight w/the CVT automatic and so far I love it. When first researching hybrids I was surprised that I couldn't fit comfortably in the Prius (I'm 6'2'), but DID fit in the Insight. I was also surprised at how well it handled, and the acceleration was better than expected from a 3-cylinder engine. (Thanks to the electrical motor running in parallel that helps out when needed.) The great gas mileage and super-ultra-low emissions ratings are it's major plusses. If you can live with a two-seater with modest storage in its trunk area then this may be a great choice for you. Otherwise the newer Civic Hybrid may be a good choice. Its appearance is generally love it/hate it. While most of my friends (and of course myself) really liked it, a few thought it looked like an amusement park ride. The instrumentation gives you lots of information on how the gas and electric motors are behaving, and you always know what your mpg currently is as well as cumulative over the last trip or even the entire lifetime of the car. The website insightcentral.net has lots of great information...even more than Honda's site. If you're interested in the Insight be sure to check it out!
Pros: The mileage about 62 avrerage for us, at 15000 miles
Cons: The radio. First and only thing we modified.
Advice: Don't be afraid of the technology. It drives like any other.MY wife wanted the car not me. I went to the dealer with a bad additude, I didn't even want to test drive the car. When I was forced to go for a drive my additude changed very quickly. The car was very roomy, comfortable, and very nimble on the handling. The car was also very peppy, if you didn't mind running the tach up a little. Overall Its a very nice car, and I would make another purchase in the future.