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Old 03-21-2006, 03:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Insight vs. Prius

Hello! I'm not sure if this is the right place to post, but here goes!

I drive a 2001 Insight, purchased in Oct. 2004, LMPG 63.9. 40K miles on it when I bought it for $10,000, manual transmission w/AC.
Last week we purchased a 2004 Prius. Not sure how to check the LMPG yet. Currently on this tank I am up to 46 mpg and rising every time I drive it (230 miles so far, only 1/3 tank used). It has 21K miles on it, CVT, and was $21,000.

I've been driving the Prius since we bought it (5 days now), so here are my opinions so far...

The car has a smooth ride and is a lot of fun to drive. However, I miss the simple gauges of the Insight. The battery gauge and the MPG meter are much easier to watch in the Insight and easier to understand. The Prius of course has the big screen with the pictures, but I really don't seem to "get it" yet. I wish the Prius was made of aluminum. The seats in the Prius are more comfy than the Insight.

The Insight is much more eye-catching and gets more attention than the Prius, probably b/c the Prius is so much more common.

Overall, we are happy with both, I still LOVE LOVE LOVE my Insight and will return to driving it everyday tomorrow. :P But we are thrilled to now be a 2 Hybrid family (traded in a Jeep Grand Cherokee for the Prius).

Pictures to be posted on my website later this week.

Andrea
http://home.comast.net/~andreapierpoint
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2001 Insight, 64.1 LMPG
2004 Prius, 42 mpg to 58 mpg
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Old 03-21-2006, 04:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I rented a Prius before I purchased my Insight. Overall I really liked it. It had a lot of high tech gadgetry that I enjoyed. It also had more room than the Insight.

Ultimatley I chose the Insight, mainly because I didn't like the Prius seats. Many people like the seats, but for some reason I couldn't get comfortable in them. They made my back hurt after about 30 minutes of driving. If it hadn't been for that I probably would have bought the Prius rather than the Insight. I love the Insight seats.

I agree with you about the guages. The guages in the Insight aren't as flashy, but they are much more usable. The fancy animations in the Prius are entertaining, but hard to figure out, and you can't see them without taking your eyes way off the road.

In short, I think both the Insight and Prius are great cars. For anyone doing comparison shopping, I would highly recommend sitting in both vehicles, and driving both vehicles first. There is nothing more annoying in a car than an uncomfortable seat.
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Old 03-21-2006, 05:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Insight vs. Prius

Quote:
Originally Posted by apierpoint
Last week we purchased a 2004 Prius. Not sure how to check the LMPG yet.
Sadly, the Toyota hybrids do not have a lifetime MPG meter like on the Honda hybrids. You have to calculate it manually, keeping records of your fillups. If you had a Classic Prius (2001-2003 NHW11), and you never hit the reset button on the Consumption Screen (trip MPG), then you'd have a lifetime MPG. The current NHW20 Prius will automatically reset the Consumption Screen MPG when you fill up the tank. (a few exceptions of less than 3gal fillup or possibly refilling with the car still running may not reset the gage, though.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by apierpoint
I wish the Prius was made of aluminum.
On the NHW20 (current Prius), the hood/bonnet and the rear hatch are made of aluminum to save weight.
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Old 03-21-2006, 05:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Andrea -

We too have an Insight (2001 with 16,000km) and a Prius (2005 with 23,000km). We sold a Lexus LS400 (1993 with 150,000km) to get the Prius. The Lexus was a fabulous car (I still miss it a bit) but it didn't suit our needs anymore and used more fuel than I am now prepared to accept for everyday driving.

The Insight had a lifetime fuel consumption of about 47mpg when I bought it and is now at 56mpg. My lifetime average is about 70mpg and I now average about 76mpg. (I say "about" because we use litres/100km here in Australia.) The Prius does not have an lifetime fuel consumption recorder. The fuel consumption recorder resets everytime you put about 10 litres of fuel in the car. You would have to record your lifetime fuel consumption manually (I don't bother). We average about 46 to 50 mpg in the Prius depending on the conditions. Compared with the Insight it gets driven in conditions less friendly to maximum fuel efficiency (lots of short trips and stop/start) so I think that it does very well.

I enjoy both cars but the Insight is my favourite. I have no problem with the seats of either car or with reading the dials. I have been pleased with how much of a load the Prius will carry with the back seats folded down - although even the Insight has a very useful capacity for a two seat sports car

I go to a Yahoo Prius forum - but nothing's as good as Insight Central!!
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Ghillie
2001 red mt Insight - 85,000 km
2001 citrus mt Insight - 120,000 km
2004 silver Prius - 190,000 km
2006 blue Prius - 77,000 km
2007 silver Civic Type R - fn2 - 170,000 km
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Old 03-23-2006, 12:22 AM   #5 (permalink)
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We're looking into the Prius as our next car as well (keeping the Insight, of course). My dad and I went and test drove one last weekend and it was definitely different. My dad likes it, I have some issues. First, the interior space is great and I (6'4") can actually fit easily in the back seats. The ride is nice and quiet and it's definitely a nice family car.

My issues:
Driving position - The driver seating position is high and the steering wheel is way too far down. The front seats don't go back far enough but that's alright since it's not a manual.

mpg display - There is no "in your face" mpg display like on the Insight. What display it does give you is in the form of a number instead of a bar which is pretty worthless in trying to keep mileage constant. You could go through the entire life of the car without viewing your mpg if you wanted to.

Gauges and gadgets - While I like my gadgets, the Prius is loaded with over-engineered stuff that look nice but could be much simpler. The car weighs ~2800 lbs, they could have found a way to lighten it up a bit instead of add extra stuff. Moreover, what they added in gadgets, they took away in gauges. NO TACH!!! I'm not sure there's even a water temp gauge. I can't stand auto makers who deny us basic knowledge of the status of the engine.

I know the Prius is a great car (my parents will probably have one by the end of the year), it's just not for me. I like the fact that you have to learn to drive the Insight and there are ways of getting much better efficiency with it. I like (simple) mechanical systems that allow me to control them. I'm all for things like the MIMA that give the driver even more control of the IMA.

It looks like we'll soon be a 2 hybrid family as well. The Insight has just had it's battery replaced under warranty so it'll be good for another 6-8 years. Mom will probably drive it until retirement. Dad will have the Prius and I'll have the MINI
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Old 03-23-2006, 08:35 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Regarding the MPG display, on the screen, if you press the "consumption" button, you can get a sliding bar of your MPG instead of just a number.

The more I drive the Prius, the more I like it. Still driving the Insight daily, though.
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2001 Insight, 64.1 LMPG
2004 Prius, 42 mpg to 58 mpg
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