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Discussion Starter #1
I guess I have to join VinceDee as another person who has just taken advantage of a really good deal on a used 2001 Insight. Pending an inspection by one of our local Honda dealers tomorrow, the car is ours. It's not quite as low mileage as VinceDee's however...this one has 29,860. It's also red, not silver. And it's a 5-speed, not a CVT. But, similarly, it was owned by an elderly gentleman who traded it in on a Roadtrek 210 Class B camper van. Apparently he's got a few places he wanted to go see while there was still time.

And, perhaps the biggest difference is that this Insight will come home to sit next to our Prius...a car we've enjoyed for 2.5 years.
 

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Welcome to the forum Xq. I hope you'll be telling us the pros and cons of the two autos. From my lurking on the Prius forum prior to buying my Insight I got the feeling that the Insight is more fun to drive, while the Prius is more practical for the family drivers.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Griller, I would say (already) that the Insight has the higher "scoot quotient" and is more fun to drive (I should have added that I have also owned a Honda Civic [the original CVCC hatchback] as well as a CRX and a Del Sol).

The Prius has about the same road dynamics as a minivan...which is not a complaint. In fact, the Prius' tame manners really helps "settle" the driver into a mode that is conducive to higher MPG <g>!
 

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Congratulations on the Red 5sp, IMHO the best one to have. Just don't try to think of it as your little Ferrari as I do :)
 

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Welcome Xq.

I too have a Prius (Mk II and silver) (for a little over 2 years) and a red 2001 MT Insight (for a little over 1 year). I bought the Prius new and the Insight with only 6500km on the clock!! Mine had been sitting on a dealer's lot used as a demo and then occasionally by the dealer himself for a few years.

I have found them to be a great combination of cars. We are a family of four so the Insight is no good if all of us a riding. I use the Insight mainly as a commuter and any other time when I don't need the extra seats or carrying capacity of the Prius.

I love driving my Insight! I think of it as the Porsche 356 of the 21st century (only much better) - the thinking person's sports car.

The Prius does not have the fun factor of the Insight but does its job very well - it is not only fuel efficient but an excellent overall package (IMHO)!

I average about 50mpg in the Prius and 70mpg in my Insight.

There is one silver Insight (used) currently for sale in Melbourne - my fantasy is to buy it and add MIMA and a turbocharger - but can't afford it now (maybe one day).

Happy motoring!
 

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My dream is to eventually get a new Civic Hybrid to replace my aging Honda Civic Si, although because of the cost factor, I may end up getting a regular Civic (which has very respectable mileage w/o the hybrid mechanism). I've been a Honda girl through and through- incidentally, my Civic Si is my first car (and I still have it- it still runs really well). I *heart* Honda, that said, the Prius is a great car. My friend has one, and she LOVES her car.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Full disclosure (of sorts): I actually think the Toyota hybrid system is the better one, but I don't say that as any sort of lob of a grenade into a nest of Honda fans. As I noted, I've owned three other Hondas and have always been thrilled with the product. And I'm not losing sight of the fact that the important thing is that they are all hybrids...the differences are in ways two groups of engineers decided to crack the same nut.

So, I'm axious to become more familiar with Honda's approach of directly assisting the engine with the electric motor....and the design of the Insight package will make it a perfect urban warrior for our around town running. I'm also hoping that the elevation changes around ABQ here will be the kind of "exercise" that the IMA needs!
 

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I really like the Toyota Prius (current generation). It's a hatchback, it seats 5, it has unique styling...what's not to like?

The only two issues I have with the Prius are:

1. Cost. You just can't come close to making up for that extra cost associated with buying a new one. I always tend to think in terms of what my investment is going to be (which, I suppose, is why I ended up buying a used rather than new Insight). After doing a fairly comprehensive cost analysis on hybrids I determined that the best bet for me was a used Insight, but it sure would have been nice to have those great features that the Prius has.

2. MPG. It seems that the average MPG of Prius owners is somewhere in the neighborhood of 44-48mpg, missing the EPA mark by quite a bit. Apparently no fault of Toyota's, but it would be nice if the EPA estimate had been more accurate so people would know what they should reasonably expect. The 48mpg average that 2005 Prius owners are getting (according to fueleconomy.org) is still pretty darn good for such a practical car. By contrast, it seems like Honda had to make a number of compromises in practicality in order to get the Insight it's gaudy MPG numbers.

I would love to own a Prius, but I personally won't be able to justify it until the price comes way down :?
 

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I'm no engineer- my background is in biology and sociology, mainly. Several engineers I know have said both Honda and Toyotas are good hybrid systems- although the Honda is less complex and more streamlined. Don't know if that's true or not... maybe someone with more knowledge can throw in more illumination.

From both friends that have the HCH II and Prius, I've noticed that they get very comparable gas mileage, give or take a few gallons, and not always in favor of the Pruis. I've known MT HCH I's that get incredibly good gas mileage, far better than the Prius. So, in terms of gas mileage, they're IMHO very comparable vehicles. Which car you choose will depend on the handling preference, accesory options, etc... but I don't think you could go wrong with either car. That said, if I win a free pruid, I'll trade it in for a new HCH II. I prefer the styling and elegant simplicty of the HCH II.
 

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Well xqqqme, if you live in an area with large changes in elevation, the Honda system is in my opinion a better choice. The Honda hybrid gasoline engine makes up a larger percentage of the total power. When you have used up all the useable energy in the battery pack you still have 92 percent of maximum rated power available. In the case of the Prius maximum available power drops to 69 percent.
 

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VinceDee said:
1. Cost. You just can't come close to making up for that extra cost associated with buying a new one. [prius]
How about the over $3,000 tax credit? That covers it I think! If I didn't hate the 4 door/5 seater/cvt aspects of the Prius, I would have jumped all over it.

My love of the MT Insight form factor cost me over $2000 for my 2006 purchase the way I figure it.
 

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cattygurl said:
I'm no engineer- my background is in biology and sociology, mainly. Several engineers I know have said both Honda and Toyotas are good hybrid systems- although the Honda is less complex and more streamlined. Don't know if that's true or not... maybe someone with more knowledge can throw in more illumination.
broadly speaking, the toyota prius is a "full" hybrid and the honda systems are "mild" hybrids. I hear it's possible to drive a prius on the electric motor alone if you run out of gas. a full hybrid has two motors - an electric one powered by the battery, and a gasoline one. the hondas only have one gasoline motor and the battery chimes in with a boost/assist where needed.

all that said, I'm with ethicalpaul - I don't want to drive a CVT! my only hybrid choice was the insight. I thought about the pros and cons and if I hadn't gotten a MT insight I would have gotten a MT diesel car and run biodiesel in it.

VinceDee said:
2. MPG. It seems that the average MPG of Prius owners is somewhere in the neighborhood of 44-48mpg, missing the EPA mark by quite a bit. Apparently no fault of Toyota's, but it would be nice if the EPA estimate had been more accurate so people would know what they should reasonably expect.
I've thought about this, and I think that driving patterns are responsible for the drop in prius fuel economy. The prius is the best hybrid option for someone who lives in a city and has a lot of stop and go traffic because of the electric motor capabilities. However, I don't think many people who drive the prius are driving a purely or even mostly urban/stop-signed route. if you compare the driving mpg at http://www.greenhybrid.com/compare/mileage/ you see that the real-use prius and the civic mpgs are roughly equivalent despite the prius having a much higher mpg for city driving. the mild hybrid technology is better suited to highway driving, and like it or not, most americans will have some time on a highway (at least 45 mph, minimum of stoplights) and a minimum amount of time in stop and go traffic where the full hybrid shines.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Update -- the Insight passed its dealer inspection with flying colors and, as of this morning, it's in our driveway! As the dealer's service advisor was checking the car's VIN for a record of any warranty work (there was none...only trips for service and for the 4 recalls that affected this year) he also informed me that this car qualified for the new, extended IMA warranty! I am positive that this will be a "time limited" warranty for us, rather than a "mileage limited" one!
 

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Kari -

I think that the biggest FE killer is short trips especially in cold weather - in either the Prius or Insight. Efficiency is lost while the ICE warms up. I suspect that the official figures are taken with the engine warmed already (all cars would be tested this way!?)

The gap between my Prius and Insight is less in city traffic than the long term average because of the Prius ability to run on electric alone. The same feature allows the Prius to make better use of a long down hill run.

The Prius gets its best FE in suburban driving (provided there are not too many traffic lights). FE goes down a bit on freeways as speed increases. But as we all know, it is in these conditions the Insight excels. On a flat road at about 50mph I can hold the Insight in lean burn at better than 100mpg - and others on this forum can get better than that!
 
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