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I am finally (hopefully) in a position to get a new car to replace my 2000 Nissan Craptima (which has been a less than impressive car but still has a soft spot in my heart because it brought my daughter home from the Hospital). Last year I would have told you I wanted a Fit, but now the Insight is intriguing, and the idea of a Civic Hybrid also is someone appealing. I've come up with my pros and cons and I was wondering if anyone could offer any.... Insight into what they think.

Civic Hybrid

PROS

Comfortable car. Decent back seat space. Potentially easiest of the three to get a deal on. More upscale options

CONS

I've read a lot of people have had trouble getting the EPA mileage for the HCH. Nothing unique about it. Cargo space limited.

Fit

PROS

Most versatile of the three for hauling cargo and people. Cheapest to load up with options. Most enjoyable (for me) to drive. Seems a little better finished than the Insight.

CONS

MPG seems low for its size.

Insight

PROS

40+ MPG. Cool factor. Decent cargo space. Nice tech features in the car. Fun factor of trying to get a "high score".

CONS

Unproven. No deals to be had. Rear seat space is tight and cramped Rear visibility difficult to get used to. Seems small compared to the other two.

SO WHAT ARE YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS, THOUGHTS, ETC?
 

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My take on this :

Civic : owned 3 gen already (no hybrid though) : Got bored

Fit : owned the previous gen : bit small, fun at first, but realized it's limitted

Insight : own since 1 week : cool factor and Mpg get it for now.

My recommendation : Insight, you should have a good 3-4 years in front of you before something else worth the change. For the price, it will pay off...
 

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I drove a Fit before buying my Insight. My impression was it seemed smaller (narrower) inside, I thought it was a little cheaper feeling than the Insight and no more powerful (auto). Nice little car, but I preferred the Insight in several ways.

The Civic is a great car, but I'm so over sedans. If theu still offered a hatchback Civic I would have considered it. BTW, I got my Insight under MSRP.
 

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Last year I would have told you I wanted a Fit, but now the Insight is intriguing, and the idea of a Civic Hybrid also is someone appealing. SO WHAT ARE YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS, THOUGHTS, ETC?
I had been waiting for the Insight II since practically forever, but at the point of purchase, I opted for the Civic Hybrid. No matter which Honda you choose, you can't go wrong. I prefer the sedan shape, and I think the Civic is one of the most handsome sedan designs on the road. I do not like looking as far back to the rear glass as one must do in a Kamm hatchback design, and I didn't like the overall visibility in my old CRX or original Insight. Plus, I just don't care for hatchbacks since they seem more trendy to me. I liked that the Civic had many production issues resolved, and I had some minor concerns about buying a first-year model since I hate going back to the dealer. I thought the Civic interior beat the Insight and Fit in overall look, design, and comfort by a wide margin, especially with leather seats, which I ordered. I have another vehicle if I need to carry something bigger than the Civic trunk, which is more than ample for my needs. My gas mileage has been superb – a 200-mile road trip netted me 59 MPG, and despite steep terrain in my area I'm getting high-40s overall... and improving! As far as drivability, I consider the Civic to be smooth, tight, responsive, quiet, and entertaining to drive. It is not quick, but I knew that in advance and didn't care about having a pocket-rocket. The Civic includes four-wheel disc brakes, an adjustable center armrest, a locking gas cap, XM radio when you order NAV/GPS, heated seats w/leather, standard VSA on all models, standard steering-wheel mounted audio controls on all models, standard floor mats. Price paid for a Civic with leather and NAV: $22,700 plus tax/registration. It all comes down to your personal choice, as you obviously recognize. I know I would have been thrilled with either an Insight or a Fit. As long as it's a Honda with an instant-mileage gauge, I'm happy. I judged that the $5,000 under MSRP which I paid was a very persuasive argument to reconsider the venerable Civic, and I'm glad I did. It is a little tank. The refresh on the '09 is nice, too! Good luck with your choice – there are no losers in the world of Honda choices.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I had been waiting for the Insight II since practically forever, but at the point of purchase, I opted for the Civic Hybrid. No matter which Honda you choose, you can't go wrong. I prefer the sedan shape, and I think the Civic is one of the most handsome sedan designs on the road. I do not like looking as far back to the rear glass as one must do in a Kamm hatchback design, and I didn't like the overall visibility in my old CRX or original Insight. Plus, I just don't care for hatchbacks since they seem more trendy to me. I liked that the Civic had many production issues resolved, and I had some minor concerns about buying a first-year model since I hate going back to the dealer. I thought the Civic interior beat the Insight and Fit in overall look, design, and comfort by a wide margin, especially with leather seats, which I ordered. I have another vehicle if I need to carry something bigger than the Civic trunk, which is more than ample for my needs. My gas mileage has been superb – a 200-mile road trip netted me 59 MPG, and despite steep terrain in my area I'm getting high-40s overall... and improving! As far as drivability, I consider the Civic to be smooth, tight, responsive, quiet, and entertaining to drive. It is not quick, but I knew that in advance and didn't care about having a pocket-rocket. The Civic includes four-wheel disc brakes, an adjustable center armrest, a locking gas cap, XM radio when you order NAV/GPS, heated seats w/leather, standard VSA on all models, standard steering-wheel mounted audio controls on all models, standard floor mats. Price paid for a Civic with leather and NAV: $22,700 plus tax/registration. It all comes down to your personal choice, as you obviously recognize. I know I would have been thrilled with either an Insight or a Fit. As long as it's a Honda with an instant-mileage gauge, I'm happy. I judged that the $5,000 under MSRP which I paid was a very persuasive argument to reconsider the venerable Civic, and I'm glad I did. It is a little tank. The refresh on the '09 is nice, too! Good luck with your choice – there are no losers in the world of Honda choices.
Honda seems to want to unload the HCH. My local dealer just sold their last one and my guy there said he could get me one, but he doubts they'll be stocking them regularly. I have read lots of negatives about HCH MPG, but its hard to tell if it is complainers drowning out the praise or a real issue.
 

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Honda seems to want to unload the HCH. My local dealer just sold their last one and my guy there said he could get me one, but he doubts they'll be stocking them regularly. I have read lots of negatives about HCH MPG, but its hard to tell if it is complainers drowning out the praise or a real issue.
Honda may hope to achieve a higher bang-for-the-publicity-buck by downplaying the HCH, i.e., clearing out inventory, in order to maximize Insight sales during the Prius' launch.

Just log onto to the greenhybrid.com database to determine median MPG for the HCH... 47.1 MPG with 1,126 sample cars.
 

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Honda seems to want to unload the HCH. My local dealer just sold their last one and my guy there said he could get me one, but he doubts they'll be stocking them regularly. I have read lots of negatives about HCH MPG, but its hard to tell if it is complainers drowning out the praise or a real issue.
I had a 2004 HCH that ate brakes....5spd manual, no markings, nice car, except for the brakes...of course, it was useless as a transport due to Honda's (then) hatred of hatchbacks..

I trust Honda has learned to use the regen braking better in the 09 and the Insight II
 

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I owned a 2001 Insight, then sold it to get the 2004 Honda Civic Hybrid. When gas prices rose way up, I sold the HCH and bought another 2001 Insight 5spd for the excellent mileage. My family is small-wife and I so we didn't need a rear seat. Only used the rear seat 3 times in 60,000 miles.

MPG on the HCH was average 42 mpg. Long trips would get 45-46, but needed to use the cruise control and keep it max 65 mph. Driving it 70-75 yielded 38-40 mpg.

Honestly, I really love the 2001 Insight. MPG is 58-65. It has 255,250 miles on it and still runs great. My wife has the 2001 CVT Insight with 148,000 miles and she loves it.

A guy from work drove the new 2010 Insight. He really liked it, but the dealers wouldn't budge on the price. He ended up buying a new 2009 Prius instead.($22,000 out the door with package 3 which included key fob, rear camera and a couple other frills)
 

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MPG on the HCH was average 42 mpg. Long trips would get 45-46, but needed to use the cruise control and keep it max 65 mph. Driving it 70-75 yielded 38-40 mpg.
A lot of people have found that the recent software 'flash' update for earlier HCHs gave many benefits including smoother shifting, better performance, and far better fuel economy. New Civic Hybrids and Insights are manufactured with these updates, of course.
 

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I considered all three and wound up with the Insight.

Your Pros and Cons are a great start.

One thing with the Insight, it will teach you how to become a more economical driver with all the feed back (MID screens etc.). Maybe the Civic hybrid can do the same but that one thing which has really impressed me with the Insight, the ability to teach one how to drive more economically.

The best thing I can advise is test drive all 3 and find out which one you like best. After all, it will be YOUR car. :)

I've gotten many compliments on the Insight.

I picked it because it looked great and had everything I was looking for in a daily driver.

Because it is new, dealer may feel compelled to mark it up and of course they want to move other cars so deals may be found with the Civic and Fit over the Insight. But, don't give in to that mark up or market adjustment crap, the invoice pricing is known on these cars now so no reason to pay anything over MSRP.
 
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