Well, this is almost hard to write considering I'm the highest post count member here but here it goes. I am pretty sure the Insight will be for sale soon. Two days ago I picked up a brand new 06 Civic Hybrid, and let me tell you it is nice…. very nice. The two seater was cool at first, but it seemed more and more I feel bad because I land myself in a situation where me and some friends go out and I never drive because I have the 2 seater.
Things I like. The dash layout is awesome. In the pictures of the top tier on the left it shows the temperature gauge. Well, on the hybrid there's a button which switches it to the instantaneous MPG gauge! So it's right there with a quick glance down rather than all the way down. Also it's quiet! This is one thing that I have fought with in the Insight, the Civic is dead silent and the factory stereo is really good on top of that. A major selling point also was the electric AC compressor; I know this will be a huge deal come next summer, plus the battery thermal management looks to be much improved, which is the other thing I fought with in the Insight.
The drive train is AWSOME! This thing is what I wish they'd do to the Insight. Even with the bigger heavier car you can feel the electric motor is much more powerful. I haven't played much as of yet, but the auto stop seems to not be limited to two times without getting above 11mph. And on this brand new car with all of 8 miles (2 of which were by me on a test drive) I immediately started driving in traffic, got on the freeway and took it easy, but not hyper mile type easy. I managed 53 mpg on a freeway which is a challenge for the Insight to get upper 60's on. The driving style is very similar, lean burn is brought about in a very similar manner, you can hold ~75mpg lean burn, the meter tops out at 100. I've also been able to coerce the electric only mode out of it already. It's weird because you can't really tell because the engine in still spinning and it only will do it for a short period of time.
The other thing about the drive train is the regenerative braking is massively improved. First it's variable. Barely tapping on the brakes brings up about half regen and a little more push and it goes full regen which really slows you down a lot. They've even got the brake pedal modulated to feel like a normal brake so you get the same brake force with the same pedal push even if regen is temporarily deactivated.
Things I know I will miss. The Civic doesn't handle quite as well as the Insight, plus the looks are definitely not as unique. I’m also going to miss all my modifications. My full leather interior, which I just finished, will be missed for sure (I might be willing to sell this). The nice shifting, easy clutch manual transmission I know I’ll miss at some point as well. The CVT is definitely unique in its own right, and I can see why they ditched the manual transmission option for this drive train, but I’ve already caught myself going for the clutch several times already.
Overall I would like to look back on my time with the Insight as very positive. Sure I had a few issues with it, but it never left me stranded. It will most definitely be the most unique vehicle I ever owned. I really wish I was in a position to hold on to it forever, but the way it sits right now it is worth almost what I paid for it 3 years and 40K miles ago!
So will I be leaving Insight Central? No. I may not be around quite as much, but I know way too much to leave now. I’m sure I’ll still be answering Insight questions for years to come. Plus Benjamin added the other Honda hybrids forum so I guess I’ll get to man that one.
There will be pictures and more details to come soon I’m sure. Actually, I have a uncle who wanted a hybrid so I think this one might go to him eventually when the other comes in because it was a deal where we were on the list for a blue one and they called us when someone backed out of this silver one and we got it out the door for seven dollars over window sticker when I guess everyone else is getting at least $1,200 over window sticker right now. This one is only vin # 6069 so they’re trickling in slowly, that’s for sure.