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The Toyota fix is done mostly to keep some important diodes for melting. The "fix" has impacted many Prii by decreasing MPG.

I took my wife's Prius in for the update during a scheduled oil change last fall, but they were really busy and the update wasn't done. We drive our Prius pretty gently, so not really that worried about the meltdown. If I drove in the Southern states during the Summer season on a daily basis, I would be more concerned.

One of my snow skiing buddies has a 2010 Prius and had his update done at the same time that he had new tires put on the car. That was in the late fall of 2013, so a fair comparison was not in the cards. He changed tires from his worn out OE Yokohamas to a set of Continental Pure Contacts.

From what I can tell, his car has lost about 2 MPG since the double whammy event, tires and re-flash. I get to drive it on return ski trips we make a few times a week during the snow season, so I have quite a few miles experience driving his car.

Other than the loss of MPG, I haven't noticed any differences in performance. The Continental's made the car ride a little softer and are quite a bit less noisy than the original Yokohama tires. Just the tire change alone could be responsible for the lower MPG observed.
 

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Both are pretty unique vehicles. 3rd gen Prius is an ok 50mpg+ capable travel car. Does long highway trips well. I have no complaints. Mechanicals are first rate and everything runs smoothly. Not a perfect car, but it's good.

The Honda is smaller inside and out by a tad. I'm surprised that I can get about the same MPG as the Prius, especially since the Insight sticker said only 44 mpg highway. The motive system in the Honda is slightly less refined, especially at takeoff from a stop. The Honda clutch engagement takes a little practice to get smoothly, but it's fine once it's mastered.

Both have their quirks. I like them just about equally. Wife drives the Prius primarily, and I use the Insight.

Value wise, Honda really missed the boat. The Insight is a full one third less expensive than a comparable Prius. Insight can get Prius MPG. Honda wins the value battle by a lot. Honda marketed the Insight abysmally. Too bad Insight's going away.
 

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To be fair, the odd recall every three years should be viewed as responsible product R&D.

If you never have a recall on a car, then you should question what manufacturer follow up is. Toyota perfected the production system of vehicles for the whole world, and recalls are part of this. Just look at how many old Toyotas and Hondas are still driving about compared to other marques... a lot. Look at a 10 year old Ford/ GM compared to a Japanese car... junk.

I remember when the media jumped on Toyota for the worldwide recall of certain vehicles due to the accelerator issue. I think I am right in remembering that the majority of crashes were due to the carpet mats rucking up and affecting the accelerator, not the actual recall that Toyota were doing for drive by wire (I think that's what it was, but in other words, that's driver error in my book).

So there are recalls for safety (which are based on statistical measurement of similar safety issues), recalls for reliability (again issued on some sort of statistical probability of failure, and then recalls (other stuff).

Now, BMW Mercedes and VW have had countless known issues with ABS pumps, diesel injectors, alloy wheels cracking, questionable quality issues with forged parts, such as hub assemblies, track rod ends and suspension components - and the number of recalls from the German manufacturers is tiny by comparison - one must ask why? the answer is quality assurance and quality control.

When you look at the reliability index, most German vehicles are poor (despite the 30 year old views held by many that they are the best): they are not, they are statistically unreliable compared to all the Japanese makes other than Subaru (and Subaru should sort out their act really, as they have a good heritage).

My own experience with BMW would also support this; unreliable - mainly electrical, but also some mechanical fragilities.

The number of recalls issued buy a manufacturer is likely proportional to the reliability index (though I haven't got the data to prove this, but I would make the assumption).

The other thing to look at is what vehicles are broken down by the side of the road... can't comment on the US, but in the UK its all the French, Italian and German brands - though the US brands (although not sold in huge numbers due to the fuel prices here) also favour poorly.

It's all about quality control and R&D in the end.... though that builds on a foundation of good design.

I've seen a few Nissan Leafs on the hard shoulder, but that's probably because the owners forgot they were driving full electric, and didn't make it to the next service station charger (unfortunate).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Both are pretty unique vehicles. 3rd gen Prius is an ok 50mpg+ capable travel car. Does long highway trips well. I have no complaints. Mechanicals are first rate and everything runs smoothly. Not a perfect car, but it's good.

The Honda is smaller inside and out by a tad. I'm surprised that I can get about the same MPG as the Prius, especially since the Insight sticker said only 44 mpg highway. The motive system in the Honda is slightly less refined, especially at takeoff from a stop. The Honda clutch engagement takes a little practice to get smoothly, but it's fine once it's mastered.

Both have their quirks. I like them just about equally. Wife drives the Prius primarily, and I use the Insight.

Value wise, Honda really missed the boat. The Insight is a full one third less expensive than a comparable Prius. Insight can get Prius MPG. Honda wins the value battle by a lot. Honda marketed the Insight abysmally. Too bad Insight's going away.
Is the Prius more comfortable with less NVH? I have never test driven the Prius, and while myself have no problem with my Insight my gf has been driving a Lexus herself. I wonder if a Prius could have matched that level of comfort.
 

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We actually have a Gen 1 Insight, Gen 1 Prius, and Gen 2 Prius in our family.

All sort of have thir own niche.

The Insight is great for everyday commuting. Usually me, alone in the car.

The Gen 1 Prius is a nice around town/highway car. Great turning radius. Compact size. Confortable for 4. Can seat 5, but pretty snug.

The Gen 2 Prius is the biggest of the bunch. Nice to have the extra cargo capacity with the hatchback and lay down back seats. 4 adults fit with plenty of room. Can seat 5. When driving by myself in this car it feels a little wasteful room wise. But it can get 50 mpg, so that's not bad.
 

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Is the Prius more comfortable with less NVH? I have never test driven the Prius, and while myself have no problem with my Insight my gf has been driving a Lexus herself. I wonder if a Prius could have matched that level of comfort.
Prius won't beat the Lexus. Prius, with the right tires (quiet ones) are fine travel cars. Lexus crams a lot of sound insulation and high tech bushings into their cars to keep things calm in the cabin.

We've taken the Prii (we had a 2005 that we traded in on the 2011) on extended 1500 mile + trips without complaints about their comfort. The Second Gen 2005 was not a linear car on the highway. We changed tires to help it out and had alignments done, but the car was easily moved off track. Plus the Second Gen Prius ergonomics were primitive.

The Third Gen 2011 we now drive is a cruise missile by comparison. The front end is much more dialed in and will head down a straight interstate with little correction. Very easy to drive on long trips.

Our Prius is a 4, so it also has a pretty nice JBL sound system that for an OEM set up, is AOK. The seats are leather, and the adjustments allow for a really comfortable place to sit for extended periods of time. I've seen plenty of people complaining endlessly on forums about how uncomfortable they find their Prius.

If you ever consider buying any car, spend enough time in it, before you buy. Make sure that its not going to aggravate you later because something doesn't fit properly. If you can't get comfortable in a car, then it's likely that this condition will probably not change in the long run.
 

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I have currently both a 2013 Insight and a 2006 Prius.

My partner drives the Prius daily to work and the Insight is my car. I've owned all three generation of the Prius.

I recently rented a 2013 Gen.III Prius that had 24,000 miles to take down state for the weekend for my grandmothers 80th birthday and I couldn't tell a difference in the way the car drove or accelerated. It used EV mode aggressively around town just like my old Gen.III did, the acceleration rate felt the same. I didn't notice a difference.

MPG was fantastic too. With the cruise control set to 65 MPH, in normal mode, with ambient temps at 20 degrees and the HVAC system set to 75 degrees, I averaged 49.7 MPG over the 300 mile trip through the mountains of southern WV.

And one trip from my dads house in Naugatuck, WV on the Kentucky boarder, to Charleston, WV with my sister and some friends to eat at Olive Garden, doing 70-75 MPH the whole way (about a 70 some odd mile trip) took 1 hour and 6 minutes to arrive at Olive Garden, yielded 44.1 MPG.

On the way back to my dad's, however, I set my cruise to 65 MPH, which make the trip 10-12 minutes longer, but I averaged 52.2 MPG.
 

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Yeah, Ill give it to the prius. I had a rental one for a few weeks. Drove it like a rental car. :evil: Got 49.9 at its worse, 65 at its best. Plus the gen 3 is a whale of a car inside and out. Keep in mind the gen 2 prius is already a few inches bigger than the gen 2 insight.

 

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Prius

For work I find myself travelling in cabs for journeys of between 20 and 100 miles, the vehicles are often Mercedes Skodas or joy-oh-joy the Prius.

My heart lifts when a Prius arrives but sinks on sight of the other two. I truly hate the back seat ride of the German offerings, sitting directly over the back axle and the stiff unyielding suspension aimed at impaling the passenger's cranium onto their spine.

The rough and vocal VW diesel engines and the jerky automatic gearboxes are dismal, the Prius is a limousine in comparison, with a decent ride and smooth stepless progress from the Toyota Synergy hybrid drive.

The Japanese don't have to push the message they make the best cars, they just get on with it
 

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I own both an Insight and a Prius. Like all Prius models, my NHW20 G2 Prius uses the very trick variable transmission that integrates two electric motor/generators. On the other hand, the Insight simply uses a 10kW electric motor sandwiched between the engine and CVT, permanently attached to the end of the engine crankshaft.

More Mature

In short, the Prius represents a far more mature approach. Clearly, Toyota spent vastly more in developing the Prius than Honda did the Insight - and this shows in every area of the car. The Prius is astonishingly complex and accomplished – an amazing combination to achieve from Day 1 of a new technology. The integration of the powerful electric motor (50kW on the G2 NHW20 model) with the engine via the Power Split Device makes the seamless mixing of gasoline and electric power a daily reality. The Prius always feels torquey and strong at low speeds, despite its high 2,921lbs weight. Although reverse gear uses only electric power (the gasoline engine cannot drive the car in reverse) it can still quietly torque its way up my steep driveway. On the open road, engine revs automatically vary with load: you know you’re climbing a steep hill because engine revs rise. But all the driver needs do is put their foot on the throttle – the complex electronic and mechanical controls do the rest.

Inside, the Prius is roomy and well packaged. There’s adult space in the front and rear and the hatchback is reasonably sized. The ride is soft and comfortable and the seats well matched to the spring rates. The color LCD in the middle of the dash is neat to watch and the controls all work with typical Toyota quality and ease.

Take a look under the skin of the Prius and the engineering thoroughness is formidable. I’ve had a Prius (not my current one) in lots of pieces. Everything – and I mean everything – is superbly made and engineered. The high voltage connectors, the filtered fan-forced cooling of the battery box, the water cooling of the power converter under the hood, the use of standard Toyota hydraulic trans fluid in the Power Split Device. Even the use of only a slightly modified Echo 1.5-litre VVTi engine means that this was always a car that Toyota expected to work well over the long term – the engine was a known quantity. The book The Car That Shook the World gives some idea of the thoroughness with which Toyota approached the task, to the extent that for example Panasonic had to change the way that they made Nickel Metal Hydride batteries to meet Toyota’s durability expectations.

A more basic approach

The Insight is very different. Perhaps the biggest difference is in the drivetrain. Rather than optimising a very sophisticated driveline to gain the huge economy advantage the Prius has over conventional gasoline engine cars, Honda decided to go for a more basic driveline and get the gains mostly from the body. The result was a design with a very low drag co-efficient, yet the Insight looks almost identical to a Prius. A low drag number is no good if the frontal area of the car is high so Honda decided the Insight would be a small, low car.

Honda had used its expertise with the aerodynamic body and in the same vein decided to draw on their undoubted engineering excellence to build a very fuel-efficient engine. The 1.3L 4-cylinder used in the Civic Hybrid, uses lightweight components (eg a magnesium sump) and low friction technologies to make it probably the most economical, lightest 1.3L engine in the world. (And a far cry from a slightly modified Echo engine!)

Toyota decided that the driver should be untaxed by driving a Prius; Honda decided that the driver would be very much involved in driving the Insight, like with adding the Eco Assist feature to sort of coach drivers to drive easily to fuel economy. And it’s not just the fact that there’s paddle shifters in the cabin either; the Honda is simply a far harder car to drive well. Partly it’s the bucking and jerking of the engine clutch engage and disengage. I've tried everything to try to smooth it out, and sometimes it works, but 60% of the time, your head will be thrown back into the headrest. And it gets even more annoying in traffic jams.

Driving through a hilly urban area it’s easy to be embarrassed by the Insight; in a Prius you just put your foot down a little harder and let the torque do the rest.

The electric assist in the Insight (it automatically adds its torque with throttle movement) is effective, but if you’re used to driving a Prius, it’s not very strong. Regen braking is also used in both cars, but the Insight's feel more conventional. In the Prius you can regen to a near standstill. Both cars switch off the gasoline engine when you’re stopped (except that the Insight shuts off it's engine coming to a stop at 8 MPH, whereas the Prius will shut it's engine off and go into EV mode if you're at any speed under usually 40 MPH. The G1 and G2 Prius have EV with engine off top speeds of 42 MPH. The G3 is 46 MPH, so the engine (when coming to a stop) in the G3 is shut off around 43 MPH. The Insight rapidly restarts at brake-release and take off, while the Prius whizzes along silently and vibrationless until about 30-35 MPH (driving normally) and to 40-45 MPH with a steady foot.

Fun

The Insight is vastly more fun than the Prius to drive. The steering (electric like the Prius) is precise and well weighted, the handling (although nothing outstanding in its own right) is better than the Prius.

Of the two though, the Prius always feels more effortless.

And as well as being more effortless, the Prius is far quieter. Whether it’s because of the weight goals set by Honda didn’t include more soundproofing, the Insight’s body is quite noisy. (Road noise is better in the 2012+ model Insight's though) Road noise, body resonances and tire noise all intrude. (The engine is comparatively subdued.) The Prius feels like a high end Toyota or a lower end Lexus. Much more fuller and for lack of a better term... beefier. More substantial. The interior is a serene environment – and is much smoother and quieter than even a current Corolla or Camry, which size-wise, the Prius is in between. The Insight feels much cheaper, but still high quality.
 

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All of the above, plus Prius is more expensive compared to an equivalently equipped Insight. Excellently developed technology has it's excellently expensive cost.

Our 2011 Prius stickered for $32,000 and we bought it as a leftover with great incentives and zero financing. Our 2013 Insight stickered for over $24,000 was on sale with a "special" price of a little over $22,000 and we bought it for $19,000 or about $9,000 less than what we paid for the Prius. The Prius is the most expensive car we've ever bought and we plan on keeping it for some time to come.

My wife averaged 52.6 mpg with her Prius during 2014 and I averaged a little more than that with the Insight.

I still get higher MPG than my wife gets when driving the Prius. I get about the same MPG with both cars, but not comparing long trips, since we don't take the Insight on long trips.

Very different approaches from two car companies. Already commented on the fluidity of the Prius' drive train compared to the Insight's more mechanical feel. Anyone who drives both of these cars can experience those differences immediately.

For me, the Insight has more character and is more challenging to drive well, while handling more crisply than the Prius. Neither car could qualify as anything close to a sports car, but they are both very competent everyday rides that happen to get excellent fuel mileage.
 

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Well, if you follow the gen 1 insight history you will see it was a sports car with a capacitor bank. For what ever reason that changed to an economy car with a nickel metal battery.

Im sure with more work honda could of out engineered Toyota after all they started making cars with a motorcycle mentality. :evil:

Having said that, the gen 2 can easily match a gen 1 cvt insight in mpg and easily beat the gen 2 prius in highway mpg.
 

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G1 Insight should have been kept and updated by Honda. I still think that was the best 2 seat commuter out there. Aluminum body and all. The hatch cargo area was plenty big for two people to do moderate travel. Wished I could have bought one.

The last G1 Insight that I saw at the dealership here was manual and Silver, the one I wanted. I went home to talk it over with my wife, and next day after work went back to the dealership to see if I could buy it and was already sold. Totally bummed. Tried to find another one and had the dealership look for me too, but no other manual G1 was available.
 

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Why should honda continue to loose money and make an unpopular car? Those who like the gen 1 are 10-15 years too late to voice that opinion.

"Sales- Total global cumulative sales for the first generation Insight were 17,020 units. Honda had originally planned to sell 6,500 Insights each year of production."

Honda Insight - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

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In order to sell a car like the G1 Insight, you have to advertise it to, and educate the buyer at the same time. Honda did an excellent job of neither.

Much akin the job they did on G2 Insight. That bogus 44/41 or whatever it was they put on the car's sticker was a turn off. The only way I can get down to those MPG numbers is to let it sit and idle for a couple of hours out in the driveway after a fill up. Still waiting for my first sub 50 mpg tank.

But hey, gas is "cheap" and the new even boxier Suburbans are already all over the place, so it's back to square one, anyway. :)
 

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Yeah, they arent doing well on the new Fit either. The ex-l can get 41 mpg, but the local dealer denied it exist and they want 3 grand over msrp for the other models.
 

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Yeah, they arent doing well on the new Fit either. The ex-l can get 41 mpg, but the local dealer denied it exist and they want 3 grand over msrp for the other models.
Dealers will eventually get over the overpricing as soon as early demand goes away. Happens to a lot of cars. Never buy into the first run of a new update or new model while the car is in short supply. Especially an established popular car.

Unless you don't have a ride and need one in a hurry.
 

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From the Honda site... 2015 Fit models...

 
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