A friend let me borrow his Honda Insight for the 2 weeks I've been in San Jose. If you're unfamiliar with the Insight, it was a first generation hybrid car from Honda, that featured a 3-cylinder, 1 liter motor with an electric motor added for assistance, and a bunch of batteries hidden behind the seats. The car is a lightweight 2-seater (this one is red, and it looks neat, futuristic). This is a 2000 5-speed model with about 75,000 miles on it. The batteries were replaced by Honda under warranty a year or so ago. First impressions: Nothing special. It drives like any other small Honda. It's mildly entertaining to drive and feels a little sporty, but nothing crazy. The gears are super long, so you can merge onto the freeway in 3rd (hell maybe even 2nd)... 4th and 5th are reserved for higher speeds. 5th really only makes sense at 70 or even 75+. I hated the design years ago but it's grown on me. I am really starting to appreciate the car's style. This red looks great, especially in person. Next time you see an Insight, do a walk-around and check its lines more carefully. After driving it around for several days, I've got lots of experience and now really love this car. It's so neat! Here are some things I like about it: -When you come to a stop, anything below 20 MPH with the car out of gear, the car will completely shut off the gas motor. The car gently rolls to its stop at 0 RPMs and wastes no gas until you take off again. Idling's for suckers! The instant you pop-it into gear, the car starts up and takes off. The nicest part about is that it starts without making any starting sounds. The gas motor goes from off to running without any added noise, even when starting it for the first time. -The car has tons of torque because of the electric motor assistance. Even with the long gearing, you can roll out in 1st or 2nd at nearly 1000 RPMs then plant the gas and the car takes off as if it's in the powerband thanks to the electric motor. Rarely does a 4 or even 6-cylinder have this much grunt from a dead stop or slow speeds, and NEVER would I have expected this kind of driveability with a 3-cylinder motor. It takes some practice, but it's really good for getting around once you know the ropes. -The gas mileage is incredible. I've averaged about 54 MPG over the week. Driving around yesterday I did plenty of city driving, including traffic, stop-n-go, and all that around the bay area. I averaged 52 MPG that day. With the freeway I've averaged up to 58 MPG for extended periods. The best part of it is, you constantly get feedback on your gas mileage, which is averaged over the time your trip odometer was set. It becomes a fun game to see how good your gas mileage can be (maybe one trick to its great gas mileage) -- you start to find ideal speeds, gears, shift points... even how much throttle to give the car at any given time to keep your average gas mileage high. When you reach a hill or are way out of the powerband, it pays off to SLAM on the gas (opposite of what you'd do in a gas motor to conserve gas) because it uses the electric motor heavily, increasing your speed quickly without wasting fuel. -You have a few other gauges on the full LED cluster... a huge digital speedometer battery meter for the electric motor NiMH batteries, and a charge/assist meter. This indicates when you're using electric power and when its batteries are charging (e.g. under braking or deceleration). -It's awesome for driving in busy cities. The best reasons are because it's quiet when you come to a stop because it shuts the motor off, the gas mileage, and the size which makes busy streets and tight parking a breeze. Oh, and my favorite part... the rear of the hatchback allows you to see directly behind you. So as you back up to parallel park, you can see the car behind you's license plate/front bumper, and you'll know exactly how close you are. You also get the HOV sticker, meaning you can legally use the carpool / commuting lanes, even if you're riding solo. It's nice here in the bay (I bet LA too) where traffic can be backed up for miles and you just zip past everyone. If only more cars were designed with this stuff in mind. =/ It's an icon of technology considering its age. It's also got a more fun and futuristic, almost sporty styling that begs you to have a good time when you drive it when compared to the other cars on the road. I'm sure the Prius is neat because it's so much newer, but I just had to share that I really enjoyed driving this car and would consider picking one up used if the price was right. I bet I could buy one like this for under $10k pretty easily. I don't have anything bad to say about this car yet... Hybrids aren't that bad, afterall.