I wanted to buy one, definately, but I have to be able to carry more than 2 people regularly. I like the handling of the lightweight metro though as compared to the battery laden hybrids. My friend up north cannot use her prius in the winter because it gets no traction with the hard little tires and extra weight of the batteries.
If I wanted a car that wasn't going to rust out (it's made out of aluminum, not steel) that had awsome safty (crazy spiraled crumple zone beams), and was going to be low matence (one guy I talked to had honda replace his with a new free one, he had over 200,000 miles on it, they wanted to rip it appart and check for problems), so what are the draw backs? mostly cost, not having the back seat could be a draw back for some people as well, but most households have more then one car, and what are the chances that both of them are going to be 2 seaters?
With snow tires, the Prius should be fine in the winter. Seems like snow tires would be a better financial decision than having a winter car.
I have read in several places that in very slippery conditions the Prius' traction control system can render it all but useless (ie trying to go up hill). Sometimes the only way to get moving/stay moving is with a small amount of wheelspin, and if there's no defeat switch to override the TCS, the car literally won't go.
1 - Gotta be a stick
2 - Need to have place to keep my old car for "haulin' crap" purposes. The Insight is almost strickly a commuter.
3 - Need to be able to get el-cheapo "max mileage" insurance for old car.
I saw a used one in the Torrance Honda lot for around $11K. If that's a stick, then that would be worth it to me if I were in the market. I would assume that I would need to replace the battery pack soon, so the real cost would be around $13K.
What are your commutes like?
Do you already have a car?
Do you drive on smooth roads (it can be a bumpy ride from what I hear)?
When the 'Teg gives out, I'd be paranoid buying a used Insight since the history of how it was driven can determine its battery longevity. It's too bad they D/C'd it and didn't replace it with a similar, more modern variant.
CFG83 -- I agree: my next car really should be a manual. I miss the flexibility of choosing my own gear. But, you're in luck as all Insights are 5-speeds!