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Old 03-10-2016, 01:42 PM   #20 (permalink)
Ecky
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Vermont
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Gaptooth (retired) - '00 Honda Insight
Team Honda
Gen-1 Insights
90 day: 54.26 mpg (US)

Such Fit - '07 Honda Fit Sport
90 day: 41.27 mpg (US)

Connect - '15 Ford Transit Connect XL
90 day: 23.4 mpg (US)

K-sight - '00 Honda K-sight
Team Honda
90 day: 44.31 mpg (US)
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Manual transmission Civic Hybrid and 1st Gen Insight fit the bill, but as others have said, have early battery failures.

I just picked up a clean, low miles 2004 Civic hybrid for 3 grand, and with winter tires on, I'm getting 60-70mpg cruising at 50mph on wet roads, which is probably better than you can expect with a Prius. The engines on the Insight and Civic will last virtually forever, so high miles shouldn't be a deterrent, and the manual transmissions have some quirks but are pretty solid. Both cars will still run with a failed hybrid battery, but as it gets weak and starts to fail, you will lose electric assist and the car becomes a lot less fun to drive.

Insights had a 10 year warranty on their hybrid battery, so most of them from the south (where heat causes early battery demise) will have batteries that are 0-6 years old. These cars are really solid highway cruisers that you can expect to reliably run without much maintenance for hundreds of thousands of miles.

When the battery does fail, a battery replacement or refurbishment isn't too expensive in these cars, and you might be able to pick one up for a song with a failed battery and drop a new one in it, and get 10+ years of use from the battery if you take care of it. Many choose to keep driving them without the hybrid functions, though.

Honestly, if my budget allowed for it, I probably would have picked up a 2nd-gen Prius over the Honda Civic Hybrid 1, but I know how to keep the batteries on these going, and it was significantly cheaper than a Prius with a similar number of miles on the clock.
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