The beast's tail end met the front end of another car a while back, and so the beast has been 'hospitalized' for the last two weeks. In the meantime, we have had the pleasure of renting a 2011 Honda Insight. It's a stripped down model, I am sure, lacking things such as the between the seat arm rest, and such. However, to quickly sum up my experience so far, I love this car!
I would not describe it as "zippy", and without a doubt, the Insight will never win a 0-60 race, unless its with a turtle, but then, this is not the sort of car you want to drive like that. It is not a sports car, it is not luxurious, it does not hold the whole house and your Aunt Mary in the back. This is a perfectly functional, highly fuel efficient little car, perfect for toting around kids, or making the thirty or so trips to the grocery store.
How fuel efficient? I am averaging 43.2 MPG. Not too shabby, considering I am delighted when the Passat averages 23MPG on the highway. We won't even mention the gas mileage in the Beast. I filled up today, put 8.5 gallons into the tank, and paid a measly 27$! WOOHOO! Oh, and I think I have gone nearly 500 miles on that tank.
The boys fit nicely, though probably not the car I would choose for a long road trip unless I plan to leave Steve at home. I am not sure we could even fit both dogs in the back, but I have put Schooner back there and she fits fine. The broken view of the back window took a little while to get used to, but now I can just about see through it. (The Prius seems to have the same shaped back window, therefore I would assume has the same broken view as the Honda) For a small car, the blind spot over the driver's left shoulder is a bit too big, but again, it is something I would get used to rather than something that would drive me crazy.
I love the back light on the speedometer which changes from blue when you are using gas to green when the car is pulling from the battery. I love that it rates me on how "green" my trip was!
Most of all, I love that I have traveled nearly twice as far as I could in the Passat and spent about half what I would spend to fill her up!