I was a long-time owner of a CRX Si for 10 years awaiting the time when Honda would produce a successor. I was told the del Sol was the closest to a CRX and decided to ask Honda about it. They told me it was no longer produced. [No loss there, its replacement, the S2000, is a real sports car--InsightMan.]
Shortly thereafter I saw an ad in the newspaper showing an odd but interesting looking car that looked a lot like the CRX except for the skirts. It was a very vague ad that was more like a tease. I didn't know what they meant about "hybrid" but I didn't care. It looked like a new version of the CRX to me.
I called the local dealer and about it. He said it would be available in about two months. This was back in June of '99. I went to the dealer and put a small deposit down on it. I was #4 on the list. It wasn't until December when I was able to test drive a red one. I didn't care for the color, but it drove impeccably. I was hooked. It drove like a heavier and well put together car. It felt much more solid than the CRX. The shut off feature took me by surprise. I remembered reading that the Toyota Prius shut off but the Honda didn't. Due to some people losing their place in line I got a call from the dealer that there was a drawing for a red and silver insight. I won the drawing for the red one and was able to switch with the other winner for the silver one.
I started out getting about 55 mpg due to the fact that I was inefficient with the shifting up Highway 17. (I commute to Pleasanton from Santa Cruz). I ran out of juice in the batteries the first time up, but completely recharged coming down. It handled incredibly on the turns. I love the steering wheel. I now only use about 40% of the batteries and get about 63 mpg. I average 60 mph going over the hill and 70-75 mph on the freeway so I drive it a bit harder that most folks would and I guess I would get close to 70 mpg otherwise.
One major drawback is that one evening I heard a loud bang driving over the hill. I got home and found the left skirt missing. Apparently it came off for some reason during that bang sound. I'm still awaiting the replacement.
I also don't care much for the open storage area. (The CRX had an enclosed cargo bin). I hope an option becomes available to rival this. Until then I guess I'll get the window tinting. The super large mileage display is also a bit distracting. Who needs numbers that big?
All in all, I'm very happy with the car and intend on keeping it for years.
By the way here's some more info:
Delivery date 1-29-00
55 lifetime mpg (averaging 70 mph on the freeway)
1950 miles at this writing
Santa Cruz, CA
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[Bob, after reading your report, I ordered two extra fender skirt fasteners ($13.18 each!) in case I lose one due to not tightening it sufficiently after removing the fender skirts when I wash car--InsightMan.]