I bought a Honda Insight back in 2000, probably one of the first to drive this remarkable little hybrid car in Chicago. The dealer tried to get me to pay $5000 over list. Ha!
Over the last 5+ years and 45000+ miles (I avoid driving whenever possible), I have averaged 49.8 MPG. As good as the EPA ratings? Of course not, but I never expected that. I am really really happy with this peppy, aerodynamic, gas-stingy vehicle.
Unfortunately, there is one big, bad thing about the car: it is absolutely horrible when driving in snow. The car is so darned light that it just rides on the merest layer of snowflakes. It also rides, very very low to the ground. Great for gas mileage, but....
Last night, Veva and I drove up to Milwaukee for the opening of Chris's latest show: Public Display of Affection. I knew that snow would be falling, but we figured we could make it in the Insight (Chris already had our all-wheel drive Subaru wagon up in Milwaukee). So we spent almost four hours driving the usual 1.5 hour trip through heavy snow on unplowed highways. My hands, legs, neck were tied in knots. It was very rough going, but I kept my snowflake of a car on the road.
On the way back, they finally plowed the highways and all was well, until we got to a tollbooth. There, suddenly, the plowing on the left lanes stopped and I went headlong into snow that must have been 10-14 inches high. So what, you might ask?
So I spun to the left, almost turned all the way around. Got myself straightened out, and we went on, but it sounded like we were dragging big chunks of ice with us. Ugh. Finally got off at next exit and found that the hard plastic layer of something or other that protects the undercarriage from the road had come peeled away from the car and was both scraping and dragging.
How pathetic. How irritating. Especially since I'd finally gotten around to canceling the collision coverage on my car. How totally predictable.
So I make a vow to myself: do not drive the Insight in any sort of heavy snow.