I must admit, I am something of a Honda bigot. Maybe that's because back in 1971, in my second year of college in Rochseter, NY, my father gave me his bright orange Honda Civic. It was a tiny little bug car, light and durable, but certainly nothing fancy. I loved it! (my father is a big fellow, just over 6 feet tall and heavyset, so it is surprising to think that back then he would shift from his usual big sedans to a Civic, but that's the way he was/is - ready to try new things)
I now own a Honda Insight, the two-seater hybrid they released in 2000. Got mine in April 2000 and since then have averaged 49.8 MPG for some 46,000 miles. I love that car, too.
Got up this morning and somehow ended up going through the backroom in our basement, clearing out old stuff (and getting lungfuls of dust in the process) and came across a reminder of another Honda Civic I leased, and how far we haven't come in the last couple of decades.
Back in 1992, I left Oracle Corporation and become a consultant. Took a job working at McDonald's headquarters in Oak Brook -- and suddenly I was a commuter. So I looked around at my options and found the Civic VX. The VX was a Civic coupe with a VTEC engine adapted from the early Acura Integra.
It cost $10,550, which was considered fairly pricy for a little car back then, and boasted the following mileage:
Highway MPG: 55
City MPG: 48
Of course, I didn't hit those numbers, just like I only occasionally match the EPA MPG ratings for the Insight. But I clearly remember averaging MPGs in the 40s on the highway commutes I made to BurgerLand.
That was back in 1992-93!
So while I am glad to have my Insight (I really, really enjoy driving that car, even though its suspension is, shall we say, a bit brittle), I am also disappointed that the auto companies haven't come further in 14 years.