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Old 12-08-2015, 12:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Can an Insight feel like a CR-Z?

Does anyone have experience of altering their Insight suspension? I'm considering buying an Insight and have tried a few from several different years. I have also tried a few CR-Zs, all with their original suspension, and I really liked the handling of the CR-Zs. I would choose the CR-Z if it weren't for the fact that on rare occasions I'll have adults sitting in the back of my car, which the CR-Z can't accommodate. Also, I'd prefer a CVT gearbox to a manual one, and in the UK they only sold manual CR-Zs, so I'd have to import the CVT version myself from Japan. I'm a complete newcomer to the topic of car modification, but I have heard about Mugen suspension. Would fitting Mugen suspension to an Insight make it feel more like a CR-Z? Or would it make it much firmer than a CR-Z? Would it make the car steer in the exact direction that you point it, like good suspension should? Perhaps there are different modifications available that would achieve the required result. I'd really welcome any information from people who have experience of this. I live in the UK, but I understand that the UK and USA have equivalent Insight models.
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Old 12-09-2015, 09:56 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You can always find springs/shocks or coilovers to tune the suspension of any car. The Insight is a 4/5 passenger car, so you might not want to lower it too much or make it so stiff riding that passengers get shaken and stirred during travel. It'll be tough to make an Insight a CR-Z. CRZ is a foot shorter in overall length and has about a 4.5 inch shorter wheel base than Insight.

If it's a 2 seat CR-Z you want, then save up and find one to buy. I'm totally the opposite when it comes to transmission types. I much prefer the Honda manual to any CVT. I've driven both, and a lot is lost in the translation from manual to CVT in the CR-Z. The only time I would chose an Automatic or CVT over manual would be if I had to drive in dense city traffic all the time. I would most likely opt not to drive under those circumstances.

I had the same concern about the usefulness of an Insight over the CR-Z. It was a tough choice. I opted for the bigger car, even though a 2 seater is my personal preference. Some of the horrible compromises we have to make sometimes.
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Old 12-09-2015, 03:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I believe you can have a big impact on any car when you upgrade the suspension. When I first got the Insight I added springs with the stock suspension and even that changed the driving feel. I now have the Mugen suspension and I really like the feel of that. But the one downside is that it's not adjustable. It did give me a nice drop and without question improved breaking/handling. Clearly my Insight has a Mugen theme and that's why I went with the Mugen suspension. But the Insight has a wide range of wonderful adjustable suspensions right now. Buddy Club, Cusco, Tein, and so on. I would go adjustable for the added control and look.
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Old 12-09-2015, 10:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I should have said that an Insight's suspension can be improved or tuned to suit the driver or driving surfaces/conditions. Most cars can be improved in some ways. That said, I still don't quite think you can turn and Insight into a CR-Z.
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Old 12-10-2015, 02:48 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Have you tried driving both a pre-and post 2011 Insight? In the UK there was a revision of the suspension then, supposedly to make the ride more comfortable.
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Old 12-10-2015, 09:12 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone for the useful responses.
In answer to Uriel's question, I tried a 2013 Insight just after a 2010 Insight. I preferred the 2010 one. It wobbled less, the steering had a better feel to it, and I thought that it sat lower (although I didn't actually measure this).
I've just seen photos of a CR-Z and Insight taken from above, and the differences in shape are quite obvious. The CR-Z is shorter and has its wheels set wider apart, especially at the back. So whatever you do to an Insight, it's never going to handle just like a CR-Z. But as you said, an Insight's suspension can still be improved.
I'm interested ski1279 that you have Mugen suspension. I've searched the internet, and I think I've found the correct parts. The Mugen item 50000-XLQ-K0S0 is for the 2009/2010 Insight, and 50000-XLQB-K0S0 is for the 2012 Insight. Is the first of these the item that you had installed? It consists of springs and shocks for each wheel. Or did you also have extra struts, anti-roll bars or any other extras fitted at the same time?
I haven't yet decided whether to go for a 2009/2010 Insight or a 2012 Insight, but I'm assuming that the correct Mugen suspension will give similar results for either model.
What would be most interesting for me is if you could describe what it's like driving your Insight with the Mugen suspension - the handling, steering, what it's like on bumpy roads, cornering, how it compares with the original suspension etc.
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Old 12-10-2015, 11:16 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Because I have a 2010 ZE2 I went with the first suspension. But I'm sure both are near the same thing. I did drive my insight for some time before I upgraded other parts of the suspension. Handling was more responsive, steering was also active(but wheels and tires also effect this), bumpy roads are not bad at all, and cornering was improved. Keep in mind with many adjustable suspensions you can adjust the damping also.

Above all I'm with Foresight "I should have said that an Insight's suspension can be improved or tuned to suit the driver or driving surfaces/conditions. Most cars can be improved in some ways. That said, I still don't quite think you can turn and Insight into a CR-Z."

Love the CR-Z really wanted to buy one. But sadly it's not really good at much. Car is way to small and is under powered if you wanted a fast car. Looks great, but to make it more of a sports car it really needs a supercharger/turbo or a K series swap.
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Old 12-10-2015, 01:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ski1297 View Post
Love the CR-Z really wanted to buy one. But sadly it's not really good at much. Car is way to small and is under powered if you wanted a fast car. Looks great, but to make it more of a sports car it really needs a supercharger/turbo or a K series swap.
Or about 3-4x the IMA power it has now.
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Old 12-13-2015, 06:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks guys for the responses. It's useful to read a first-hand description of the Mugen suspension in use. From what you wrote I think that's the suspension I'll probably go for.
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Old 12-14-2015, 06:51 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I have a 2013 EX and added the Tanabe DF210 springs. These lower the car and are 10-15% stiffer so you can retain the original shocks.

My car was transformed to great handling with no other mods. Because the car is lower and the springs stiffer, the body roll was greatly reduced. The car goes where pointed and can hold the line through dips / bumps.

On the highway at speed with trucks and cross winds, I can just relax and listen to a book. Previously, I had to pay some attention to keeping in my lane.

I did not get the alignment checked but I have not noticed any unusual tire wear.

Adjustable suspensions are nice, but most people take a guess and stick with it. A shock's rebound is generally determined by the spring rate and that is not adjustable. All you can really adjust is the ride height. IMO, the Tanabe DF210 springs do all that at a way lower price point.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Tanabe DF210.jpg (241.9 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg tanabe Insight 2.jpg (49.8 KB, 19 views)

Last edited by BackStreet; 01-31-2016 at 07:58 PM.
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