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Hello to all you intellegent and environmentally conscious people,

This is my first post here. After watching a special ("Too Hot Not to Handle") on HBO this Saturday (EARTH Day), I decided to look into the Insight, which lead me here.

First off, which production year of the Insight is the best. The first always has flaws, so not 2000. What are your personal and factual opinions about the production years regarding any design, mechanical, technical, aesthetic, handling, performance, or any other issues not mentioned. I noticed that '00-01 average 61/68 mpg, '02-03 average 57/56 mpg, & '04-06 average 60/66 mpg stated from technical specifications. Also road noise, speed bumps, road drainage, loss of power when hill climbing, review mirrors + blind spots, "no" cruise control, poor stereo sound quality, etc all are minor to major concerns amongst current owners.

I am considering to purchase a used model and would appreciate any guidance that any of you have to offer. I currently drive 98 miles round trip to work 5 days a week, so I could benefit from this amazing machine!

Thanks,
 

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Which year?

I've heard that the battery control logic was changed somewhere mid 2002 production. That version is what Honda installs now when replacing battery packs. So to be safe choose 2003 or later.

However, if you are in a state with HOV access (like here in California) consider that 2005 and later do not qualify.

So that leaves 2003 or 2004. But they seem pretty expensive. Autotrader found 3 (manual transmission) in this range from $10k to $19k. Depending mostly on miles I guess.

Good luck, Jim
'01 #191
 

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jgessling,
HOV is not a major concern here in St. Louis. Although I appreciate the information, it is something to consider for a young designer who might have to relocate in the future.
 

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Welcome!

They're all pretty much the same. There have been some small design changes, but for practical purposes there's not much difference. The design differences will be swamped by the differences in conditions of various used cars, depending on mileage, whether they were taken care of, etc.

Also it's worth looking into the various tax credits and deductions, which may make it worth buying a new one. In Colorado it sure does, with our over $4000 tax CREDIT, which when combined with the federal deduction takes the new car price down into the $15k range.
 

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Hi Eric and welcome to the forum :!: :)

jgessling's got the bascis covered. Its the MCM & BCM controllers that are one of the major changes to 03's (for sure) and later models.

Other than that its pretty much a color and interoir fabric style choice. But look out for non OEM tires. The'll cost you 10%+ in reduced MPG. :(

See:

Tire Comparison Test
http://www.insightcentral.net/forum/vie ... 38&start=0

HTH! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Insightful Trekker, thanks for the tip! I'll read over the link.

Thanks again for your help,
Eric
 

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Aftermarket speakers and cruise controls can address a couple of the issues you mention. adding sound absorbing material and driving in third gear (good to 113 MPH) cover a couple of others.

My previous car, a CRX had similar visibility characteristics and was much louder on the road, harsher suspension, and had none of the creature comforts of the Insight. For me all the "issues" were not really significant. I suppose it depends on your experience with other cars. The Insight is about 2.5 seconds slower from zero to sixty than the 1989 CRX SI but honestly I don't miss that. :D
 

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Can I ask a question? I noticed on your signature and some others on this forum, that you guys/gals have Hot Air Intake modifications. I am a E30 enthusiast. For those of you who do not know what an E30 is, it is a 3 series BMW '84-91. I know the car inside and out. I know that we BMW "nuts" strive for colder air entering our intake to increase HP. So why does the Insight need a Hot Air Intake? The Insight has an 1.0L 3 cylinder internal combustion engine just like all cars. Please explain...

By the way, what are "MCM & BCM controllers" ? I am new to this technology.

Thanks again,
Eric
 

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The hot air mod is related to the 5 speed Insight's "lean burn" mode. Everything you need to know is on the IC encyclopedia (links at the top of every page).

http://www.insightcentral.net/encyclopedia/


Various lean burn discussions:

Forced Lean Burn
http://www.insightcentral.net/forum/vie ... php?t=4601

Suddenly warmer weather = Holy LB, Batman!
http://www.insightcentral.net/forum/vie ... php?t=4537

Lean Burn clarify
http://www.insightcentral.net/forum/vie ... php?t=2945

Unlimited Lean Burn?
http://www.insightcentral.net/forum/vie ... php?t=3115

Is the holy grail of 'lean burn' an illusion?
http://www.insightcentral.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=186



CVT is an acronym for Continously Variable Transmission. Honda has been using one off and on in production since the early 90's. Basically its an automatic _without_ the "bumps" between gearshifts since it doesn't shift. The ratios between low & high are continously variable :!:

USA CVT's don't have the lean burn capeability but pollute less because of it. And in theory manage the IMA batteries better for longer service life. But a very careful 5 speed driver will probably have comperable service life, YMMV.

HTH! :)
 

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Yup there's five gears. Some folks try mountain climbing in 5th, which if I recall is a third overdrive, then wonder that they are slowing down. ;)

Eric, I should think you would fall in love with this car as an industrial designer. Looking closely at the design work that went into the Insight is for a designer..... well like a painter looking closely at a classic work of art. Pardon me while I drool over the thixotrophic casings and aluminum extrusions, consider the zeal that went into weight reduction and aerodynamics, and wonder at the mental energy and care that went into detailing such a low production vehicle. (Honda used it's F1 design team)

Blessed is the man who can appreciate fine design and own a piece thereof. :D
 
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