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After spending hours poring over the topics in this forum, I'm beginning to wonder if I really should be considering an Insight.

I average about 7,000 miles of driving per year. My commute is currently a mere 14.5 miles round trip and I often bicycle to work.

Many of you have looong commutes and Insights with six-digit mileage on their odometers. Would it be harder on the battery packs and electric motor if an Insight had lower mileage, and perhaps frequently spent five days in a row sitting idle in a garage?

The other concern I have after all this reading is that there seems to be wide variations in prices paid (although maybe this is normal--never studied vehicle prices outside beyond a local market) and availability. There are a few new and used Insights in my area, all CVTs. I credit this to the fact that the people knock each other over to get Priuses.

My primary motivation was that I promised myself I'd get a hybrid next car when Insights weren't available yet in '99 and I don't need to seat four with four doors--rather have a hatchback, even a smaller one.

Thanks for all the great advice offered so far!
 

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I own my car from 2000 to now 2004. I have 66000km on the odometer (probably around 40000 miles) so you are 'about' like I am. I almost always drive in the city.

The only effect I see is that the body receives less rocks so it looks newer than the ones who drive on the highway. The battery pack does not seam to have problems (I do not have recal problems).

I think that, like any other object, the more you use it the more it will wear. So your car will last longer:
then it is a good thing to have an aluminium body.
People who do not drive their car much usually have the body dissapear before the mechanical stuff breakdown.
 

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The car should have no problems with your stated routine. If you want to drive, and use the least gas possible, the Insight is the choice.
 

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Why not just get a pure electric car? If all you do is 28 miles a day, then there's absolutely no reason to run a gas engine. Even one of those horrid "NEVs" would do the job. They're nothing but overgrown (and overpriced) golf carts, but they would suite your purpose well.
 

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Short commutes don't show off what Insight can do...

The Insight may be the perfect car for you, but don't expect to see the same kind of mpg figures as many of the others here. I drive mine 25 miles each way on my commute, usually averaging 60-65 mpg on summer days. Today I'm closer to 70mpg; in the winter I'm below 60.

I reset one of the trip odometer/mpg meters every morning, and find that it doesn't show above 60mpg until I've driven six to eight miles -- a cold engine just isn't efficient, obviously. If I were to stop my drive at 7 miles and let the engine get cold, I suspect I'd have a hard time getting any segments above 60mpg, even on a perfect day.

To be fair, any vehicle takes time to warm up. If you drive a Hummer, I'd guess you would see 9-10 mpg until it warms up and starts delivering that solid 17mpg on the highway. The Insight would still be doing better than any other vehicle on a short commute.

So even if you don't see spectacular mpg figures, you may still be happy with a tight-handling little car that gets you into the mid-50mpg range.

Yours,

MF
 

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Short commutes like yours are extreme conditions for a gas engine. The engine will not get up to full operating temperature even in the summer. (don't believe the temp guage, it's designed so you don't worry about things like this).
If I were you I would consider taking a scenic route to work, that's what I did when I used to live 2 km from work and I didn't feel like walking or biking to work in snow.
With short driving it's important to follow the time interval for maintenace instead of mileage.

With your habits buying an Insight does not make economic sense but don't worry when 99% people choose a vehicle to buy they don't make the most economic decision anyways. For you buying an Insight and driving it is making a statement and gives you a warm fuzzy feeling inside. Nothing wrong with those reasons.
 

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What sort of driving do you actually do? If you usually bike to work (and good for you!), that doesn't really affect your decision because it's not driving time. So the question is, how are those 7000 or so miles driven? If it's e.g. carrying loads of building materials, you probably don't want an Insight :) If a lot of it is trips to mountains, beaches, or suchlike, the Insight might do just fine.
 

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I second everyone else’s advice. I might add that I think the main question is “Can you get along with a 2 seater?” If you can, then from the sounds of things I think you would be happy with the Insight. I think all of us here feel that the compromises we make (tight fit, handling that requires more attention than average, limited load capacity, firm ride. limited amenities) are more than made up for by the pleasure we get from driving it, be it for the handling, the fun inherent in a small car, the unbeatable gas mileage, supporting green technology, or the image. ( I probubly left something out here, if so someone will correct me.)

BTW Thanks for reading for awhile before you asked. :lol:
 
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Hi Jsanford:

___Depending on what type of city commute you have, you might be able to squeeze some fantastic numbers out of a 5-speed Insight even in an all city environment. That is if it’s not a stop and go nightmare every 2 or 3 blocks. With some light timing, I normally hit 70 mpg before I hit the highway 2.5 miles away from a cold start first thing in the morning and 70 – 80 mpg during the afternoon. I have had some great recent around town segments of 75 - 95 mpg taking my son back and forth to band practice last week. It really all depends on how hard you want to try for hypermileage like fuel economy as our little beauties are so light and mileage from them is almost a given if you really pay attention to what is going on around you.

___And as everyone has mentioned, 2 or 4 seater is the real question after that.

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:3enuh0v5][email protected][/email:3enuh0v5]
 

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Are my drivig habits compatible with an Insight?

Re: engine operating temperature.
One of the advantages of the Insight engine as stated in the engine of the year awards was that it achieves normal operating temperature in 90 seconds. This may be in ideal conditions but considering all the in built designs to achieve maximum efficiency it is more capable of reaching operating temperature quicker than any other car so short trips are not as bad as other cars on offer.
I would have to agree that a full electric is the best way to go for the usage proposed.

Dgate
 

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xcel said:
you might be able to squeeze some fantastic numbers out of a 5-speed Insight even in an all city environment.
Agree w/ Wayne. I had an approx. 5 mile round trip commute on suburban streets with few stops and was consistently able to beat 70mpg in my 5spd. The stops are critical. My current commute has many more stops and speedbumps in it, and I find it hard to get over 60mpg.
 

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I agree with Tim and Wayne, and would add that I believe that frequent stops / speed bumps combined with moderate or even slight inclines might be the worst. Unless you crawl at a snails pace (unpopular in an urban environment) The energy lost in frequent acceleration / deceleration cycles that is not completely recaptured, combined with the inability to maintain lean burn for any significant period of time can plunge your mileage into the abysmal high 40s. :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Full electric would be great...

Except that 5 miles of my commute is freeway, and I live in a condo, so it might be tough to set up the charging equipment in the garage.

Otherwise I'd be all over it. I used to live in Phoenix, and had long talks in parking lots with EV1 owners. That car would have been perfect, since the long drive I do take somwhat regularly is exactly 70 miles.

BTW, as others have said, Saris does make a roof rack to fit the Insight.

I know that many of you have equipped your Insights with CD players and expanded stereo systems. Was there some technical reason (fuses, circuits, 12V battery use) why Honda didn't do that from the factory? I didn't know anyone even bothered to put cassette players in cars above Echos or Kias in this age of MP3 players.
 

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The 2004 model comes stock with a CD player.
 
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