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Discussion Starter #1
Guys I could use some opinions on a car I am looking at. I have read and searched the forums and poured over some great information. Some wise opinions are what I seek here.

I am going to take a second test drive of a 2001 CVT Insight w/ 95k miles this week. I have driven it once and it seemed to drive just fine. The paint is in very good shape for its age. The driver door edge has the paint worn off a bit as if the previous owner opened it into the side of a garage every day... which is a good thing.

I have not seen a carfax on this vehicle yet. The dealer said they would provide one if I was serious. Once I see it I will see if there are any issues there. I dont want to pay for it myself if I dont have to. :)

I plan to call Honda to verify the warranty on the IMA system and to see if it needs to go in for any recalls.

The dealer said it was a trade on a new Hyundai and was a one owner car. He said the owner was a female teacher.

There was an occasional rattle/vibration from behind the driver side dash on my first drive. Any ideas what this could be?

When I looked at the engine the air box was shaking a good bit. I test drove a different Insight later and it was the same. Is this typical?

The dealer told me I could have a honda dealer inspect it before I purchase. Would this be a good idea?

This vehicle has 95,000 miles on it but appears to be in real good shape. The dealer is asking 8500... I am going to try to get them to 8000 even. Does this price sound reasonable? Should I wait for a lower mileage vehicle to turn up? I am hoping that even at 95k, with as good as the car looks like its been taken care of, it will last a while longer.

Is there anything I am missing? What do I need to watch for when I take it for a second test drive? LMPG, battery levels, ???

Should I consider an extended warranty?

Whew... I think that about covers it. Thanks everyone for your help!

Sam

Edit: Three of the tires were some non OEM off brand w/ about 70% tread and one looked like a brand new Goodyear. Discount tire has the OEM tires for $68 each. I may have to negotiate new tires in the deal especially since they are pretty inexpensive.
 

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SCCthree said:
Guys I could use some opinions on a car I am looking at. .....
I would not buy a CVT, unless you completely understand that you will only get ~55 MPG on it. (Due to it being a different engine from the manual.) ----- To be honest, I would rather buy a Civic Hybrid than an insight cvt. The Civic hybrid will get almost the same MPG, but be a nicer car overall (nicer interior, four seats, and probably a lower used price).

IMHO

As for your other questions, when I shopped for a used Insight, I took it on the interstate & first charged the battery (to make sure it could charge) by driving in 3rd/4th. Once the battery was near-full, I tested the lean-burn (to make sure the engine could achieve >100mpg on the instant mpg bar).
 

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And what is wrong with getting "only" 55 mpg? Does that make it a poorer quality Insight? Other than not having lean burn capability, it is the same engine as the 5 speed. I also doubt a Civic hybrid will average 55 mpg.
 

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ElectricTroy said:
I would not buy a CVT, unless you completely understand that you will only get ~55 MPG on it. (Due to it being a different engine from the manual.)
IMHO
You stated less slightly less MPG than the EPA reports but you left out that the CVT is in a better category of emmisions (SULEV vs ULEV) Lean burn causes the manual version to not qualify for SULEV. Some people may want very good gas mileage and have one of the best emission ratings available for a gasoline engine. Speaking of engines, The CVT and manual are nearly identical besides having different pistons giving the manual version a higher compression ratio providing slightly more horsepower and torque. Lean burn technology comes from the ECU and the emissions parts attached to the engine.

ElectricTroy said:
As for your other questions, when I shopped for a used Insight, I took it on the interstate & first charged the battery (to make sure it could charge) by driving in 3rd/4th. Once the battery was near-full, I tested the lean-burn (to make sure the engine could achieve >100mpg on the instant mpg bar).
3rd or 4th gear and lean-burn do not apply to a CVT. Scott beat me to the point I was going to make about the mileage difference in an Insight (CVT) and a Civic.

JoeCVT - Just your average CVT owner
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I guess my shotgun question approach didnt work. My thread is already off topic. :cry:

Anyone have any advice for me on this Insight? I really appreciate everyone's expert wisdom.

Thanks,
Sam
 

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Scott said:
And what is wrong with getting "only" 55 mpg? Does that make it a poorer quality Insight? Other than not having lean burn capability, it is the same engine as the 5 speed. I also doubt a Civic hybrid will average 55 mpg.
Sounds like what a person said to me today when I told her I travel 55 mph on the freeway because I get over 80mpg, rather than 55 mpg when travelling at 70mph. She also said that she is in too much of a hurry to travel at 55mph.

The point is, for many people, that increase of 45% from 55mpg to 80mpg would equate to paying $4.35 per/US Gallon rather than $3/gallon. To many, money is a huge factor in there decisions when purchasing anything. Gas is expensive enough already, so if given a choice, I'd take mileage over comfort every time. But is the CVT that much more comfortable than the MT that you would be willing to pay extra everytime you fill up? That's about $200/year savings.
 

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Doesn't seem that far off topic. There is a forum post here lately about someone selling there MT Insight for around $10k. I'd take a good look for a MT version is all that I could suggest. But either way, it should be much better that what you are spending for gas now.
I guess I didn't care much about all the items you are. The carfax, etc. I looked it over, drove it, and purchased it on the spot. Even if it needs repair, it will be worth it in the long run. But better to be safe, like you are doing now.

"The dealer told me I could have a honda dealer inspect it before I purchase. Would this be a good idea?"

Upon reading the forum's here, I have gathered that many Honda dealers don't know much more about the car than you or I do. But it couldn't hurt I suppose.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well I went to purchase today and someone was one step ahead of me. Car was already sold. Thats the 4th one that has slipped through my fingers... ah well the hunt continues! Thanks for the responses.
 

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Don't count out a CVT

I love my CVT and don't want a MT. My lifetime MPG is 58.2 (> 37,000 miles). I routinely get my round trip commute in over 62 MPG (90 miles per day). I drive in heavy traffic and can't stand shifting a 5 speed while creeping along at 5 mph.
 

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My reasoning for wanting a CVT model are simply that I have been driving manuals for years. It gets old after a while. There is no question that the MT version gets much better mileage but for some of us rowing the gears just isnt worth it. Another big reason for me is that my wife is not a fan of manuals. On occasion she drives my car and I believe it will be safer if she has an auto. :)
 

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SCCthree said:
I plan to call Honda to verify the warranty on the IMA system and to see if it needs to go in for any recalls.
- Smart Move - Do It so that YOU are sure.

There was an occasional rattle/vibration from behind the driver side dash on my first drive. Any ideas what this could be?
- Some Wiring under the left front dash. A good thump or solid slap from your left hand usually puts an end to it for a few weeks. Not worth pulling the dash just to get at it.

The dealer told me I could have a honda dealer inspect it before I purchase. Would this be a good idea?
- You Bet It Is! Do It!

The dealer is asking 8500... I am going to try to get them to 8000 even. Does this price sound reasonable? Should I wait for a lower mileage vehicle to turn up? I am hoping that even at 95k, with as good as the car looks like its been taken care of, it will last a while longer.
- It's only worth what YOU are willing to pay for it. Have no qualms about barganing, as the worst he can say is no but then again he/she might agree.

What do I need to watch for when I take it for a second test drive? LMPG, battery levels, ???
- Keep an eye on the selling/sold prices for these cars as listed on eBay. There is a service (free to) one in which you can quickly research past sales and as such may well prove worth your while to spend the time doing.

Should I consider an extended warranty?
- Can't properly advise on that but I'd have a look at what is offered and for what price.

I may have to negotiate new tires in the deal especially since they are pretty inexpensive.
- Remember, with these rising gas prices, if you "play around" too long, someone else won't. Besides that car salesman/woman won't be making too much money on that particular sale - something to think about anyway.

Hope this helps some ...

Fred / Proud Owner of "The Silver Bullet"
 

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I would not buy a CVT, unless you completely understand that you will only get ~55 MPG on it.
[/quote]

Experience has shown me you're wrong about that. While it clearly depends on the driver, there will be times, a lot of times when an Insight CVT owner/operator will do a lot better than 55 mpg; got a hair over 64 mpg this morning on a twenty four mile mile run, to and from the supermarket.

Fred / Proud Owner of "The Silver Bullet" :)
 

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RE: The tires.

Just remember that non OEM (Brdigestone Potenza) have a 10%+ MPG hit. But with the benefit of a smoother ride. Its your car and choice. But a mismatched set 1 odd tire out) is always a poor choice. You need at least both tires on the same axles to match.

But mismatching high MPG (LRR's , Low rolling Resistance) & their smoother counterparts can have a greater adverse potential than with most other combinations. Poor and unpredictable handling in emergency manuvers would be a distinct possibility.

Want the best MPG tires you need to buy 4, around $275+- most anywhere tires are sold. But you will have to specifically ask for them (Insight OEM tires)

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/Spec.jsp? ... mpare1=yes

HTH! :)
 

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Scott said:
And what is wrong with getting "only" 55 mpg? Does that make it a poorer quality Insight?
IN MY OPINION, I'd rather have a Civic Hybrid and get almost the same MPG as an Insight CVT. (Yes it's possible; in a testdrive using the same techniques as my insight, I got 60 in a Civic CVT. It was quite easy & I probably could get higher with practice.)

Put another way, why get a 2-seater when you can get a 5-seater, and with almost no impact on the MPG? I would get the 5-seater. IMHO.


joecvt said:
You stated less slightly less MPG than the EPA reports but you left out that the CVT is in a better category of emmisions (SULEV vs ULEV)
Yeah that's because I don't care. I think the upstream impact of burning more fuel, makes the SULEV insight dirtier than the ULEV. (More supertankers, more refineries, more diesel trucks refilling the gas station == more overall pollution emitted by lower MPG cars.)

3rd or 4th gear and lean-burn do not apply to a CVT.
I know. :) I didn't say that did. I said, "when I shopped for a used Insight." My advice would not apply to a CVT (which I thought was obvious).

Maybe I ought to revise:

IF I were shopping for a used CVT Insight, I would take it on the interstate & first charged the battery (to make sure it could charge) by driving in "S" mode. Once the battery was near-full, I would drive at constant velocity (to make sure the engine could achieve >60mpg on the instant mpg bar).
 

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ElectricTroy said:
IN MY OPINION, I'd rather have a Civic Hybrid and get almost the same MPG as an Insight CVT. (Yes it's possible; in a testdrive using the same techniques as my insight, I got 60 in a Civic CVT. It was quite easy & I probably could get higher with practice.)
If your personal driving habbits can allow you to do that good in a Civic, then you should be able to do at least 70MPG (minimum) in the CVT Insight.

joecvt said:
You stated less slightly less MPG than the EPA reports but you left out that the CVT is in a better category of emmisions (SULEV vs ULEV)
ElectricTroy said:
Yeah that's because I don't care. I think the upstream impact of burning more fuel, makes the SULEV insight dirtier than the ULEV. (More supertankers, more refineries, more diesel trucks refilling the gas station == more overall pollution emitted by lower MPG cars.)
Some people do care about the emission rating and the MPG difference between the manual and the CVT is not going to cause MORE supertankers, refineries or refilling trucks. They are already in use right now. I don't imagine there are discussions at board meetings with the thought of "you know, if more people are driving those CVT Insights instead of the manual version, we may have to order more tankers." That argument MAY apply a bit more when comparing the typical American car to an Insight.

3rd or 4th gear and lean-burn do not apply to a CVT.
ElectricTroy said:
I know. :) I didn't say that did. I said, "when I shopped for a used Insight." My advice would not apply to a CVT (which I thought was obvious).
Your actual quote begins with: "As for your other questions, when I shopped for a used Insight....." . The questions asked were for a CVT model....

ElectricTroy said:
IF I were shopping for a used CVT Insight, I would take it on the interstate & first charged the battery (to make sure it could charge) by driving in "S" mode......
Driving in S mode allows a more agressive use of the battery in assist. If you are only doing this to keep the RPMs up while charging, then I wouldn't recommend this method unless you intend to always drive the car in "S" mode. I would think that you would want to make sure that charging is ok at lower RPMs while driving normally....But maybe that's just me...

The original questions in this post were about the CVT model. My responses in this post was to try and give a fair respresentation of the CVT. Sure, the manual gets better gas mileage and if that is someone's only concern, then buy that model and be happy for it. But the CVT has lots to offer as well besides better emissions and easier to drive (I drove manual cars for over 25 years). In my opinion, The CVT has better battery management, less catalytic converter failures (they are different on the cars because of lean-burn), less EGR problems (perhaps due to the manual alternating between rich and lean fuel mixtures).


JoeCVT - Just your average CVT owner
 

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joecvt said:
ElectricTroy said:
IN MY OPINION, I'd rather have a Civic Hybrid and get almost the same MPG as an Insight CVT. (Yes it's possible; in a testdrive using the same techniques as my insight, I got 60 in a Civic CVT. It was quite easy & I probably could get higher with practice.)
If your personal driving habbits can allow you to do that good in a Civic, then you should be able to do at least 70MPG (minimum) in the CVT Insight.
No because (1) when I was looking for Insight #2, I testdrove an Insight CVT and only got 55... which is why I did not buy it. Lack of leanburn really damaged the result. (2) The Civic has lean-burn and I use lean-burn for 90% of my I-95 drive, so it's complementary to my style.

ElectricTroy said:
IF I were shopping for a used CVT Insight, I would take it on the interstate & first charged the battery (to make sure it could charge) by driving in "S" mode......
Driving in S mode allows a more agressive use of the battery in assist. [/quote]

Oh. I thought the S mode in the Insight was the same as the S mode in the Civic hybrid..... a CVT-analogy of second gear that boosts the RPMs to ~4000. (And of course L would be the cvt-analogy of first gear with RPMs at 6000.)


Some people do care about the emission rating
Yes, and some people "do care" about the MPG rating, which is why I made sure to point-out the advantage of a 5-speed manual Insight, or a CVT Civic Hybrid (same mpg as the cvt insight, but with 5 seats).

You shouldn't be jumping all over me, just because I think the manual would be a better choice. I am entitled to my opinion & to share it.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
You shouldn't be jumping all over me, just because I think the manual would be a better choice. I am entitled to my opinion & to share it.
On the flip side of that coin this thread was about a specific car... 2001 Insight with CVT. I realize a manual gets better mileage but I do not want a manual... end of discussion. I want to get an Insight as I have no need for more than two seats, dont want to spend the extra money for a Civic, and want better gas mileage... end of discussion.

I respect your opinion but I dont understand what it is doing in this thread when its pretty much off topic.

Thanks,
Sam
 

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I'm assuming if i average 50-55 mpg in my CVT, i would average even less in a civic. I do almost no highway driving. All stop and go, very hilly terrain. I also did not want a civic. I also picked a CVT over the manual because of the emissions and the tax credits. It is not all about the mileage. You make it seem like CVT drivers are lesser Insight owners than the manual drivers because of the difference in mpg's. But factor in the emissions difference and it all balances out :)
 
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