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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello, everyone.

This is my first ever post, and I am very appreciative of everything you've all built here.

A medium-length version of how I find myself here... I'm a huge Honda enthusiast. Have been since my first Honda, a 95 Civic EX. I currently drive a 99 Honda Civic EX with 256k mi. Love the car and have put in dozens and dozens of hours wrenching on it, but recently have been thinking about getting something newer-ish. A few months ago, I was visiting my gf in AZ, where she drives a Prius C. Though not impressed with the car generally, the fuel mileage was remarkable, and I was instantly addicted to the mpg feedback mechanism, intoxicated with "how good can we get this trip!?" I think that experience seeded the idea of possibly replacing the civic with something more efficient. I’ve looked for civic HX's, VX's (to be honest, I would love a little VX), but typically where I am in the rust belt these cars are either rusted to death or have been hacked apart. So, I started studying the market more, mostly for Priuses because they seem to be reliable cars and, well, that’s what everyone drives.

Fast forward to this past Saturday (6/11/22). I was doing my typical searching and I stumbled across a 2006 insight for sale at a dealer in OH. Only 38k mi!! Yes, you read that right! Price: $7,500. My first reaction was, "Oh that's more than I want to spend". My frugality can lead me to unadvisable conclusions :( OH is also 7 hours’ drive from me. I thought, "if it was local, I'd go look at it, but that's too far -- more than I want to spend, anyways."

Then the wheels got spinning. I have always "known" about the G1 insight, but I only knew the tip of the iceberg. First, I remembered, as I have needed to remind myself over and over and over throughout the years, that hybrids are not all born equal. That some could be "fun" to drive. Namely, some come with manual transmissions. I also remembered, "you know, I always liked those G1s, come to think of it – they’re like the inheritance of the crx-del sol lineage". Then I started searching for more examples of G1s, only to realize how unique of an opportunity this 38k example was! By that time, the dealer had closed. I planned to call first thing Monday morning, and in the meantime I started to read more about the G1 insight…. and fell in love. All the things I thought I would love were true, but there was more so so much more. Notably:
  • The cars don't really rust. In retrospect I should have figured these cars were aluminum. I live in the rust belt and rust is my nemesis. For example, one of the reasons I am thinking if moving on from the 99 Civic is because the subframe is starting to rot pretty badly.
  • The cars are quirky and need a hands-on approach. I love wrenching on my cars, provided it pays off – that is, if they are generally reliable, are engineered well and in a way that allows for us common folk with common tools to work on, then I’m all in.
  • The IMA system can be modded and also needs a hands-on approach. I'm an electrical engineer and I'd love to be able to apply some of that training to my vehicle(s). You know, more than just, “is the alternator working?”
Frankly speaking, in retrospect I don’t know why I didn’t “catch” the G1 “bug” a lot sooner. I wish I would have really studied these cars years ago when they were newer and when the car market wasn’t so nuts.

Back to the 38k G1. I called Monday AM as they opened. The car had sold. Not going to lie, I was a bit devastated. I know this is how these things go, but I thought this car was "the one". So, I guess the search begins. Coincidentally, I found another one in town for sale. The asking price is $2,300. I think the seller may take something closer to $1,900, but I think it's just too beat up. A list of things I noticed during the test drive:

2003, 171k mi, MT, silver
  • Hybrid battery removed completely
  • Synchro 3rd-to-2nd bad – grinds pretty loud
  • Input shaft bearing making noise
  • Clutch seems a little weak – this is the first G1 I've ever driven, so could be my misconception
  • Body is pretty beat up – front bumper scratched up, driver fender half gone, rear tire side skits held on by lag screws through the painted surface :(
  • Front aero underskirts missing
  • Red “Brake” light on instrument panel is on
  • Slight hesitation once warm (EGR possible from what I've read, or possible engine mount(s))
  • Rear end clunks and chunks over bumps
  • A/C very weak – maybe just needs charging?
  • Tires bald
The good: interior was clean, little to no engine/trans leaks, Fumoto F106N quick drain installed, engine sounded good

I offered the guy $1,500, but he said he would pass – fair enough. I don't think $2,300 is completely unreasonable, but to get the car in the shape that I’d like, I think it would cost closer to $5k whole. So, my instincts tell me to be patient and wait to find one in better condition for closer to $5-6k.

I'm not sure I'll ever find the $7.5k, 38k mi insight ever again :( And to think that at the time I found it, I wasn’t even really “looking”. Beginners luck?

Anyways sorry for the long, self-centered, self-pitying, post. In the future, I hope to bring good contributions to this forum. I appreciate being here and look forward to learning from you all.

Cheers,
dB
 

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Hello, everyone.

This is my first ever post, and I am very appreciative of everything you've all built here.

A medium-length version of how I find myself here... I'm a huge Honda enthusiast. Have been since my first Honda, a 95 Civic EX. I currently drive a 99 Honda Civic EX with 256k mi. Love the car and have put in dozens and dozens of hours wrenching on it, but recently have been thinking about getting something newer-ish. A few months ago, I was visiting my gf in AZ, where she drives a Prius C. Though not impressed with the car generally, the fuel mileage was remarkable, and I was instantly addicted to the mpg feedback mechanism, intoxicated with "how good can we get this trip!?" I think that experience seeded the idea of possibly replacing the civic with something more efficient. I’ve looked for civic HX's, VX's (to be honest, I would love a little VX), but typically where I am in the rust belt these cars are either rusted to death or have been hacked apart. So, I started studying the market more, mostly for Priuses because they seem to be reliable cars and, well, that’s what everyone drives.

Fast forward to this past Saturday (6/11/22). I was doing my typical searching and I stumbled across a 2006 insight for sale at a dealer in OH. Only 38k mi!! Yes, you read that right! Price: $7,500. My first reaction was, "Oh that's more than I want to spend". My frugality can lead me to unadvisable conclusions :( OH is also 7 hours’ drive from me. I thought, "if it was local, I'd go look at it, but that's too far -- more than I want to spend, anyways."

Then the wheels got spinning. I have always "known" about the G1 insight, but I only knew the tip of the iceberg. First, I remembered, as I have needed to remind myself over and over and over throughout the years that hybrids are not all born equal. That some could be "fun" to drive. Namely, some come with manual transmissions. I also remembered, "you know, I always liked those G1s, come to think of it – they’re like the inheritance of the crx-del sol lineage". Then I started searching for more examples of G1s, only to realize how unique of an opportunity this 38k example was! By that time, the dealer had closed. I planned to call first thing Monday morning, and in the meantime I started to read more about the G1 insight…. and fell in love. All the things I thought I would love were true, but there was more so so much more. Notably:
  • The cars don't really rust. In retrospect I should have figured these cars were aluminum. I live in the rust belt and rust is my nemesis. For example, one of the reasons I am thinking if moving on from the 99 Civic is because the subframe is starting to rot pretty badly.
  • The cars are quirky and need a hands-on approach. I love wrenching on my cars, provided it pays off – that is, if they are generally reliable, are engineered well and in a way that allows for us common folk with common tools to work on, then I’m all in.
  • The IMA system can be modded and also needs a hands-on approach. I'm an electrical engineer and I'd love to be able to apply some of that training to my vehicle(s). You know, more than just, “is the alternator working?”
Frankly speaking, in retrospect I don’t know why I didn’t “catch” the G1 “bug” a lot sooner. I wish I would have really studied these cars years ago when they were newer and when the car market wasn’t so nuts.

Back to the 38k G1. I called Monday AM as they opened. The car had sold. Not going to lie, I was a bit devastated. I know this is how these things go, but I thought this car was "the one". So, I guess the search begins. Coincidentally, I found another one in town for sale. The asking price is $2,300. I think the seller may take something closer to $1,900, but I think it's just too beat up. A list of things I noticed during the test drive:

2003, 171k mi, MT, silver
  • Hybrid battery removed completely
  • Synchro 3rd-to-2nd bad – grinds pretty loud
  • Input shaft bearing making noise
  • Clutch seems a little weak – this is the G1 I've ever driven, so could be my misconception
  • Body is pretty beat up – front bumper scratched up, driver fender half gone, rear tire side skits held on by lag screws through the painted surface :(
  • Front aero underskirts missing
  • Red “Brake” light on instrument panel is on
  • Slight hesitation once warm (EGR possible from what I've read, or possible engine mount(s))
  • Rear end clunks and chunks over bumps
  • A/C very weak – maybe just needs charging?
  • Tires bald
The good: interior was clean, little to no engine/trans leaks, Fumoto F106N quick drain installed, engine sounded good

I offered the guy $1,500, but he said he would pass – fair enough. I don't think $2,300 is completely unreasonable, but to get the car in the shape that I’d like, I think it would cost closer to $5k whole. So, my instincts tell me to be patient and wait to find one in better condition for closer to $5-6k.

I'm not sure I'll ever find the $7.5k, 38k mi insight ever again :( And to think that at the time I found it, I wasn’t even really “looking”. Beginners luck?

Anyways sorry for the long, self-centered, self-pitying, post. In the future, I hope to bring good contributions to this forum. I appreciate being here and look forward to learning from you all.

Cheers,
dB
Welcome to ICN. The G1 Insight is truly a remarkable vehicle and I certainly find a lot of enjoyment in owning the G1. They are not the right choice for everyone, and you need to have a certain passion for the remarkable vehicle that Honda engineers/designers brought to market. Your education and mechanical skills will make owning a G1 much more gratifying. The 38k specimen is indeed extremely rare especially if a MT. I don't think the 171k car is the best example you may find for the price condition considered, but the market has changed a lot with fuel costs being so high. I think if you keep looking and watch for what comes up on Insight Central an good opportunity will present itself. Please keep us posted.
 

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Greetings from the west coast!

I think you'll find that even high mileage Insights aren't something to sleep on either. Don't discount them, they'll still serve you well. I bought mine at 248K for $2500 (all dealer serviced) and am currently at 540K. Besides, all the fun is in restoration and tinkering, and the car is easy on maintenance.
 

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Welcome! I'm a new member as well, just picked up my first G1 this past weekend.

Funny enough, I'm an electrical engineer as well and caught the bug for the same reasons you did. What other hybrid exists that has a manual, gets 50+ mpg driving normally, and is so tinker-friendly?

Don't be too discouraged by missing out on the 38k mile one. I saw that listing too, and thought "that will be gone quick". If you have the means, be prepared to make a weekend road trip to get the right car. I drove 8+ hours each way to get mine, and it was well worth it for the shape it's in.

Ditto on what Tekuno said. Don't be afraid of higher-mileage G1s. The cars are just about rust-proof, and the engine spends much of its life at low load, so these cars last a long time. My 200k mile example still feels like a sub-100k car because it has been cared for.

Be patient and hold out for a good example, it sounds like the one you test drove needed some TLC, which is probably not what you're looking for if you want to start driving it right away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the warm welcome, everyone, and the feedback. Helps make me feel more resolved about both G1s. I appreciate what many of you have said about the high mileage specimens, and I'm in full agreement. My other vehicle is a 02 Tundra that I waited and waited for, and jumped on once I found. It had 240k mi when I bought it, but it was very well cared for and at 260k mi it still feels like a young truck, with the exception of frame rust (I hate rust!!!). I'll use the same patient approach with the G1s. I'm willing to travel when the time comes. In the meantime I'll keep learning from this community. Cheers and thanks again!
 

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00 Honda Insight 5MT, 01 Honda Civic 5MT, 85 Chevy K10 5MT DMAX SWAP, 97 F350 Powerstroke 5MT
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I agree with previous. 1500 sounds more than fair for the condition it was in. You'll find a good one sooner or later. If I come across any out west in the dry country I'll post it up on the forum.
 
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