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Honda Insight - short distance per day

3845 Views 14 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  johnnyviri
Hi form Poland, Europe.

I thought about buying a Insight, but...

1. Hybrids cars should be a city cars. But very big cities, I think.
I live in 130k city, distance to work - about 3.5 miles / 5.5 km (15-20min driving). Daily about only 7 miles / 11 km (ofcourse this is minimum distance per day - from time to time I want to go for shopping or something else, but in most weekly cases - home>work>home). I barely don't use car at weekends (two times per month about 40 miles).
Is Insight (in general hybrids) good choice for that small distance? What about IMA and 12v battery, then?

2. Winter in my country is quite cold - at night about -4F (-20C). I have no garage, so car must stay outside all the time.
So, in conjunction with point 1, I'm afraid that each day I would be replace 12v battery to start engine :p.

What you think about that? Is it risky that car won't work properly?

Thanks for advice, and sorry for my english if I did mistakes ;).
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If you have a dedicated parking with access to an electrical outlet, I would definitely get an electric car. Like a Renault ZOE, or smart ForTwo Electric Drive.

If you don't have a practical way to charge an electric car at home or at work, and you have your heart set on a hybrid, here are some more thoughts:
-the Gen 1 Insights are getting old, and they need a bit of tinkering. Be ready to do a lot of reading on this forum, because Most mechanics do not know much about the battery maintenance. However, most other items such as transmission, brakes, suspension etc is easy to work on for any mechanic. The Gen 1 is a great driver's car, but it is not good to let it sit for extended period of time.
-Prius is a safe and reliable bet for people who need more space and don't mind the numb driving dynamics.
-since you drive so little, I would not risk the expense of a hybrid battery replacement, and I would just get a Honda Jazz or Civic.

Nice to have you join the forum from a beautiful country. I enjoyed my visits to Kraków, Morskie Oko, Zakopane, and Warsau.

Best of luck with your car buying!
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Hi Ravi,

E46_5MT is from Florida where as you probably know, winters are very mild. But in any event, my First Generation (2000) Insight does pretty well in colder Maryland winters. I think you would be fine with driving the Gen2 in Poland, but unsure if the battery life would degrade faster if the temperature never allows it to "thaw out". I know my Lithium ion powered smart ForTwo electric car SHUTS DOWN at a certain temperature (-25F maybe) to protect itself. In this case the car cannot be started up until it is plugged back in and warmed up. Hopefully someone more knowledgable like Peter, or EQ1, or Mike D, or JimE etc can chime in and discuss the NiMh cold weather effects.

There are many Chevrolet models that are non-US made cars and can only be found in European, Middle Eastern, or Asian markets. Chevy Vectra is one of them. But according to Wikepedia, it is similar to our Saturn Aura, Chevrolet Impala and Pontiac G6. (Saturn and Pontiac are now history.)

I forgot to mention the most amazing visit in Poland was to the Wieliczka Salt Mine. (Salzburg has nothing in Wieliczka!) Home Page - Kopalnia Soli "Wieliczka" Unbelievable: there is even an underground Chapel and pulpit carved out of salt rocks,complete with 3D murals on the walls. Amazing!

Best wishes with the car shopping!
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