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Discussion Starter #1
As I do battle with American Honda Motors on whether my 2004 Insight gets to stay in Canada, I have started looking at other options. Over the last 2 days I have actually had a chance to drive two different Toyota Prius cars, both with less than knowlegdeable sales people. (day 1 the lady did not know how to turn on the Multi Function Display to show what was going on.) Instead the only instrumentation visible was the eyebrow stuff. After two test drives I can see the plus of low speed electric operation in the prius. I missed the auto stop of the Insight. However I understand the auto stop function disappears at 41 F. In Canada we have lots of less than 41F days. Is this an item that can be reprogrammed on the insight to accept lower temperatures before shutting off the feature?

I like the ability of the two displays on the Insight to flip flop between US units and metric, e.g. I find the L/100 km unsensitive to subtle changes in my driving style, I can see changes more quickly on the mpg scale, however I understand from the hypermileage guys they love the 0 L/100 km indicator.

With the Prius the sales guy yesterday thought it was permanently programmed for a metric indicatiion and did not know how to flip /flop the readings back and forth, however I was able to flip/flop odometer and speedo readings..

Last night I attended a "new owners" session at the Toyota dealer where I took the test drive. It was interesting to hear what the Prius & Hybrid Highlander owners had to say. More complaints about garage door opener programming than how to get the maximum performance from their vehicles. As an Insight owner it was interesting to hear the Toyota guys slam the Insight.... you would have sworn you were talking to a salesman in a Canadian Honda dealer. Yet most of their information seemed to be incorrect. They thought my mileage wasn't too impressive until I explained the 55.6 mpg was in US galllons and it had continued to improve and when they found out that average was over 1000 miles they were floored. One woman told her husband he needed to learn how to drive since he was getting about 20 25 mpg in his prius.... (10 L/100 km)

When we started 2 years ago to look for a hybrid we were going to get a Hybrid Saturn Vue, but the car was never introduced. We have been driving a pair of 2000 Chev Metros in the meantime, along with a VW Eurovan Camper and VW Eurovan Rialta Motorhome. We bought a 2005 SMART which is up for sale. SMART Seats are way too uncomfortable. It was to be replaced by the Insight but we haven't been able to finish the importation and everyone is running out of patience.

So if the Insight goes back what is to replace it? There are 4 in the family, most trips involve 1 or 2. There are 4 drivers. Unless Honda lets us keep the Insight and honors its warranties in Canada, there is no way we will be getting another Honda. We have no need of towing power, 4WD, or a massive SUV, but we do live in climate where it is cold 8 months of the year. Most of our driving is in an urban environment at speeds of less than 45 mph rather than long commutes at 60 mph or greater..

Looking for good observations and helpful hints rather than a food fight please. I am sure the moderator would approve of the last sentence.

I have talked to a number of Canadian Honda dealers and there are no 2005 or 2006 Insights available in Canada. I bought mine for a daily driver. If this vehicle has to go back to the USA soon, what are the viable options if I don't want to wait 6 months for a Canadian Insight (and we actually love the CVT) .


Rocky in Edmonton
 

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Discussion Starter #3
A Really Nice Insight Will Be Going Home Soon!

Well my Insight story took a turn for the worse yesterday. A rather weak and weaselly Mr. Ron Robins, American Honda Motors representative finally called me back after the case was escalated to a higher level and then passed down to him. American Honda will not honour their warranty in Canada. They blamed the dealer, the sales manager, and the salesman for selling their product and the CUSTOMER for buying it. They felt I should have known about grey market products and just because most real car companies honor their warranties across the North American Market was no excuse and that I should have done a search on Edmonds.com whoever he is about grey/gray market cars. What he fails to understand is that in Canada grey market refers to products bought through other than the manufacturer's distribution network. I bought that car through the factory network, from an American Honda Motors dealer, and as a American Honda Motors certified used car. My wife listened to the phone conversation and said 'that's it, the car is going back, it is too expensive and too complex to have no factory warranty on it, and when they won't give you a simple piece of paper, that costs nothing, then why would I hope when something goes wrong that American Honda would stand behind their product". There certainly is no good will towards someone who spent a lot of money on one of their cars, at one of their dealerships.

So any suggestions for an alternative to the Insight are really appreciated.
Production of the Canadian variant of the Insight must be cranked down to a dead stop as far as I can tell.

In response to James question about the SMART, there are two problems with the seats, one the passenger seat will not recline at all, it is designed to fold in the middle so someone can put golf clubs in the right seat. Supposedly an important feature for the NA market at least according to MB. The seat has received many complaints from a variety of owners. We have individually and collectively talked to MB dealers, and asked about swapping seat backs, bringing in RHD driver's seats bases and hardware and swapping the upholstery and air bags over. There is no will at MB dealers or on a corporate basis to do this. The first dealer to come up with seat mod kit would sell a lot of them. The second seat problem is an issue with both seats. The top of the seat is bent forward which forces your head/neck forward at an awkward angle depending upon your height. I have 6 buggered up discs in my back and neck. This awkward arrangement in the SMART and other cars including civic and accord causes me a great deal of pain. One piece seat backs such as the Insight, and the Chev Metro and Fiero are perfect for my height. The SMART has a one piece seat back but the awkward forward bend at the top undoes all of the good work of the rest of the seat back.


Rocky.
 

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Look down below to see the post you're replying to...

I suggest that you go to your local car dealers and find a car there. For example, a Honda Civic Hybrid might meet your requirements. Alternatively you might find a used Insight for sale somewhere in Canada.

If you're mad at Honda, a diesel VW might work.
 

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Toyota Echo Hatchback,
hurry and buy it before the bigger, heavier and slightly thirstier Yaris replaces it in a few months!

Or the awesome 100% electric Commuter Car that does 0 to 60 in 4 seconds!

http://www.commutercars.com
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Sparky the Insight goes home to Klein Honda Monday 26/9

Klein Honda has stood behind its product and is accepting the return of Sparky our 2004 Navy Blue Insight CVT, the illegal immigrant to Canada next Monday. Sparky's lmpg is 55.6 I will try and keep up the mpg on the trip back to Everett Washington over the weekend. Sparky was much loved and will be low mileage at around 2000 miles.

This means your input into what's next after Sparky? is really important. I thought I had tracked down two potential used insights in Canada but they proved to be phantom vehicles. This trip turning Sparky into the dealer is going to be really hard to make... We simply could not afford to keep Sparky with no manufacturer's warranty.


Rocky
 

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"smart car" video...

james said:
I think the Smart is imported into Canada... Well, yes, you say you have one :) And why the heck doesn't this forum software let you see the message to which you're replying?

Why not look into replacing the seats in the Smart? I'd love one of their Roadsters myself...
For those who haven't seen the Smart Car... Andy Ronney, that lovable curmodgeon from the US television news-magazine program, "Sixty Minutes", got his hands on one a few months ago and drove it around NYC.

I've converted the broadcast to a QuickTime video file. It's large, 16.5 megs, and can be d/led at:

http://www.panix.com/~dannyb/video/schmart-car-cdr.mov
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Even more serious about "after Sparky the Insight"

My signature block is rapidly becoming invalid. Stinky the SMART car went to a good home in Sherwood Park, Alberta last night. He now lives with McGyver of the club smart.ca forum. So with Stinky the red 2005 SMART car, and Sparky the 2004 Blue Insight CVT both leaving our residence the hunt for their replacement vehicles gets more serious. When I originally went looking for fuel efficient vehicles I started with Honda Insights but could not find any, (we were treated with disinterest by Canadian dealers). then we looked at the SMART cars and were treated with contempt by MB dealers, (you aren't buying a REAL Benz!!!). Neither of these organizations knew we were looking for 2 fuel efficient cars. The battle to keep Sparky the Insight was so furious with American Honda because we really wanted two of these cars, not just the one we bought. So the question becomes a used Insight and a Prius, a pair of Aveos, a Prius and an Aveo.... Our options are open to further suggestions. We know the seats in these 3 cars will work for us. The Aveo has flexibility in headrest placement which really makes it an inexpensive option.

What are the watchout points for a 50,000 mile Honda Insight with a manual transmission whose owner admits his wife can't drive a standard so he ended up buying her a 2005 Prius CVT? I think I would have it inspected but the problem is telling the mechanic what to look for besides bald tires and holes in the muffler... This morning my wife goes to look at a Prius and hopefully for a test drive.

Rocky : :D
 

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Glad to hear that you can un-do the deal. It has been a *valuable* experience for the group. However, its posted in the wrong forum, moving to General Discussion.

And it would have been the _best_ help if it had been followed-up in the original thread.

Since this topic has become too fragmented to follow I am locking the other related threads and requesting that all replies be posted in this the most current thread.

Please Rocky, I understand your frustration but there was little the group could do to aid in your problem. Hopefully, you can gain some additional satisfaction in that by sharing your experience here other Canadians won't have to go through the same difficulty.

Additional fragmented new threads on this topic will either be deleted or moved here without further notice.

The other fragmented threads on this topic locked for replies to be redirection here are:

US Honda cars to Canada a NO NO NON!!!, General Discussion.
http://www.insightcentral.net/forum/vie ... php?t=3630

Importing Insight into Canada???, Problems and Troubleshooting.
http://www.insightcentral.net/forum/vie ... php?t=3619

Installing Daytime Running Lights on a US spec'd Honda Insight, Problems and Troubleshooting.
http://www.insightcentral.net/forum/vie ... php?t=3618

Sincerely,
 

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Rocky, I would have advised to change the seats on the SMART. There are tons of aftermarket seats available and changing the seats does NOT (Shoud not) void your warranty in any way as it does not affect the performance of the car. Besides, you got medical reasons.

You could even fit the seats from almost any car that you like (Insight) given construction of appriate adapters for the rails.


I own a smart roadster nowadays and have discussed this very issue with my smart dealer. Their only complaint was that the seat is "part of the safety system" as per the manual. Yet they agreed that they could not see how any other seat would be any less safe.

I guess it does not help you since you already sold it. I would now suggest a Mark II Prius as your next bet unless you can actually order an Insight form Honda Canada and have the patience to wait for it to be delivered (I waited 3 1/2 months for mine back in 2000)
 

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On the subject of Smarts....I must admit that I am quite Anti-Smart. Why? Mostly because I find it amazing that people will waste money on something like the Smart, but not buy something like the Insight. The Smart is a great commuter car, but luggage space is almost zero. I've looked at them many times on the road (I see maybe 50 per day), at the dealer and at shows, and cannot fathom being able to use one in my daily life.

I'm normally the first person that asks "Seriously, how much do you actually haul to need the big vehicle?", but the Smart looks actually useless to me. Luggage space is about equivalent to one thin suitcase and the passenger seat. If you carry a passenger, you only have a few cubic feet of space. Won't fit even a small set of golf clubs (not that I golf, but a set of clubs seems to be a standard measure for car storage area).

I guess if you don't really need to carry anything past a laptop bag, then the Smart is a good choice. You can run biodiesel, and get 50 MPG or so in the city, and 60-70 MPG on the highway. But don't try and take the car fishing, on a picnic, on a day trip, etc.

Now, the Smart roadster...Then we start to talk. :)
 

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Regarding the Smart, I ran one for the best part of two years and found it very useful,almost like an enclosed motorcycle.
However in gas form not that economical since most times I got only around 55 to the imperial gallon where I now get 83mpg on average in the Insight.I even pull 58mpg regularly in my four seat Daihatsu Charade a car that is some 200 pounds lighter than the smart.
There is no doubting the usefulness of the smart though as a minimal package where one needs this and its fun to drive,I would have another but would opt for the diesel for economy and the ability to use bio-diesel.

DGate
 

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Aaron Cake said:
On the subject of Smarts....
The fortwo is less than 1/2 of the prize of an Insight here (when they were selling them, that is) and 1/2 of the Prius. To get to the same price level you have to buy a 5 yr old Prius and even the oldest Insight you can find is still AUD$4k more expensive than a brand spanking new fortwo!!

Even the roadster is cheaper than a new Insight would be.....

I really wanted to continue owning an Insight but I also wanted to continue owning an S2000 but the vagaries of the exchange rate guided me to the roadster (convertible yet thrifty at the bowser...)
 

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Yes, I think price may be a major determining factor in the success of the Smart here. I myself would own one as a "spare" if the price were just a few thousand lower.

I would LOVE to see an electric version of either the ForTwo or the Roadster. That would get me down to the dealership faster a Hummer drains the tank...
 

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I just stumbled on this old thread while seaching for something else. I can't believe that American Honda will not issue the "all recalls have been completed" letter.

I just went through the importation of a BMW into Canada from the US. I called the 800 number listed on the "Registrar of Imported Vehicles" website for BMW USA and in 30 seconds they were emailing me an MS Word document stating that the recalls were all done on my car. The warranty on the car was transfered from the US to Canada by inserting my key into a computer at the Canadian dealer and clicking the mouse.

What kind of game is Honda playing?

Bill
 

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I got half-way through the thread before noticing the dates....... :roll:

I wonder what Rocky did in the end?
 

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Made Rocky VI and retired! :lol:

Seriously I met him at a McDonalds restauraunt in Thunder Bay by chance. He still missed the Insight. :cry:

I recently met a young man in Kingston that was succesful bringing his CVT Insight to Canada.
 
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