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Discussion Starter #1
Hello. I am interested in buying an Insight, 2006 manual. I'm curious if there are Insight owners in Alaska. I am planning on moving to Anchorage, using the Insight as my only means of transport, except for those really snowy days, when I'll just take the bus or get a ride from someone else.

Any Anchorage Insight owners out there? Is snow or ice an issue up there for the Insight?
 

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The Insight does fine in the cold. You will definately want a block heater and a radiator block.

The small engine does not produce a lot of heat and the interior radiator is very efficient at sucking the heat from the engine as a result mileage will go down rather more than you would expect as the engine doesn't really get up to full operating temperature when it is actic like conditions.

I spent 8 months in Labrador in the winter many years ago. I imagine that is close to what Anchourage is like. I'm curious though, why an Insight? I mean it is my favorite vehicle, but are you going to be travelling long distances?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes, I will be getting a block heater definitely, no matter what I end up getting. Have to be prepared for even the coldest weather as best we can!

I don't have a problem bundling up for cold weather and leaving the cabin temperature inside the Insight very cold. I don't think I'd be driving too much around in wintertime once I get to Anchorage. That might keep gas mileage decent during the cold weather. It would be the summer months that I plan on putting quite a few miles on the car.

I'd rather trade ease of driving for better mileage, in all honesty. 4x4 trucks might be better suited for a snowy Alaskan winter, but I can't afford 2 vehicles, so I want something that gets good gas mileage during the summer too. It's a difficult tradeoff that I'm contemplating right now.

I want to get an Insight because I plan on driving up to Anchorage from St. Louis next spring. If gas prices are ~$2.50 a gallon across the board (US and Canada average), and I can get 625 miles per tank on the Insight, which holds 10.4 gallons per tank, that means I can drive across the continent on 6 tanks of gas, costing me about $160. $160!!! I was budgeting $500 in gas to get up there, but if I can save hundreds, well.... there are always other things I can do with the money. :)

At the moment, I'm driving an 88 Jeep Cherokee, and it gets ~200 miles per tank, if I'm very lucky. I don't think it'll pass inspection when the plates are due at the end of March, so I want to get something a *bit* more environmentally friendly, something that looks good, and is economical for me. I don't need much space to haul anything.

I might end up going with a 4x4 truck, but it would be great to hear just one success story in Alaska. That would go a long way in helping me decide. I'm not sure of the snow and ice history up there. I hear the arctic is changing though, so maybe nobody really knows how the climate will be from year to year anymore...
 

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If you want to save more money, consider buying a used Insight instead of a 2006 model.
I just looked it up and Anchorage Alaska has a Honda dealer which you will need for parts and labour (but not very often...)
 

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If it helps I did see a Civic Hybrid here with Alaska plates on it once. It looked as though it had gone on a long road trip too as Alaska to Arizona is a pretty long treck.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You know, I've been looking around and it seems that the Civic hybrid is just about as hard to find as the Insight! It is at least here in St. Louis. I see plenty of listings for the regular Civic, but not the hybrid. Hrmm..

I might have to go used. I saw an ad in the paper a little while back for a 2000 Green Insight, but it had quite a few miles on it.

Decisions, decisions.... heh
 

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My Insight does fine in MN. I have left it outside for 3 days, it was at 40F below zero during the night and it started and ran just fine. It also seems to do a good job in the snow if you have snow tires. I have never tried to drive it in more than about 6 inches of unplowed snow though. If you do decide to pass on the Insight, a small Subaru may be a good middle ground.
 

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If I were you, I'd go for the compromise and get a ciVic Hybrid.
It's got cruise control and a bit more comfortable to drive on the roads up there than the fairly hard Insight.
The roads around Anchorage aren't bad, but you probably want to go to places like Seward, Fairbanks and Denali and the roads do get damaged due to the winter frost.

With the ciVic Hybrid I'd even try and go up to Prudhoe Bay or Inuvik 8)
 

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I know this may not be the popular opinion but if the Jeep is in good mecanical condition I would keep it until I was moved in up in AK in then start looking around at the dealerships around me. If you have to drive aways to the nearest Honda dealership to get one serviced this could be a big minus. Also you may want go to the nearest Honda dealer and find out just how many Insight's they have sold at that dealership and if they have anyone who knows how to work on them. I don't think you would what to be the only Insight owner in all of AK. Just my 2c
 

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From what I know, Anchorage isn't a small place and the Honda dealer there isn't small either. I'd be happy bringing my vehicle there. Being the ONLY dealer in a State twice the size of Texas he HAS to be good.
He even has a second shop up in Fairbanks. At least when I was there in 1994.... :wink:

There is an alaskan sourdough on this forum who has an Insight. I think he even comes from the Anchorage area.

I've done some thinking: why not drive the Insight up the Alaska Highway ? It's sealed all the way these days. It really shouldn't be a problem.
As I said in an earlier post I'd even give it a try up the Dempster or Dalton Highways if I had the chance to be "north of sixty" with my Insight.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yeah, I've called up there a few times. The wait time for a new Insight or Civic Hybrid is the same as it is down here in the lower 48... 3-4 months. One of the guys I spoke to up there a few weeks ago said they had a new truck of Civic Hybrids coming in during January, but all of them had been presold but one! Guess that answers my initial worries that everyone in Alaska has a truck for the snowy days. heh. You can see more than just a couple of small cars parked on the side of the streets on http://www.alaskacam.com too. :)

I don't mind the bumpy ride or small cabin space in the Insight. I don't mind sacrificing a little comfort for good gas mileage and doing my part to help the environment as best as I can. Not only that, but I don't plan on driving a whole lot once I get up there, at least not for a while. Once I get used to the new place, I'm DEFINITELY going down to Homer though. hehe

The Jeep I currently own is NOT in good shape. Windshield is cracked ($300), needs a new head gasket ($800+), tires need to be replaced, ALL of them ($400), and various other little things would be great (speakers are going out, no working A/C, etc). I figure I could fix the Jeep up, pay for renewed plates here in Missouri in the end of March, and then spend $500 or so in gas to get up there, THEN register the Jeep in Anchorage (hoping it passes emissions testing, THEN find a new vehicle, or just get a new vehicle before the end of March down here and be done with it. Better gas mileage, no worries about repairs, no need to renew the Jeep plates, etc.

But if I want a new hybrid, I need to get on the ball! hehe...

Thanks for all the suggestions guys. I'm thinking the Civic Hybrid might be a better option in the long run for me, but it all just depends on what can get here for me in time.
 

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Good hunting!

I suspect either the Insight or the Civic will feel luxurious if your present vehicle is long in the tooth. Honda cars are reliable which is important when you get out of town any distance. The hybrids have exceptional cruising range too. :D
 

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I'd echo what someone else said: instead of getting a new Insight (with the wait and everything), why not find a used one?

I've driven mine on some moderately rough dirt roads (last few miles to the campsite/trailhead sort of thing) without much problem. The only thing I'd suggest is checking the fasteners for the wheel fairings, as they can vibrate loose. I lost one once, and had to drive back 10 miles or so to pick it up. After which I replaced the stock fasteners with nylon bolts drilled for a retaining pin.

Also, IIRC Anchorage isn't really that cold in the winter. It's on the ocean, which moderates the temperature. Fairbanks, now...
 
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