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Discussion Starter #1
Hello to all. Newbie here. I'm considering purchasing a used Honda Insight. But I have a few questions and after reading a few posts here, I have some new concerns as well (battery life, reliability, etc...)

Question #1. I drive 78 miles to work (one way) for a grand whopping total of 156 miles each day. The roads I travel are 65MPH and 75MPH. Is this little Insight's engine capable of sustaining this speed for and hour and a half? I don't want to be running the engine at it's MAX.

Question #2. I am currently looking at a 2001 Insight. I've seen a few posts regarding recalls. Are the 2001's full of 'bugs'? (i.e. new technology...guinnea pigs of hybrid cars...etc..)

Thanks in advance,
Dayved
 

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Are you considering a CVT or 5 speed? What mileage is on the car?

The Insight can handle the 65-75 mph speeds all day long with no trouble. Are there any long, steep, mountain grades you have to climb during your commute? If so, the main battery may run down during the climb, but recharge during the descent. If you are ever climbing a long and steep mountain you will do best to downshift into 3rd. to maintain speed.

Honda seems to have done a pretty good job of working out the bugs before producing the Insight. I wouldn't be concerned at all about purchasing a 2001 model in regard to overall reliability. However, I would consider the vehicle mileage and if the main battery is still under warranty in making any decision.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The car has 59,000 miles on it. And the main battery is still under warranty. It's an automatic (CVT?). http://www.kbb.com has it valued at $12,420 (in my area). The asking price is $14,999. I won't go that high but if they are willing to negotiate I'd be willing to buy it.

My long commute is primarily two major roads. One 55 MPH (I generally do 62-65, it's a country road with about 4 stop signs and one brief drive through a small town. The other road is a major highway with a posted 65MPH limit, but if you don't do at least 75 you'll get run over. Both roads are relatively flat. Some slight inclines and declines but it's Illinois. We don't have any mountains to worry about.

I could benefit from the gas mileage savings but haven't calculated out the cost of the car vs. cost of gas per month to see if it will actually save me money.

Thanks for the info.
Dayved
 

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2 bits

short answer = YES

Long answer

First power question :
The Insight can easily drive over 80 mph for over 600 miles no stops you fragile human will more than likely need to stop to rest or go to the bathroom before the insight has any endurance questions .... I have had mine over 100 mph for short distances and have driven 6 hours nonstop at 70 to 80 mph with the AC set to 60 degrees F ..... like any car when you go up a hill you will have to give it more gas the steeper the hill the more gas you give it eventually if the hill is steep enough like any car you may need to down shift..... when driving in lower gears at faster speeds just watch the rpms... the insight has more pick and go ability than any 4 cylander car I have ever driven... some 6 cylanders have good teeth to them and can out do the insight but I would put the Insight above even a few 6 cylanders for get up and go....

Second economy question:
I can pretty much garentee you that the insight will get better fuel economy than ANY other production car... In the future when plug in hybrids ,, EVs ,, Fuel cells ,, etc... when those are in full consumer production and not the low volume production of today .. then maybe the insight will have a run for it's money.... this is especially true over longer distances that you say that you will be driving becuase of the insights aerodynamic design lower weight etc.... a few other cars like the prius to be fair can give the insight a run for it's money in stop and go traffic but that was not the situation you described... now of course if you drive at a stead speed you will not get as good of fuel economy as you will if you drive fuel efficiently .... and or course as in any car the faster you go the low your MPG .... those should be no brainers .... now the people on this site who have 70+ MPG lifetime are driving to be fuel effeicient not speed steady ... and the Hyper milers who have consistent MPG above 80 MPG generally do just abot everything in thier power to get those numbers.... if you refuse to change your driving habits and you used to get in you old car as a life time MPG 25 to 30 in the insight with the same course and same driving techniques you can expect to get 50 to 60 MPG ... the important thing is you compair the average or lifetime MPG not the best case on the old car that one time you did a road trip on the highway driving with the wind crusing along with nothing in the car but you and then compair it to a stop and go city traffic trip in the insight when you had the hatchback filled with crap in the deep snow against the wind .... even the better normal cars that consistantly get 30 to 40 MPG should expect under the same driving patterns and course to get 60+ MPG the important thing to to do a fair comparison and the insight will come out on top every time....

what about initial cost?
the insight new is under $20k and used you can get it for far less than that I got mine a 2000 year with 56k miles for $11k and it is now at 80k miles and no major problems and averaging over the 80k miles very very close to 60 MPG .... are there cars for less than $20k??? of course .... are there cars for more??? of course you could easily drop $100k on a new car... considering that the insight gets better MPG for it's cost and those other cars give something else like name status,, excessive engine power,, luxery driving,, or off road... the question is what do you want from your car and what price range are you in??? The insight is not an expensive car there are allot of cars out there double and tripple the cost of even a new insight... and the insight is not a supper cheap car there are used cars out there for $1k but the question comes back to what you want from your car and what your budget is to get it.

what about reliability ?
for the first like 80k miles or 8 years it is honda's dime for just about any major problem that happens to your insight... which is a good run for not being your problem.... yes some people have had a car for crazy milage... my dad had a 1977 ford van for something like 300k miles.... and other people have had leamons that never even made it to 50k miles.... real life happens **** happens.... you want fair you want garantees go back to grade school and let momy and dady deal with the real world.... the insight comes with a better than average protection pollicy free to you.... also the way the insight is built even if the IMA motor and batteries etc... all failed you could still drive the car around as a regular ICE car.... still will work just fine...

What about only being a 2 seater?
this is up to your life and car needs... I drive 90% of time just me 1 person of the rmaining 10 % about 90% of that is me and my wife 2 persons... for me only about 1% of the time I drive somewhere do I have any actual use for more than 2 seats... for those times we take my wife's 4 four ~5 seater.... if you need more than 2 seats on a regular basis then get a prius still better than regular car and has 4 seats and still is not overly expensive... but take an honest look at what you actually use your car for... maybe 1% of the SUVs I see driving down the road have more than just one driver in them... that's almost painful to me...

What about cargo?
What is there to say I have loaded that hatch back area with a couple hundered pounds of brick and with me 200 lbs and a heavier 300 lbs friend... yeagh I know that is over what honda recomends but I have had no problems with it..... but if you need.... as in use regularly the storage of a pick up or SUV than get ford's hybrid SUV ... but in my experience very very few people have a real need for this either... they just get a happy fealling about havng a huge vehicle.

Operating costs?
By useing less gas than a regular car and as gas prices go up this should be a no brainer.... no additional costs from a normal car day to day for the first 80k miles.... as discused above that is good.... what about after 80k miles?? well as with any car that will depend on how you have treated it and what conditions it is used under... there are a good number of people myself being one who are at or beyond 80k miles with no problems other than regular maintenece stuff... a few on this site are way up into the kind of milage the average person does not push a car to.... but the insight has only been out for 5~6 years and long terms trends take more time to show themselves.

What about Environmental conciderations?
Well in it's price range you will be hard pressed to find better.... especially at the ranges you are talking about.... a EV would be better but unless you are under 50 Miles per day the cost to EVs jump... you said you need 150+ miles per day that means a reliable range of 200 milles per day... in a EV you would need premium high end parts... like Lithium batteries ...etc..... Thus a EV would be 3 to 4 times the cost of an insight... at least for your driving needs.

so the short answer stands.... yes.... the insight will work fine for what you described... it will cost less in gas... it will be better for the environment ... etc....

my 2 bits...
 

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Buying an Insight and buying it used is a very smart move.

I've created a spreadsheet that compares NEW hybrids to other vehicles in the same class, showing from the top down, which vehicles cost less over 200,000 miles. My car is listed on the very last table and highlighted in orange. I got my Insight for $8,500.00 with 37,000 miles on it, but the body and interior was in very bad condition.

You can see the list here:
http://www.halestechnologygroup.com/MyI ... ership.htm

If you were to buy that Insight at the KBB price, this is what you would be saving:

Assuming that gas prices stay at $3 a gallon and that you keep an average 51 mpg and that you keep the car until 200,000 miles. You would be saving $4,812.83 in gas when compared to a 2005 Civic HX Manual Transmission.

You would spend a total of $8,823.52 in gas after driving 141,000 miles.

The total cost of ownership for your used Insight would be $21,243.53
The total cost of ownership for a new Civic HX MT would be $27,596.36

Your savings would be $6,352.83 when compared to the most efficient gasoline car on the market.

I’ve found that buying an Insight is the only hybrid worth buying if you want to save money in the long run. What IamIan said is absolutely right.
 

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A shorter version of what the last guy said:

1) Power: Don't worry about power. The Insight is no sports car, but you can easily maintains speeds between 80 and 90 if you want to. The CVT Insight is particularly easy to get up to speed, because it uses whatever gear ratio it needs.

2) MPG: If you drive a CVT Insight at 75 MPH you'll likely get 52 - 56 MPG. If you turn on the AC, then you might lose 3 - 4 MPG, depending on how hot it is. My all time high for a round trip commute is 61 MPG. My all time low is 48 MPG. My average is 54 MPG.

I commute round trip 50 miles per day, and I'll never be able to go back to an ordinary car. With my puny 10 gallon gas tank I can drive for 2 weeks!

Go for it!!! I think you'll like it.
 

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FlightMedicN222AM said:
Is this little Insight's engine capable of sustaining this speed for and hour and a half?
Where do people get this? Every car on the road today (at least in the U.S.), is more than capable to sustain highway speeds. Yes a 3 cylinder or 4 cylinder) engine has to work harder than an 8 cylinder engine. But they are designed to handle it.
 

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"Where do people get this? Every car on the road today (at least in the U.S.), more than capable to sustain highway speeds. Yes a 3 cylinder 9or 4 cylinder) engine has to work harder than an 8 cylinder engine. But they are designed to handle it."

Actually, an Insight has far LESS work to do to sustain high speeds.
Being that it has the lowest drag coefficient of any production car, and that it has a small surface area... the 3cyl Insight doesn't have to work nearly as hard to maintain 90mph as say... any SUV (4, 6, or 8, or 10 cylinders all)

Also, when i first got my Insight I drove all the way from Penn. to Tennessee at 90mph+ most of the way. Through the Shannendoha (sp?) mountains even. And still got 50mpg.
 

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I think a used Insight is a great deal. I paid $9800 for a 2001 5 speed w/ 45k miles 18 months ago. I now have 63k miles and I bet I could get at least that much for it.

One comment to Theorfanders spreadsheet. I think if you are going to compare a hybrid to a non-hybrid over 200k miles, you should include the cost of at least one replacement battery pack for the hybrids. I don't think I saw that included. How much? Maybe $2000-$3000 installed? Some people might be "lucky" enough for their pack to fail under warranty (<80k miles) or a few might make it to 200k miles, but I suspect the average driver would need at least one pack in that time. Also, if you buy used, I don't think you get the tax credit.

Jim
68 mpg on the current tank (that air conditioning was killing my mileage)
 

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No you don't get the tax credit if you buy used :( , that's why I listed myself under the "***Hybrid owners who deducted nothing***" table, because I bought my Insight used.

I left the battery pack out of the table because I considered it to be a maintenance issue that may or may not occur. Within any group of similar vehicles, some may need to have parts replaced were as others would not.

For example; One out of every ten Civic HX's may need a new transmission before they reach 200,000 miles. Similarly, one out of every ten Hybrid's may need a new battery pack before 200,000 miles.

Unless we know for sure that the battery packs in all Insight’s will fail at a definite period of time, we can’t say for sure that it will occur in every hybrid. Just like we can’t say that a new transmission will be needed in every Civic HX.
 

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I'm going to meet up with an experienced Insight mechanic tomorrow to discuss making molds for my speaker pods. I will ask him what the life expectancy of the battery pack is.

He told me once that the 2000 model year was the worst when it came to defective battery packs and that he was replacing them all the time with the new, more reliable ones.
 

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Buying a used 2001 is a good deal - at least it was for me. And I can see how much the value of the car has increased in the last few months. 3 months ago, I bought my 2001 CVT for $5,700 with 92,000 miles. It was very well taken care of, no creaks and groans, and needed nothing more than a new stereo head unit. After research, I found out that the whole IMA battery system was replaced (with upgrades) at 79,000. What a dream...both to drive and own. LMPG: 55.9

For what you will use it for, it would make a great deal...this is, of course, if someone hasn't already snatched it up while you ask questions on this forum. They are getting very, very hard to find!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Again Thanks for all your replys.

Now I have another question.

What should I ask when I go to the dealership.
I already know it comes with the 8/80k warranty. Although it has 59k already. I also know it is a 'Honda Certified Used Car' for whatever that's worth. It comes with a 12 month / 12 k mile bumper to bumper.

I would like to get some specifics as well as some general things (i.e. are those the original tires and how can I tell if they are some aftermarket brand that could affect the MPG.

When looking in the engine compartment at all the new bells and whistles that I'm not familiar with. I am relatively confident when it comes to your good old fashioned internal combustion engine, but with all this electrical stuff I'm at a loss. I'm assuming the dealership would know if the IMA? battery is original or replaced.

Any recalls I should know about?

I'm extremely appreciative of all the responses so far. Everyone has been a tremendous help.

Given the fact that I knew more about this car than the salesman (I knew what the D and S buttons were on the steering wheel), I want to go in with confidence and not get 'screwed'.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
Dayved
 

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Hi Dayved,

First get the other "standard" items checked out by your local trusted mechanic. Yes its "Honda Certified" and _should_ be better than average but caveat emptor (let the buyer beware). Yes, You'll probably also know more about the IMA system than sales, service or your mechanic, but its been very reliable. The only "unknown" is the remaining service life of the IMA battery pack. And its difficult if not impossible to reliably "test" (without advanced equipment and probably disassembly).

Recalls are for the life of the car, there were a couple in regard to the headlight switch and one of the IMA computers in (cold climates) but I don't remember the year model breaks, 2000 yes. It stopped somewhere in 2001.

It the tires aren't OEM, Bridgestone Potenza RE92 165/65/14 then they will reduce ultimate MPG.

HTH! :)
 

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FlightMedicN222AM said:
Question #1. I drive 78 miles to work (one way) for a grand whopping total of 156 miles each day. The roads I travel are 65MPH and 75MPH. Is this little Insight's engine capable of sustaining this speed for and hour and a half? I don't want to be running the engine at it's MAX.
no problem at all. my wife takes the insight to school and back 4x/week nowadays (120mi roundtrip).

google maps

drives ~70 mph on the I90. yesterday she got 74.4 MPG average for the trip total. she said she was going mostly 67 mph then. iirc, that's somewhere near/above 2700 RPM in 5th
 

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You won't go wrong with the Insight. I bought a 2001 used jst before Christmas last year. I have already put 20,000 miles on it (I drive an average of 650 miles a week) with no major problems (I put brake pads on, but it was time for them anyway). Do a search on the site and you should find a thread on buying a used Insight and what to look for.
 
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