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Discussion Starter #1
I'm trying to decide between a "new" 2003 and a 2004 with a few thousand miles on it.

What are the model year variations? Is there any difference between the 2003, 2004, and (2005) models?

Does the battery suffer if it just sits there on a dealer's lot without activity for a couple of years? If the "new" 2003 battery has a problem, does it seem reasonable that the problem would show up during the warranty period?

Which one should cost more? When I try a Kelly Blue Book search, the new 2003, but I would think that a brand new 2003 car is worth more than a used 2004...

Also I'm trying to figure out the tradeoff between an automatic and a manual transmission. I generally like manual transmissions, but it seems like the CVT cars are more available and I'm willing to go that way--especially if the battery management is better. One of the magazine reviews said that the best way to drive the car with the 5 speed is to strictly follow the shift light indications, because that approach does the best job of managing the battery. Does this mean that a CVT is better in practice, because you just drive and let the computer figure out the battery management?
 

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Hi Dougie; It depends. The 2004 has a beige interior rather than black, CD player with 4 speakers rather than Cassette with 2 speakers, and a 5 inch diameter hole in the top of the seats. The 2004 will have better resale value. The more important decision facing you is the transmission. If you are interested in maximum fuel economy, the manual is the only way to go. It, on average, will deliver an extra 20 mpg, because of the lean burn catalyst and an engine compression ratio of 10.8 rather than 10.3. I do not believe the "battery management" is superior on the CVT. It all depends on your driving style. billy....
 

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I have a CVT only because I wanted to try out the technology and I was tired of shifting. It is pretty cool but now I wished I had got the manual for better gas mileage.
 

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The IMA battery should be fine but the 12 volt battery may be toast. The clutch on the 5 speed is hydraulic...very nice and easy to push in.
 

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Dougie said:
<snip>

One of the magazine reviews said that the best way to drive the car with the 5 speed is to strictly follow the shift light indications, because that approach does the best job of managing the battery. Does this mean that a CVT is better in practice, because you just drive and let the computer figure out the battery management?
IMO the shift lights are too "aggressive" in _delaying a downshift indication. Which by definition loads the IMA pack more.
Its true that a CVT adds another dimension to IMA pack battery management. Similar to cruise control and MPG. If your "watching" MPG closely you can always "beat" a cruise control's MPG, but on a long trip when fatigue takes its toll a cruise control can "beat" you.

We are still smarter than any computer. And if you wish to learn then you will develop the correct "feel" for the overall Insight driving experience and the differences will be small. Your driving style will become what is good for MPG and _long term_ IMA battery life.

With that said there is one significant difference, an IMA battery pack recal. It can be annoying to temporarily and unexpectedly loose IMA assist. A CVT be design and by 2 polls I am familiar with on Insight message boards experience _far_ fewer recals (almost zero in comparison) than 5 speeds. Of course in all things automotive YMMV.

There are dozens of posts in here in regard to the above. Use the forum search feature if your interested.

Here's the post I'd start with <VBG>:

http://www.insightcentral.net/forum/vie ... 1113cad30a

HTH ! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I just found out that the early cars had a small oil cooler between the block and the oil filter, but the later models (2004) don't. I wonder if it's worth thinking about adding one to the later cars...
 
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