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Discussion Starter #1
Obviously, the Insight is worth it to the owners here, but I'm trying to decide if it will be worth it to me in my own personal circumstances.

I currently drive a Honda Del Sol, which is enjoyable especially during Spring and Fall, but I really want better gas mileage than the low 30's I'm getting with it. It cost me about 5 grand, but it's paid in full, and has so far not had any major problems at 140k miles. I'm currently a student with a very small commute, but for those roadtrips and trips home, it would be handy. I'm also moving to Houston for the summer where I'll have at least a 25 mile commute to work. The increased mileage of an Insight would be extra nice here.

I considered purchasing a used Insight until I read the forums here for a week or two. The general direction I was getting from owners was to buy new to get the warranty and possibly a tax break. I even called the dealer and found that I could have new one in two weeks if I pay a deposit. However, purchasing an Insight would require me taking out a loan, and I will be paying it at least until April 2007. Plus, from what I've read here, there won't be a tax credit for the 2006 Insight, and may or may not get a tax deduction.

So, while this will be a personal decision, I wouldn't mind some input from experienced Insight drivers (and possibly some individuals older and wiser than me). Is the better gas mileage worth getting into a car loan, and will the savings really pay for themselves in my case?
 

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A used Insight might work for you.
Check eBay "completed listings" to see actual sale prices.
Private Parties sell on this forum and there are telltale signs of a good-condition used Insight.

"Honda Certified" cars exist and have some compelling features - but it's not an entirely slam-dunk decision, salesman slip thru some crappy stuff, and you still have to get a mechanical once-over done and bargain down their price.

I suppose you may be thinking only new car - but
for affordability, there are still lots of Honda CRX's out there for very short money ($2 - 5k) that not only have lots of life left but actually get 44-45 mpg - altho production stopped in '91. Many are hot-rodded up.

The big ticket item for Insight is this battery system. You can read up about it ad-infinitum here ... but bottom line is best buy will be a used one which has had a recent replacement of the hybrid (IMA) battery and related components.

Otherwise, it's a definite benefit to know you're consuming so little petrol, and polluting so little, and it's a conversation starter, etc. That intangible stretches the rational approach for many of us.
 

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If you are studying something related to saving the planet, sure get a second hand one.

Personally as a student I would think that the extra financial burden of upgrading your car would be a big negative. Depends on your situation in life naturally. The Del Sol would be rather cool on campus. I would not want to park a new car on campus as it is likely to get keyed or worse from someone who is not so well off or has just been told they didn't make the grade, or whatever. :roll: No sense having a lightning rod on your back in a storm. ;) I had a motorbike on campus and that was more than most of the other students who had bicycles or walked. I suppose things have changed a lot.

Financially the Insight pays if you drive a lot, keep your car for a decade or more, or get a bargain on it used. Otherwise you are better off with the Del Sol.

End ramble. :D
 

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This is one of those "for what little it may be worth" notes ...

Odds are you will get considerabley better gas mileage with an Insight, new or used than with any other car - at present.

It has been suggested that you look into acquiring a used Insight and from what you have described as your needs, car wise, it'd be worth your while to look into going this route; as one man put it, gas milege alone won't make up the difference when it comes to purchasing a new Insight.

If you do elect to purchase a used Insight, by all means, consider using the services of a local attorney BEFORE putting any money down and signing anything, especially when it comes to the warranty/ies (if any) which come with the used car. This will increase the probability that you will get what you, (a) have been lead to believe, (b) want you want and (c) what you might reasonably expect warranty wide during the time you own the used vehicle.

As one who recently purchased a new Insight, I can suggest without fear of contradiction that these little cars appear to be very well thought out.

As for that Federal Tax Incentive - don't ignore it. I offer this as it is my understanding that it's still in play and if you expect to pay federal income taxes over the time you expect to own a NEW Insight, by all means do look into this. I understand the figure is six thousand five hundred ($6,500) dollars but don't take my word for it. Check with the IRS and do this several times - not all of those people who've been hired by the IRS know what they're talking about. Again, as I understant it, this financial incentive only applies to NEW vehicles, not used ones.

If high mileage is what you're after and you settle on a used Insight, get one with a manual transmission not an automatic; i.e., CVT. But make no mistake about it, by current standards these CVTs get very good mileage to - 50 to 55 mpg - unless you have a heavy foot and poor driving habits.

If you purchase an Insight, you'll probably like it, including the up front gas savings, even on those short comutes you mentioned.

Hope this helps - and let us know how you make out.

Fred
 

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all in all, gas prices are still fairly low so unfortunately gas mileage is an insignificgant cost in your overall ownership of the car.

car payments in general are not attractive for students. i think the insight can be worth is moreso than other cars because you will see savings at the pumps. when i bought my insight i also had a civic that i was still making payments on... the payment on the insight is $40 more per month... but i definatey save more than that per month... not much, but enough to justify the purchase.

it's much harder to justify a new car when you're not already making payments because the additional expense will not see relief in your gas savings for a long time... and that matters when you're in school.

so financially it's smarter to get one when your car dies or you get out of school...

of course college students are known for making poor decisions :lol:

there are much worse thing you could do than buy an insight. i were in your place i'd probably buy an insight anyway because it's the most fun car i've ever owned- even though it puts extra finantial burden on me...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the input so far. I still am watching for a good used Insight, and fortunately, it appears that they are somewhat undervalued here in the South because big pickup trucks are the what Jim Bob and Bubba want to drive. The flip side is there aren't many of them around, but I'll stay on watch for one.
 

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50 miles per day

Well, I'd say a simple back of the envelope calculation will show you its not worth it.

Current car payments: 0
Current car cost to drive 50 miles per day : $4
Budget for repairs on a Honda with 140K miles: $500/year

Insight payments: $300/month
Cost to drive 50 miles per day : $2
Budget for repairs (new car Honda Care warranty) : 0

You are WAY ahead with the Del Sol. Which is a very cool little car in its own right. Drive slow, use Hyper Mileage techniques, I'll bet you can get over 40 MPG easily.
 

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i'll second that, jim.....
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Re: 50 miles per day

jimb517 said:
You are WAY ahead with the Del Sol. Which is a very cool little car in its own right. Drive slow, use Hyper Mileage techniques, I'll bet you can get over 40 MPG easily.
Thanks. I do drive it slow, and I'm actually in the middle of a tuneup on it. As far as hyper mileage, would I get that information here or elsewhere? My curiousity is piqued.

The Sol I have now is an SI, but I previously owned an S (non-vtec). I got about 39mpg with the S, but I'm hovering just barely over the 30mpg with this SOHC vtec.
 

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Insight worth it?

It is good to know that as owners we are not so fanatical as to realize that owning one is not always the best way to go. For someone in school car payments are generaly something they don't need.
We all purchased our Insights for different reasons, some for the high mpg, some for the technology and some like myself because it is an interesting and unique car that just happens to get high mpg.
Mind you I hope you don't finish school get into high paying job and buy a Hummer!
 

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Re: 50 miles per day

mrredrocker said:
Thanks. I do drive it slow, and I'm actually in the middle of a tuneup on it. As far as hyper mileage, would I get that information here or elsewhere? My curiousity is piqued.
The MPG forum is the place. But it also depends on your expectations of what "hyper" MPG is. In an Insight (IMO) anything 80+ MPG.

You won't get that with short trips, cold weather or the city drive cycle. The only potential technique that could make me a "liar" is P&G (Pulse and Glide) which _requires_ cycling engine off coasting and low maximum speeds. Not something that can be sustained under normal traffic conditions.

In the Insight the best MPG tool is the MPG gauge. You can instantly "see" how any technique impacts MPG. Other cars require consistancy between fill-ups. Much harder to learn and maintain awareness.

Right now the Insight's not for you. And like Jerry said unless you make the military your carreer a Hummer should never be needed either.

HTH! :)
 

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I purchased my Insight used last fall. Before this car I drove a Del Sol for many, many years. My main reason for purchasing the Insight was because of the access to the carpool lane which cuts 10-30 minutes off my comute each day. I recently looked at what I paid for gas for the last few thousand miles compared to the last few thousand miles on the Del Sol. There was not a huge savings. I think I actually paid a little more for the Insight gas because of higher gas prices. I did buy less gas, but not a mind blowing amount. I kept the Del Sol because if I ever change jobs I will probably go back to driving it because it is all paid for. So finacially I would stay with the Del Sol because it got decent milaege....That being said I LOVE THE INSIGHT I don't know if I could part with it!! Anyone want to buy my Del Sol??
 
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