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Discussion Starter #1
Firstly to the participants of this forum -- thank you.
I was ready to purchase a used Insight next week and was quite excited about having located two prime candidates. I read and studied the posts in this forum all weekend long and found them also very exciting, informative and positive in general regarding the Insight. Then slowly I began to feel something was just wrong sort of on a subliminal level.

So what is up with that? I mean it would be fun to play a mpg video game while I drive, and getting very high mpg -- that's the whole point.
And having a well made aluminum car -- very cool.

BUT it is by no means an economy car -- is it?
I can envision myself having tons of fun getting superhigh mpg,
but what's the point if you need a $4,000 battery replacement every 100,000 miles. Even if it only cost you $2,000 because Honda is being "understanding". I mean it may only cost you $.04 a mile for gas, but it's costing you $.02(or more} a mile for batterys. So if you are getting around 60mpg LTA you are really only getting 40mpg LTA. Which is still good -- but not that great when you start considering all the other shortcomings when the Insight as far as total lifestyle ergonomics is concerned.

All of a sudden the Insight's "drag coefficient" has gone way up in my mind, and I am once again considering other vehicles.

Why are those rechargabel D cells so expensive anyway?
 

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Befory my purchase in September of 02 the IMA battery pack was $2,900. Now its $2,100 installed. So the price has come down considerably.

The additional amount you are quoting should be for an "upgraded" BCM & MCM. These additional parts are battery managment computers and are optional but highly recomended. And should be factory equipped in all 03's and up. But may also have already been upgraded in any eariler model.

There are 120 of these "D" cells and their not of the "toy" variety. Their industrial quality. The individual cells, if an available supplier can be found have been advertised by the OEM manufacturer (Panasonic) for about $900. But there is the case and several tempertaure sensors that should also be replaced.

Purchase an Insight as the primary car on retirement income :?: Probably not a good idea. Your next best choice is a Civic Hx.

HTH! :)
 

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John B!

I bought my Insight "as a retirement present" and haven't regretted it at all.............Of course I'm "weird" any way....... :twisted:
 

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Re: Paying a premium price to drive a super economy car WUWT

anomaloustango said:
BUT it is by no means an economy car -- is it?
Not in the least. While fuel costs are many, many times lower, parts costs are often double, triple or even larger multiples of what you would pay for on another vehicle. The simple truth is that the Insight is an exotic, limited production car that has been engineered to extremes to accomplish it's goal.

That said, in general it is a reliable car, so if you keep Honda service departments out of the picture, it should cost you less in parts overall when compared to another vehicle.

I can envision myself having tons of fun getting superhigh mpg,
but what's the point if you need a $4,000 battery replacement every 100,000 miles.
As mentioned, the battery cost is not that high. Honestly, the battery is one of the last things I worry about. I have very nearly that mileage now, with no sign of any battery deterioration.

Even if it only cost you $2,000 because Honda is being "understanding". I mean it may only cost you $.04 a mile for gas, but it's costing you $.02(or more} a mile for batteries. So if you are getting around 60mpg LTA you are really only getting 40mpg LTA. Which is still good -- but not that great when you start considering all the other shortcomings when the Insight as far as total lifestyle ergonomics is concerned.
As far as cost goes, in my world I come out very much ahead. I went from filling up 3x a week (60 litres of premium) to filling up once ever 3 weeks (at half the cost). At this point, I'm fairly sure I could buy 2 battery packs and still come out ahead. Of course, I put a lot of miles onto the car, so if you don't drive as often, it might not be the same in your case.

Why are those rechargabel D cells so expensive anyway?
We've covered this thoroughly in the past. Long story short, they are custom designed for the application with thicker anode + cathode, stud terminals, etc. The packs are also made of manually-matched cells.
 

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Hi anomaloustango
Its difficult to define an economy car any more,as an example I purchased a simple cheap new economy car a couple of months ago that was written off in a minor accident.the frontal damage was minor but because it is a small car the crash sensors are quite sensitive thus setting off the air bags and belt tensioners.The result being it wasn't worth repairing since the safety equipment and labor cost was so high,over 50% of the value of the car. I bought the car for one fifth its new price and put it back on the road for less than that simply because I found another one for parts and was lucky it was even the same color so didn't have any painting to do,Also everything just bolted on. The moral is there are no cheap economy cars where repairs are concerned unless you are willing to be a bit clever in solving the problems that can arise.The Insight is no exception.
Dgate
 

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Insight Value

Feel free to get any car you like .... Your life after all and your money ....

But my point of view is this...

1> The Insight will be Cheaper to run Hands down to a Regular car... Very Few Regular cars will get better than 30 to 35 MPG the Insight at 60 to 70 MPG is double that.... Gasoline here is already $2.29 per Gallon and Will Probably hit $2.50 and above in not too long.... at current gas prices which to be fair will only go up lets asume $2.30 Per Gallon average price over 100,000 Miles which is conservative in the extream ... if you get an average of 30 MPG over the whole 100,000 Miles you will use 3,333 Gallons at $2.30 per Gallon you will spend $7,666 Dollar in gas alone the Insight at double the MPG will only cost you $3,833 Dollars worth of gas to go the same distance.... a savings of $3,833..... The Battery Pack which for the first 75,000 Miles or so Honda Will replace for you for FREE currently as stated costs about $2,000 To replace and has gone down over time and there is no reason to think that it will not continue to go down in price..... I have 80,000 Miles on my Insight on the original Battery Pack with no signs yet of it going down hill or needing replacement anytime soon.... Also the 100,000 Mile point I can't think of any Cars that manufactures will give a warrenty for more than that.... And most people are not like my dad who kept a 1977 Ford Van on the Road for 300,000 Miles.... by the end he was paying people to machine parts to fix things half the body had been replaced at one time or another it was on its 3rd engine and 4th transmition.... and he just kept pooring money in to keep the beast on the road.

2> If you are only talking about cost effective .... than don't bue a car at all... Walk , Use Mass Transit , Bike , Get a Scooter.... ect.... Dollar per dollar they will lay the smack down.

3> You menchion "but not that great when you start considering all the other shortcomings when the Insight as far as total lifestyle ergonomics is concerned. " .... What short comings are these????? I have transported 200+ People wedding cakes.... lawn mowers.... Computers.... 300+ Pounds of brick in the hatch area of my insight.... for me I was driving myself 1 person 95% of the time... and 99% of the remaining 5% was just me and my wife.... Unless you have a large family or something Insight 2 seater is plenty.... If the 2 seater is not enough... Get a Prius or hybrid Civic... they is full size cars and still better MPG than you will get from normal cars.... The Inisight to me I REALY like the look of ther CAR and just about everign about it... Even if it didn't get the MPG it does... Which I love... I still would have bought this car.... The only 2 things I would chaneg on the Insight and I have plans do do this in the next few years... Is the addition of a larger battery pack with plug in ability & Maybe for fun a pure EV mode with solar cells covering the body panels... but that's just me. :)

Latter

Ian.!
 

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Your concern regarding the battery is valid but I think it is not entirely accurate. The battery does not need to be replaced every 100,000 miles. There have been a handful of people who have had to replace batteries at or before this interval, but this should be considered the exception, rather than an expense that should be applied to the "effective" mileage.

In addition, the hybrid cars eliminates the alternator and starter, (the 12v starter should never see enough wear to need replacement) saving eventual replacement costs there, and lengthens the life of brakes, so replacement costs go down further there. I believe (I could be wrong on this one) the Insight also has a timing chain which does not need replacement like the timing belt of most cars.

The parts are expensive, but within reason when you consider the cost of the car. The Insight has very expensive parts considering it's retail price, but you have to remember that the Insight is heavily subsidized by Honda so in actuality you are buying parts for a car that costs almost twice as much - so parts costs need to be compared with vehicles of comparable construction cost, rather than vehicles of comparable retail price.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Many excellent points have been made. There is no doubt that 98% of the time I personally only need a two seater. I have not entirely dismissed my desire to purchase an Insight. I really like them most of all autos. FYI I do have a bicycle, which is my primary transportation, because I leave my auto in the driveway unless I actually need it. It's a Reynolds Classic Wishbone recumbent (http://reynoldsweldlabs.com/) -- so -- if you know anything about recumbents you realize that this indicates I am a prime cadidate for something like an Insight.
Aside from the fact that I dislike cars in general and what they have done to the beauty of the landscape, and the fact that 50% of all Urban space is devoted to automobiles and that almost all of the people are alone on the road and have huge hunks of metal surrounding them. Or the fact that people have become so accustomed to the cacaphony of autos that when they are momentarily confronted by silence and the quiet sounds of nature they feel apprehensive. The fact is we have built our infrastructure in such a way as to effectively strand people who don't own automobiles. This is true even here in Santa Cruz which has excellent public transportation and is somewhat bicycle friendly. Believe me if it were possible to delete these poisoners of what enters my lungs entirely from my life I would do it in a second. So barring that -- An Insight is my second choice. And I am begining to have second thoughts about my second thoughts. I believe I should -- with some luck -- be able to utilize the info found here to greaty increase the chances of purchasing a trouble free Insight should I find an acceptable deal. Thanks again to all of you for your insights.
 

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There are also plenty environmental benefits. In addition to making a small step to burning less oil product, you will be putting less pollutants into the atmosphere they 99% of all other cars. So you get the MPG and the ULEV...
 

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Also keep in mind that car repairs of any sort are not inexpensive. I had a complete brake rebuild job done on a Mazda with 115k miles on it recently and it cost $1500. Parts were hard to find (that is, rebuilt, affordable parts) and there was lots of labor. Whereas a straight IMA battery replacement is probably an hour of work. I expect the price of the batteries to go down as Honda populates the world with Civics and Accords that use them.

And, any analysis of this sort depends strongly on the price of gasoline. If gas goes to $5 a gallon then the 100,000 mile fuel cost at 60 mpg is $8000 and at 30 mpg is $16,000. That $8000 difference buys several batteries...
 

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Willie Williford said:
John B!

I bought my Insight "as a retirement present" and haven't regretted it at all.............Of course I'm "weird" any way....... :twisted:
:lol: LOL :!:

Well Willie,

I had my doubts until you opened your hood and dropped in a turbo :!: :twisted:

:p
 

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anomaloustango,
The way I see it with your environmental outlook on transport you have only three choices......no car at all.......an electric.......or if you can tolerate gas used in the most efficient way with lowest emissions and providing the greatest range the Insight. There are no other alternatives plain and simple.

DGate
 

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Unless you need more than two seats - then its the Prius
 

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'03 onward

In the long run I think you'll be OK with an '03 or later model, those seem the least inclined toward the battery / 100,00 problem. Probably solved by the 'updated' control modules and likely improved battery packs. Even with the first day battery failure with my recently bought 2000, I'm still fairly confident in the car, overall. As soon as I get it back, that is. :wink:
 

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I would rather drive the Insight and know I have done what I can to help reduce emissions, dependence on foreign oil, reduce my dependence on oil and support a new way of thinking - "sustainably"
How much is that worth every time I stop at a red light and my engine shuts off, I relax - while most of the vehichles around me spew crud into the air and that all familar rumbling - I love the Insight, a car that demonstrates "we can do it" if we will.
 
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