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Discussion Starter #1
:?: Hello, I have been lurking here since I purchased in March. My used 2000 Insight is going in for 45,000 mile service next week. Car works and looks great! I really like it but am now going to be moviing to the mountains in Colorado. Many 10,000 ft plus passes and several months of winter with considerable snow.

I wasn't contemplating this move wihen I bought the car. ( Live in CA). Now I don't think the Insight is suited to the conditions we'll be facing this winter.

My other cars are a 2001 new Beetle and a 2001 VW Eurovan Camper. My wife and I have decided we should have only two cars. ( Perhaps a truck.) We are trying to decide which two cars to sell and then after we know what the conditions require get another vehicle.

Large SUVs are not my style. The Insight is my second Honda. In 1971 I bought a 600cc Honda car. I drove that car for 12 years and loved it, like I do the Insight. But I need to be pracitcal.

Please anyone with snow and cold weather Insight driving experience please share your insights.

Thank you. By the way I enjoy this website. It is one of the best on the net.

Mac Musick
Sebastopol
[email protected]
 

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Macmusick,
Here is my experience: First, I have lived in Vail (Avon) for a year and at the time drove a 97 Pont Grand Prix. That winter, we had 28 FT :shock: of snow between Oct and May. Many days, even with snow tires, the weigth that car had + front wheel drive it was a struggle. Add to that the 6 - 8 % grades on I-70, even well plowed, caused me many problems. I now live in Denver and can give you two instances of heavy snow that caused a problem with my 2000 Insight. This March we had a blizzard - 36" of snow and I could not get out of my subdivision due to the low clearence of the Insight. Have a friend with a VW Bug, neither could he. Three days later I attempted it, was able to get out and did fine to a point. Again, low clearence being the problem. Fall of last year we had one snow dump of 12" in Denver and with alot of wheel spinning was able to navigate the city streets. I find that less than 8-9" is an inconvienence - slows you down and you need to be careful which routes you take. A foot or more can leave you without a ride. As far as power, I can't say thats ever been a problem/question with my Insight.

Good luck :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Mitch thanks for the reply.

Thank you for the good feedback Mitch. There were times when I drove the Honda 600 in snow that I could keep going when no one else could like for instance crossing the Wisconsin Dells area in an ice storm. But trying to stop that little car on ice or snow was almost a joke. More than once I had to get help lifting the Honda car out of a snowbank.

I just today sold my VW Eurovan Camper. The problem with that vehical is also like you mentioned, clearance. With a long wheel base I have done some damage in the area of the propane tank. ( Not good noooo.) Now will I keep the Insight because it is the right car to drive here in CA ( but may not be the most practical in CO)?

I've looked at a used Jeep Liberty 4x4, but can't decide it that would be for me. The fuel economy is terrible.

Does anyone have any experience with other 4x4s?
 

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Mitch53 is right about the clearance issue on the Insight. Only had it in snow once, and it was exactly as he described. :cry:

If you're looking for a vehicle that will go anywhere, anytime, in any conditions, for an affordable price, I can't recommend AWD Subarus enough. All the Subies I've had (6 so far since the early '80s) have been unstoppable in snow (even my front-driver-only '86!). They're pretty reliable, and used prices are pretty reasonable if you go that route... Colorado is particularly thick with them, you'll see them everywhere, you're bound to find something that suits your needs. I've always had the wagon variants, they hold huge amounts of load, are comfortable, durable, and dealer service (I can swear for three) is outstanding. :mrgreen:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Boogety, a friend who lives in Alaska told me that the AWD Subaru is ubiquitous up there also. I will certainly look into Subaru now that you touted it so highly. I have been leaning toward 4 WD Jeep Liberty for the manual 4 wheel with high and low range but have not really made the comparisons I should.

I'm thinking of waiting till I get to CO to buy a used vehicle to avoid the CA smog equip. However one friend suggested that salted roads make CO cars more likely to have rust probs. I have lots of time to shop and to continue to enjoy my Insight.
 

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I agree about the Subarus, at least up to the mid-80s, which are the most recent I've owned. I live in similar country and do a lot of cross-country skiing. Used to get a real kick out of coming across some big 4WD SUV or pickup stuck in the snow - I'd stop, hand them the tow chain, pop them out, and head on down the road with a big grin on my face :)

But as for selling the Insight, remember, it only snows a few months out of the year, and even then, unless you're at the higher elevations, you'll have bare roads at least 75% of the time. So there's a lot of time when the Insight will do just fine. My solution is a 4WD pickup as second vehicle. It will go in snow, and dirt roads out in the desert, and I can haul building materials & horse manure when I need to.
 

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The Insight is useless if the roads have not been plowed because of the forementioned low ground clearance, but if the roads HAVE been plowed, the anti-skid brakes and front wheel drive actually make it quite good on snow and ice. If you keep basic good driving skills for this kind of weather, you'll probably enjoy driving around in your Insight, smiling and waving at all the idiots in their SUVs sitting in ditches because they thought they were invincible and slid into ditches they are not able to get out of.

I make a regular practice of it, myself. I enjoy being impressed by those really long skidmarks the 4x4s leave once they hit the brakes and realize that 4 wheel drive doesn't help a bit once you lock up the brakes, and the bone-heads drive too fast out of their fantasies of what their vehicles can do in bad traction situations.

Just stay out of their way while they zoom off to infinity and beyond.
 
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