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Hello,

I have been looking at the possibility of buying an Insight in the next month. I have scanned this group but I still have alot of questions.

1) As far a oil/fluid change can any place do this, or need it be a Honda dealer...and are most Honda dealers certified to work on the Insight?

2) How does the vehicle handle in rain?

3) Has anybody compared the Civic Hybrid? I ask, because I really like the Civic body, and features, however from what I CAN tell it only gets about 40 mpg.

4) Is the maintainance more expensive than on a "normal" car?

I would appreciate anyone's input...

I REALLY love the look of the insight, but I've heard overwhelming dissapointment at the stock stereo/radio/speakers. I wish it had cruise control.

This is going to be my first new car, and first car altogether in a looong time, so I am excited but a little apprehensive. Can somebody tell me what the average alarm system that works with the Insight will cost me, and can I get cruise control installed? Is it expensive, difficult to put in?

I haven't had a car in 2 years, came into an inheritance and this is going to be my first brand new car, I am so excited I could just...well you know!!! :D

I also have questions about how it handles, I hear that it doesn't like rutted roads, do people mean by that like road with rail tracks and such, as well as just potted roads? In Ya'll experience how does the Insight handle as regards to safety?

Any information would be appreciated,

Caio for now,

Joseph
 

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I think you would be happy with an Insight unless you need more than two seats or carry a lot of stuff. The Insight is basically the same since it was introduced in 1999, except they offer different colors and a much better factory radio for model year 2004. I can't answer for alarms as I don't have one.

While my Insight does OK in the rain, I've always been careful since tires designed for high milage tend not to do well in bad weather.

You can get 0W-20W oil at the stores, but I'm not sure of anyone outside a Honda dealer that will change it for you. I've changed it myself.

The biggest drawbacks of the Insight is (1) it's a 2-seater, (2) rear side visibility is limited, (3) the factory stereo is not very good, (4) to save weight, the seat is not that well padded to make long trips comfortable, (5) if you need body repair, your probably need to be near a large metro area because only Honda or Acura can do aluminum body work.

The two biggest misconceptions is some think the car must be plugged in overnight - NOT TRUE!!! The other myth is the lack of acceleration. The electric assist will be in sports cars like the Honda S2000. I've suprized many who thought I'd be easy to pass.

The big choice will be the 5-speed vs the CVT automatic. The CVT is more available, but the 5-speed gets about 20% better economy. If you want the best economy, you will want to be hands-on. The dashboard makes it fun like a video game. If anyone has had success putting in a cruise control with a 5-speed, please let us know, but I suspect it would work much better on the CVT version.
 

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Oil changes... the limiting factor is getting the 0w20 oil. Any place can do the oil/fluid change if you buy the oil yourself.

The car handles fine in rain but you will definitely notice a big MPG hit. It is hard to keep the car in "lean burn" mode at highway speeds in the rain... my MPG usually drops from 70+mpg to 50mpg in rain.

You might find this comparison helpful:
http://www.insightcentral.net/KB/compar ... civic.html

I have found maintenance to be less expensive so far. I get less brake wear and there are parts I needn't worry about on this car (such as the alternator). You may eventually need to replace the IMA battery pack, so overall I think it cancels out.

By rutted roads people mean roads with grooves that run in the direction that you are going. This could be grooved concrete, or depressions from semi-truck wheels. The car's alignment and small high-pressure tires make it more eager to follow such grooves.

Safety-wise, it has a 4-star crash rating, airbags, and ABS. I feel very safe in my Insight.
 

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1) I have a 5 speed and change the oil myself. The oil filter on the Insight is much easier to reach than the one on my 89 CRX SI. I use Amsoil synthetic 0W30 now thamy engine is broken in, Willie Wilford uses Mobil-1 synthetic 0W30 (because of his turbo). My mileage seems as good or better than with the Honda 0W20 with mileages in the high 80s easily achieved this summer. The engine sounds well.....happier.:D

2) Other than a decrease of about 10 MPG it’s fine in the rain.

3) I drove the Civic Hybrid and it is one very classy car. I really lusted after the aluminum body of the Insight though, because I hate rust. I’m doing body work on my CRX right now, Grrrrrrr. If they ever make an aluminum Civic, hmmmmm :roll:............nah.

5) The radio is great, with incredible reception range, but the speakers are the worst I have ever seen. This problem is accentuated by a restrictive plastic mounting shells. The problem is easily solved as described in many posts.

6) Cruise controls have been added to many Insights. I believe it has been done on several 5 speeds. One such posting describes using the cruise control buttons from an S2000 which has same steering wheel! They fit in the space that is used by the "normal/sport" buttons on the CVT model. That's the way I'm going to do it.

7) The Insight has a very effective theft deterrent system. The engine will not start without a signal from the radio transmitter key. A copied key will not work. You need a Honda key and it has to be programmed with your code by the dealer. Insights are like marked cars, as there are few of them, so they don't represent a lucrative target for a thief. :idea: Perhaps we should be asking on this forum if one has ever been stolen or has anyone installed an alarm?

8 ) I live in the country. I love the way the car handles. The body feels really solid. It just doesn't lean on corners. OK, love is blind. By comparison my CRX feels like a kid's go cart and sounds like an ultralight airplane. The Insight does feel different from other cars on the road. Most people attribute this to the tires, some to the uneven front/rear track width. Now it feels normal to me, (like when I went from an off road bike to a street bike many years ago). I bought mine without a test drive. See if you can take one for a spin first.

9) Expect to answer lots of questions about the car from total strangers, like "that's one of those electric cars isn't it?" :roll: , even in the winter! :D

Kip
 

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While driving in the rain on an interstate, I got between two tractor trailers as they we passing a third. It started to rain so hard I could not see more than 10 feet. We were going about eighty, and I used the truck next to me as a guide. I figured the truck drivers could see and I hoped they could see me. After a few minutes the rain let up and the sun came out. The driver next to me gave a thumbs up, a shake of the head and a smile. I thought the insight would float away but it seemed to stick pretty well to the road.
Stock tires, 50lbs, 11,000 miles.
Rick
 

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Oil change: The local Wal-Mart should have the 0W-30 oil, the filter should be at the local auto parts place. They're both stock items, used on other models as well as the Insight. Changing is easy, though you do have to take off the bottom fairing (which most cars don't have). Then it's just a matter of remembering not to put in 3 full quarts :)

Mine seems to do ok on rutted & washboarded dirt. I mean, it's not a high-clearance 4WD, but with a little care, it'll do those last few miles from pavement to trailhead.
 
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Hi All:

___Excellent information and experiences by all. B1shmu63, that was great post and thanks for the all in one post detail ...

___For those interested in either having someone do there changes (just $27.00 for a Mobil1 load, filter of your choice, and tread depths) or those of us that DIY, you can pick up 0W-20 Mobil1 Synthetic < $19.00 per 5 Qt.’s from Walmart. If you do a Google search on the Walmart Supertech filter, you will find they are one of the best available for a steal of a price as well. Not a bad change for the DIY’s at < $10.00 for Mobil1 Synthetic and a Supertech filter in an Insight ... Now that is cheap!

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:9rrgmbdn][email protected][/email:9rrgmbdn]
 

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Not all WalMart locations carry the Mobil1 0W-20 synthetic. I have yet to find a WalMart that does carry it.
 
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Hi Tim:

___I am sorry, I did not know that. I have seen Mobil1 0W-20 synthetic in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Phoenix, Arizona, Racine, Wisconsin, and at my local Walmart in Gurnee, IL. I am tempted to run it in the MDX given it uses 5W-20 as recommended but possibly only in the winter here.

___You might be able to ask for your local Walmart to stock it possibly?

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:5famxrbp][email protected][/email:5famxrbp]
 

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I had to go to three walmarts before I could find one that carries 0W-20. Finally the 3rd closest to my house had it. They had a few individual bottles and one case I had to really reach to get a hold of. I also have seen it at the local pep boys. For what it was worth I will probably just get it at pep boys when my 6 quarts run out. If you look around your local auto parts stores should be starting to stock it finally after it was delayed several times.

I was hesitant at first about using the mobil1 stuff, but now that I finally did I'm glad I switched. On hot days here in Arizona when you first started the engine there was a quick slight ticking until the oil got flowing, with the synthetic it does not do it. Even if I had to drive many extra miles to get it now I would.
 
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I also looked at buying a ivic Hibrid when I bought my Insight, managed to get 55mpg over 3 days. Not bad for a 4 door salon, but the driving experience was HORRIBLE.

I found the seats to be too big & soft, suspension was REALLY soft & caused the car roll heavily under cornering.

I guess this car is designed for the American market where the roads are straighter than in the UK & they like their cars soft.

BUY THE INSIGHT!!!!!!!
 
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