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Discussion Starter #1
Hey folks, so I'm not an actual Insight Owner (yet), so I hope it's not an issue to post a thread. I wanted to ask how folks felt about the new ones... They just announced that they are killing off the Insight line right when I was looking at the 2014 Insight EX... Now that this car is defunct, I have either the opportunity to get a deal on it, or find something else that I can still easily find parts for... When folks talk about the Insight, most of the info I find are from older owners who got the 2-door one, but the one I'd be eyeing is the last gasp one... one of the brand new 2014 EX models that are still sitting around... How do you folks feel about them? What kinds of advice do you have? I see a lot of folks modding, what mods are you all getting done? Now that the line is discontinued, do you think it would be harder to find parts for in the future? I apologize if this info is scattered around the forums; the site is running slow for me right now so I figured it'd be faster just to make a thread, especially since I'm trying to focus on the newest, last model and not previous ones... Any discussion would be greatly appreciated!
 

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Actually Honda sold more ZE2 than ZE1.
That you cannot read much about mods is because most 2nd Generation Insights are still under warranty.
I would like to improve my battery capacity but will only do so when the IMA warranty runs out.
If you like the car as it is now, go for a test drive. I am happy with mine.

BTW the Honda Jazz/Fit Hybrid and the Insight 2 are based on the same platform. So most parts should be available in future. If you drive mostly in the City you also should try the Jazz.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the quick reply! I knew it was a good idea to post in this community... Good stuff I didn't know... Glad to hear that the Fit/Jazz parts are useful for the Insight 2nd Gen... I haven't really been eyeing the Honda Fit that much, because I'm not really into sub-compact cars... though apparently the 2015 Fit EX-L is supposedly roomier even though it is smaller... Idk, I drove a 2013 Insight and it felt more like something I was willing to deal with, being that it was a hatchback but not super tiny...

Do you guys have any third party audio/dash/etc that you like for the I2?
 

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Currently i am wasting energy because the battery is charged before the down hill part of my commute Ends. If you live in a flat region the battery is fine.

First thing I am looking for is some ODBC device to forge discharge the battery during uphill so I can recover more potential energy when I drive downhill.

The are some nice LiFePo or LiMn batteries around which could handle the discharge currents. But the charging currents are very large even with a doubled capacity a charging capability of 10C would needed. Means charging the whole battery in a 10th of an hour = 6min
I still got three years until then battery technology will be more advanced and prices lower. No need to think to much about it now.
 

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First thing I am looking for is some ODBC device to forge discharge the battery during uphill so I can recover more potential energy when I drive downhill.
I have done some research on the Soc setting on the G2 and IIRC Honda are using a password system to authorise the OBD device to change the soc.

This is a significant extra hurdle to overcome in any development of a tool to manipulate changing of the soc via the obd port.

Don't hold your breath.

The car also uses CAN comms and only limited work has been done on the IMA system.

I think it will be about another two years before I personally get a G2 and start looking at it from a gadget development POV.

Most people won't do anything to them anyway until they are out of warranty as has already been suggested.

No point doing any work until there is some sort of market.
 

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Not much wrong with the second gen Insight that I've found in the little over a month that we've had ours.

Rock solid dependability, and significantly above EPA fuel mileage in the real world is a plus with this car. Our 2013 was definitely a bargain and a full third less expensive to buy than our Prius.

You can make a good deal on this car right now. So an excellent value for the money for sure.

We're up to 1400 miles on ours and the measured at the gas pump mileage is averaging 50 mpg. I drive a rural, somewhat hilly area, so it's well suited for our local travel here.

Honda will have parts for this car for some time to come. I'm pretty sure that parts are supposed to be available by law for ten years after end of production. I have a '93 Honda and parts for that car are still available.

Most mods people do on their Insights are wheels/tires, and lower body kits and springs. Some mess with the battery. Audio is another area that gets modded. The battery warranty is 8 years in most states, some states you get a 10 year warranty.

It's a Honda, so expect reliability. Change the oil every time the MID says it's time and change the CVT fluid every other time you do the oil. The car likes to be driven every day or so to maintain optimum battery condition. You can charge the battery if it's been idle for a week or so in about 5 minutes if you run the engine in park, and after it warms up a little, bring the revs up to around 23 to 25 hundred RPM. Watch the Charging display and once the battery indicates full, you can ease off the accelerator and switch the car off.

The ride is controlled and pretty smooth for a car of this size. Handles our poor Maine roads very nicely. Seats fit well, with good adjustment and are comfortable. If I had an issue with anything so far, it would be the shape of the steering wheel rim... but I'm sure I'll get use to it eventually. That's pretty minor.

EX sound system is fine and all controls are easy to use. I definitely had my doubts about the second gen Insight, since it was so poorly received by the automotive press. In this case, I would say that the press just didn't have the requisite insight needed to properly review this car when it was first offered.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the great replies folks, you're really helping me validate my purchase and getting me acclimated with the advice on the Insight... I had tried an Insight last year when I took one from ZipCar for a trip for about a day, and that was before I even really knew what it was... After I read the critic reviews slamming the MPG and the performance, I really wondered why because I didn't notice any of those faults at all while I had it, granted it was only for a day. But it seems like the reviews are pretty much the opposite from actual Insight owners... everyone online who seems to have one seems to think it's just fine... Also good to know about parts; I haven't gotten a car model that has been discontinued before; I was going to ask my friends who still have Honda Element about how they have fared in the many years since that was made defunct
 

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I really don't think that the motor media people had a clue when it came to hybrids, especially early on. If the car didn't perform like a Porsche or Corvette or was as luxurious as a Bentley or Mercedes, they knock it down.

Mileage figures that these guys reported as they tested the Insight and Prius were really pretty amazing, too. I've never been able to get less than 47 mpg on our Prius, and that was on a very hurried trip from Florida back to Maine last Spring in 2013. Prius rear seats were down, and we were loaded with enough gear to last a month, plus my bicycle. The trip down to Florida was at normal highway speeds around 70 to 75 and the thing still got 51-52 mpg. Most of the "Reviewers" were reporting 38 to 42 mpg with the same generation Prius. The numbers were generally worse for the Insight, in some instances, so I really don't know how they drove these cars to get those kinds of low numbers.

One thing I learned... If you're interested in a car, don't go by reviews. Go down and drive it, or better yet, rent one to get your own impressions of the car. There is absolutely no substitute for seat time.
 

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I think reviewers drive then like they're rental cars. I guess I would too if I got the car and gas for free :).

I always take the reviewer's MPG as a worst case scenario.
 

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Most likely a fairly brainless crew, too. They're really not providing much of a service to their readers by not being thoughtful about the particular car they are driving. If it's a sports car with 450 HP then sure, mash the go pedal and see what it'll do, but if it's a hybrid with a whole 100 HP on tap, see what kind of mpg it can reasonably get, since that's what it was developed for.

The same thing happened to both the Insight and Prius in the motor press for the most part. Many myths were advanced by their sloppy half hearted reviews. Useless for anyone looking for serious information on these cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So, folks, I went and did it, I got a new 2014 Honda Insight EX









Thanks a lot for all your advice and I'm sure to ask even more noob questions now that I actually have one
 

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Now that this car is defunct, I have either the opportunity to get a deal on it, or find something else that I can still easily find parts for...
(1) Honda is the most reliable engine maker (double that of #2 Toyota). I call it a buy.

(2) Honda is offering $2000 off on last year's 2013s (in other words $16,500) but not the 2014s. It's still regular price.

(3) Carmakers have to keep a stock of parts for 20 years. It's U.S. law. Also the insight 1.3 engine is common across the Civic hybrid and Fit nonhybrid cars, so plenty of parts to go around.

(4) I will be buying on too.
 

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Some ODBC device to forge discharge the battery during uphill so I can recover more potential energy when I drive downhill.
I know a guy who did that..... climbed the hill to work, emptied the battery, and then recharged it on the downhill back to home. He killed his battery in just over a year. (And then tried to get sympathy, even though it was his own fault.)

These batteries were not designed for frequent charge/discharge cycles like an EV. They are meant to be used for brief bursts of power (to compensate for the tiny engine).
 

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I will be really curious what kind of MPG you get in the Bay Area.. I never can achieve more than 41mpg (calculated via Fuelly, gauge is usually 1-2 mpg off) anywhere I drive in California... The Insight is probably the only car I drive that doesn't meet the EPA combined...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I will be really curious what kind of MPG you get in the Bay Area.. I never can achieve more than 41mpg (calculated via Fuelly, gauge is usually 1-2 mpg off) anywhere I drive in California... The Insight is probably the only car I drive that doesn't meet the EPA combined...
Yeah I guess we'll find out, huh? I literally just got it today and I'm trying to learn how to drive it best... Not necessarily hypermiling but I'd be up for any and all advice that could help MPG with this particular model (most of the advice seems to be geared towards the first gen), so that's why I'm glad I found this forum
 

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As you drive it, you'll find the sweet spots. The MID gives you a lot of information about how you're doing. Use the MID for feed back. Easy does it and you'll see mpgs go up.

Hang around and let us know how it goes.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
So after one whole day with it, these are the 4 trips I logged:



You can see the times where I was not really understanding the MID and the times when I was paying attention; it looks like my last one was a bit more over 40 than trip 2... maybe 42 MPG? Maybe I got more than 41 MPG in the Bay Area without really trying? haha

I've noticed the hills out here help a lot with charging when I watch the battery MID, but that might be the reason why MPG is less out here

Either way, this is already way better than the 29-31 MPG my old car was getting
 

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Discussion Starter #20
On that note, Idk if there are any Bay Area 2nd Gen Insight owners that would want to meet sometime, but if so I'd be down for doing that... I know there are quite a few 1st Gen owners out here, but I'd have less in common since it seems like the 2nd Gen is very different... maybe I'll post a thread
 
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