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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I use my car to commute, and while its not a long commute, gas does add up. Currently its 20 miles round trip and I get 20MPG. I drive a big *** wagon, the thought was I could pick up the kids from school or use it as a back-up car in case our primary broke down but I've done that exactly 0 times.color copies online near me Im thinking of getting a first gen Honda Insight, but Im afraid of getting one with bad batteries. Would a mechanic be able to test their power or something?
These things are silly cheap, $1000-3500. I'd save about $400 a year on gas (dont need premium anymore and get more than double the MPG). I feel like it could be a good move but Id hate to spend $3000 on the car then get racked with $3000 for new batteries.
Otherwise, what I hear is that they are pretty good buys with a manual transmission. Its JUST a commuter, but how are they to drive? Can they keep up with traffic (I already travel 60-70 mph) and get on the highway safely?
 

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Register where you live,does your state have emissions, these cars can run just on gas and get you 55 mph easy,not really a true way to test battery,most find a long hill and drive it up steady to see how fast the battery drops and if it gets any recalibrations or ima lights pop on,
 

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They drive pretty well with the battery. The instant torque from the electric motor makes getting up to speed not as bad as you might think. Without the battery assist, it's painfully slow getting up to speed. Another thing is that having the AC on has a huge effect on performance. The handling is very nice. The rear and side visibility is kind of bad, especially if you have a tint on the windows. The side mirrors are very small so there's a big blind spot unless adjusted correctly. Mine drives totally smooth at highway speeds as long as the road is decent. The sound system only has 2 speakers with pre-wired spots for 2 more behind the seats. It would probably sound ok with a sub woofer installed. If you do your own repairs, you'll love this car. There's tons of space in the engine bay. You should test drive one and see if the performance and visibility is something you can live with.
 

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I feel like it could be a good move but Id hate to spend $3000 on the car then get racked with $3000 for new batteries.
A new battery pack starts at half that. Are you fairly good at DIY service and repairs? If not, you would be better off in a Civic, Yaris, or even a Jetta diesel if the only thing you want to have to do with a car is add fuel and drive.
 

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For what it's worth, I switched from dailying my 24mpg Nissan 240sx to my Insight (Ave 69mpg while hypermiling).
I paid $1500 for the Insight (Amazing condition and deal.. dealer maintained since day 1. I hunted for months with a large search radius)
All in (purchase, reg, insurance, gas, oil changes), the car will pay itself off by Month 16. As you can see by my "Joined" date, it's been about 11 months. It's pretty much a no-brainer, and super fun!

My average cruising speed is 58mph on the freeway. I drive for maximum MPG possible.. it is difficult on the roads near me to get above 62mph without leaving lean burn and sacrificing.. 70mpg quickly turns to 55mpg. but still, 55mpg!!

My wife facerolls the dash, furious with impatience whenever I drive though.. -shrug-
 

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^ It took me a couple seconds to get that, but I do. Pretty funny image - the 'faceroll' and the general impatience of his wife, when he's driving for mpg...
 

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Funny. When we were traveling in my turbocharged Miata I was always over the speed limit. She would always tell me to slow down so I wouldn't get another ticket. Now when I'm hypermiling in the Insight she wants to know if we're ever going to get there. If I get her to drive so I can take a nap somehow my mileage gets messed up. And we get there sooner.

Sam
 

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Hahaha, I'm not alone!

Love my wife to bits, below is purely hypothetical, speaking for a friend.

Conversation typically goes like this:
Friends Wife: "Could you drive faster?"
Friend: "I could, but..." (Stopped before talking about hypermiling)
Friends Wife: "I just saw the GPS ETA go up by 2 minutes!!"
Friends Wife: "ARRGH"
facerolls dash

For those who need a visual of facerolling:

Yet when we are in the 240sx, she's happy as can be! Yet secretly, I'm still driving 58mph to increase efficiency! She just doesn't know because there isn't those glowing two digits on the dash to complain about ?

Sorry Farukhcasy, still slightly on topic as you may have the same experiences!
 

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They are great cars, but you need to be comfortable doing a few basic things. Basic wiring and udnerstanding of electrical systems. Once you get a grid charger/discharger installed, they're super reliable cars and you probably will NOT need a new battery. Too many people replace batteries instead of doing a deep discharge/grid charge cycle.
 

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Echo the above. Picked mine up for $500 last January with 248k miles. I’ve replaced the front discs and pads ($50), changed the oil, and had the battery deep cycled by the local tech college for free last summer. This winter I built a grid charger/discharger (~$100 all in, see recent thread) and did my own deep-cycle battery conditioning.

This is the best cheap car I’ve ever owned. Fun to drive either for economy or for sport (in the slow-car-driven-fast mode). I have a 20-mile round trip commute for work and go about a month on a tank of gas.

Very reliable-ish. I say “ish” only because it throws the occasional IMA code if you don’t care for the battery. The dash light tends to freak out, say, your wife if she has to borrow the car, but it’s never stranded me (or her).

Plus, the car still looks good and I get occasional compliments and comments asking about it.

Best of luck!

- Park
 

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The likelihood of finding one with a battery that will stay in good health is unlikely unless it has been replaced.
And if it has been replaced you certainly will pay more than $1,000.

As you stated it can cost a couple thousand for a New battery alone. Might be well worth it for a low mile Insight. Maybe not so much for a 300,000 mile Insight.

Will it save you money? 20 mile round trip is not that much gas per year. And when gas is under $2.00

As others have mentioned, there are many low-cost non-hybrids with good mileage for similar price, that will never have the hybrid battery expense to contend with.

I'm pretty sure just about any 258,000 mile, 20 year old car can be had for $500 and you wouldn't have to become a electronics tinkerer just to squash the check engine light every so often.

If you want a cheap high mile Insight, there are plenty out there.

The sub 100,000 mile Insights end up being more expensive, but to some people it's worth it knowing the longevity. Either they buy it with a New pack in it, or out one in themselves. But the cost is closer to $5,000-$6,000.
 
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