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Hello everyone. This is my first post so please bear with me. I am toying with the idea of getting an Insight. I love the looks and mileage. My current car is a Beetle TDI which I also love. I just have an itch. Change is good, right? :)

I'm wondering how the change would be from my Beetle diesel. Is the interior of the Insight really tight? I'm just thinking the passenger area. I can't find one to test drive yet.

How are they holding up? Would it make a good used car?

I'm used to working on my car. Is that possible with the Insight?

My best mpg has been about 57 for a number of tanks during summer with the TDI. Could I hit 70 on a tank with an Insight?

Thanks for any 'insight' on the Insight.
 

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You'll love it! I bought mine used (a 2001) in October of '04, and it is definitely the best car I've ever owned.

It is surprisingly roomy. My husband is 6'3" and he fits in it just fine, and even though he didn't like it at first (he thought it was ugly), he now likes it just as much as I do. But I hardly ever let him drive it. ;)

Good luck!

Andrea :)
 

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If you can do 57 mpg with your new bug, 70 mpg with an Insight should not be a problem.

My opinion is a little slanted, but I really am enjoying my Insight. It's a fun car to drive and a daily challenge to see just how high the mpg's can be pushed.

Good luck in your search.

Regards,
 

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velvetfoot,
You should definitely drive one before you buy it. Where are you located?

I have had plenty of 6 foot+ people comment on how surprisingly roomy the interior is. It is lower to the ground than the Beetle so that would be a change for you.

I bought mine used with 29,000 mile and now have mid 50's. It holds up well, especially since it is made of aluminum and can't rust!

Doing general maintenance like oil change, tires rotation, air filter, brakes, rotors, etc are similar to non-hybrid cars. But anything related to the hybrid components is probably better left to the professionals. (Unless you are really adventurous and have the right manuals.)

For maintenance, doing oil changes, brakes, rotors, air cleaners, rotating tires, etc is not much different than non-hybrid cars. But working on the battery or other hybrid components is probably best left for the professionals.

Good luck in your quest for an Insight. And keep asking questions.
 

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I love my Insight too, but you may be driving the next best thing. Both cars have a cult following.

The Beetle can still seat four - Insight two.

Whatever you do, it's a win - win. :)
 

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Thanks for your replies!

I wonder if the car will run without a smog-related check engine light if the drive batteries fail? I bet I could still get over 60 mpg without them. :)
 

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Overall my Insight experience has been good. I have had a few warranty issues though. The only real complaint I have is how small the tire footprint is. This makes for some interesting freeway driving issues on bad roads, wet roads and driving next to semi trucks. But for around town you can't beat it.

I'm 6'1" and have plenty of room. We took the car on across the country on vacation and were comfortable, although cruise control would have been nice. We averaged 60mpg going and 50mpg coming back. The best mileage I got was 71.2mpg for a short segment. My lifetime mileage has dropped to 47.2mpg but I easily get 50mpg around town.
 

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I have a CVT, and the best 50-mile trip I've done so far on it was 69.2 mpg (at normal highway speeds) on a sunny spring day ~75-85 degrees a couple weeks ago. I think the best lifetime mpg I can hope for is about 53.4, what with driving ~35 miles per week on surface roads and ~120 on highways. The Insight does far better on highways than on surface roads (I aim for at least 57 mpg on the highways and 42 mpg on the surface roads).

The footspace is way more than I need at 5'6", but the headspace is a little small what with the way the car curves in at the top. I can't have my hands behind my head with my elbows out, for instance, and I could stretch a bit and brace my head against the door/roof join if I wanted. On the other hand, it's really sweet to be able to slip past some behemoth to turn right when they're stopped at a light and taking up most of two lanes, or to be able to park in any possible spot.

I think it would be fine buying an Insight used. They take a while to get all the parts running together in harmony for the best possible gas mileage. I'd maybe buy a 2002-2004 model, since I think the 2000 and 2001 are more prone to recalibrations (something I've not yet seen in my year driving a 2004 CVT).
 

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Madeline said:
I can't have my hands behind my head with my elbows out, for instance
Now that would be some laid back driving style! :D
 

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The Citrus Smoothie said:
Madeline said:
I can't have my hands behind my head with my elbows out, for instance
Now that would be some laid back driving style! :D
Dude, I could totally steer with my knees! I mean, since my feet can't reach the back of the footwell so I'm always driving with my left knee sitting near the steering wheel anyway, it just makes sense... :D

I should buy some fuzzy dice, too, just to go with the image. But then again, they'd add weight... ;)
 

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My mom drives a 01 Beetle TDI automatic. Observations, you'll find you sit a lot lower in the Insight and getting in and out is a little bit more effort, but not a whole lot. If you can get that kind of mileage out of the beetle then you should have no problem getting over 70 with the Insight. I think you'll like the Insight's handling over the beetle's also. The stock beetle has a slightly better sound system than the Insight (which isn't saying a lot), so if your an audiofile plan on replacing the stereo.

Ohh yeah, you won't have that annoying diesel engine either or the associated exhaust fumes. On the freeway the Insight is going to have noticeably more road noise as it virtually has no noise insulation (I added some to mine).

You should be able to work on the car yourself... they're actuall pretty simple. If you've ever replaced a head light bulb on a beetle you know some of the VW designs aren't all that great. About the only minor annoyance with the Insight is having to remove the under panels to do an oil change or anything else down there, but it's just a couple of bolts to remove them.
 

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thinking of getting an insight

Resist writes
[The only real complaint I have is how small the tire footprint is. This makes for some interesting freeway driving issues on bad roads, wet roads and driving next to semi trucks.]
Just to add to this remark, I do not believe the small footprint is the problem but the fact the insight doe's not have any "toe in" or "toe out" on the steering geometry and as a result is more apt to move around on uneven surfaces.Most cars have a scrub to the front tires which causes them to naturally track straight but in turn causes rolling resistance/drag,wear on tires,and less efficient use of fuel.
Narrow section tires/small footprints are better at maintaining traction through the wet than than wider ones which aquaplane.
The issue of movement next to semi's is down to the lightness of the insight not tire footprint,put ten inch wide wheels on it and you would still be blown around. The concept of a wide tire solving all problems is a myth unless you are looking for acceleration traction at the drag strip or cornering traction on the grand prix circuit.So don't be put off by the small footprint in short it is an advantage.

DGate
 

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Re: thinking of getting an insight

Dgate said:
I do not believe the small footprint is the problem but the fact the insight doe's not have any "toe in" or "toe out" on the steering geometry and as a result is more apt to move around on uneven surfaces.
I don't agree. Once your Insight and it's small footprint get caught in some grooves on a bad freeway, you will think differently. There is not enough tire to overcome road grooves easily.
 

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Re: thinking of getting an insight

I know your both right. Its simply an issue of semantics. How big is your groove thing?

"Grooves" of sufficient width will tend to "grab" a narrower tire more readily. However, much of this feel can be minimized by steering geometry amd suspension design choices, within a reasonable range of tire width.

The Insight designers choose the lowest rolling resistance geometry and light weight suspension at a sacrifice of tracking "feel". With your hands on the steering wheel any grooves can be safely negotiated.
 

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All I know is on a freeway trip once I almost had an accident because road construction grooves just about steered me into a semi.
 

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VelvetFoot: don't let the preceding discussion dissuade you from the Insight. The effect of large roadway grooves is noticeable but easily handled, and IMO trivial in the overall scheme of things. The Insight is a FUN car to drive! JoeS.
 

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"... I do not believe the small footprint is the problem but the fact the insight doe's not have any "toe in" or "toe out"..."

I have to agree. I've had even smaller cars than the Insight (Austin-Healy Sprite, for one), but don't remember seeing anywhere near as large an effect.

OTOH, the Insight is way better at grooves than your average motorcycle :)
 
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