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Wanted an Insight - bought a diesel Civic

3269 Views 25 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  The Citrus Smoothie
Well, after visiting the forum here for the last few months with a view to buying an Insight - I finally put down a deposit on a Civic diesel (3 door, 1.7 CTDi SE).

I've been waiting for the right Insight to become available (new'ish, low mileage, right price) for a while now, but nothing has come up, or I've missed it. These cars are quite rare in the UK.

The Civic I bought has the Isuzu engine, I'm not sure how much of it is Honda developed - I think just the block is Isuzu and I have the 2004 model which has been further refined. It will certainly offer more torque than the Insight, but only about 3/4 of the economy. I considered a few other Euro diesels with better economy from Renault/VW/Audi, but I like the Civic.

Perhaps I will get an Insight 2 when/if they arrive, or who knows, maybe a new Civic with a totally Honda developed diesel similar to the new Accord (new Civic currently being developed).
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That's a good choice. Honda is known for producing clean cars (there are *3* Civics in's 10 cleanest cars list), and I'm sure the diesel is no exception.

Hmm. Big mistake I'd say.
The next-gen (2006) Civic will be shown in Geneva next week as a Show-Car and in Frankfurt in Autumn the car will make it's world debut.
It will come as a three, five-door hatch and a coupe. The hybrid will get the i-Vtec system and a 2,0 litre Honda own engine is certain.
I disagree with No.166 - I think that a diesel Civic is probably the best choice after an Insight. It has proven reliability, is reasonably economic and a great car for the money.

However, one area that I agree with No.166 is that it may not be wise to buy a new Civic when a whole new version is around the corner. You will take an even bigger hit than usual with the depreciation. I would have suggested buying a second hand diesel Civic/Accord(?) to keep you going until the new Civic hybrid comes out or even better the Insight 2 (please Honda please!!)
My Civic is a used, but nearly new car (04 reg) - I got it for a very good price from my local Honda dealer. It's 'trade' value is currently quoted as being £100 less than what I paid for it!
I wanted warranty and low milage for 25k miles per year commuting.

I did know the new gen Civic is not far away, but there is no firm date for it's arrival, it could be 8-24 months - revised car models are always just around the corner, but I think it's probably wise not to buy for a few months until teething problems have been sorted. The only safe bet for a mid size car (that I like) would have been the new Golf at quite a considerable extension to my budget.
Excellent choice then! Shame you couldn't get an Insight, maybe next time. :)
If only we had such choices here in the states. I would love to check out a diesel Honda. My diesel VW is nice, but they are the only game in town.
I have to agree with No. 166, I would have gone with the Insight if I were you Stoner. All the other hybrid cars out today are Insignificant to the Insight, and plus the Insight is way more NICER looking than any other hybrid out there, or atleast I think it is.
Forgetting the gas mileage of the Insight, it also is a very clean running car. A diesel is not.
Forgetting the gas mileage of the Insight, it also is a very clean running car. A diesel is not.
I am with you there Resist. I mean after all the Insight is the most fuel- efficient car in the world. I have yet to see any other hybrid car out do the Insight's MPG's, which ain't going to happen anytime soon. :wink:
I've heard a lot of mixed things about the cleanness of diesel vs gas. I have no idea who is right, but the debate is out there.

A diesel compact car getting 50 or so MPG is nothing to get sent to hell over.
Chris said:
Forgetting the gas mileage of the Insight, it also is a very clean running car. A diesel is not.
I am with you there Resist. I mean after all the Insight is the most fuel- efficient car in the world. I have yet to see any other hybrid car out do the Insight's MPG's, which ain't going to happen anytime soon. :wink:
There's a non-hybrid that gets 90 MPG highway (the Lupo). They don't sell it here, because they think it will flop (like insight did). Americans don't buy high mpg cars... they buy gas-guzzlers. So no Lupo & <500 insights per year. (sad)

Also, here's a SULEV-2 / PZEV diesel so let's stop the nonsense about diesels being dirty. That statement was true in the 1990's but not anymore. Come join us in the new millenium! :D ... ewsid=7395

Oh, and before you say, "It's just a concept car"..... Ford will be bringing Ford Focus diesels to ultra-clean California in 2006.

euro diesel

"Forgetting the gas mileage of the Insight, it also is a very clean running car. A diesel is not."

I'm certain I read that European diesel is very low sulphur or sulphur free - therefore much cleaner than our diesel here in the states. The US really isn't trying very hard to clean up its environmental act. Apparently, our Insights would benefit greatly from low sulphur gas, but try to find it...
Diesels are becoming very popular over here and are a far cry from what they used to be 5-10 years ago - they currently make up 40% of car sales in Europe. I recon that figure will continue to grow unless hybrids start to take off.
Honda messed up with the Civic IMA, compared to a diesel performance is poor and economy is only comparable. Everyone is scared of the technology so would rather have the proven reliability and torque of a diesel. Same too with the Prius.
Maybe Honda will make it big with the next gen Civic IMA, and the Insight 2 if it happens, then we might get to see some hybrid diesels being developed - now that would be good :wink:
Is there something i don't know...if new diesels are getting top mpg as are gasoline hybrids then why is nobody producing an diesel hybrid and taking mpg to even higher levels?

___For a Diesel to meet the Euro IV emissions spec (they won’t be allowed in the states at those levels by 07), add ~ $1,000 - $1,500 for the DPF and Lean-NOx CAT. On top of that, add $3,000 - $5,000 for the hybrid Drivetrain. It adds up very quickly for a compact/sub-compact sized automobile.

___If the upcoming 06 Civic - Diesel (Honda’s own designed iCDTi) was created from a smaller block (1.0 - 1.3 L) or thereabouts and the Accord’s IMA was mated, you would easily receive 75 + mpg and have the short run performance of an HCH today. The problem is that it would cost close to $23,000 here in the states just to meet Tier II-Bin 5 specs. Do you know anyone that would purchase a Civic EX w/ 0 - 60 in 12 second performance that received double the EX’s mileage for $22,000 - $23,000? Not all that likely when a regular EX can be found in the $16,000 range, does the 0 - 60 dance in around 8.5 - 9.0 w/ a stick, and can receive in the mid 40’s when driven similarly.

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:6xj6zimm][email protected][/email:6xj6zimm]
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Resist said:
Forgetting the gas mileage of the Insight, it also is a very clean running car. A diesel is not.
Actually, the Insight is no longer one of the "cleanest" cars out there. Sure, it gets better mpg than most, but it's rated as a ULEV car (ultra low emissions vehicle), which is a darn sight dirtier than the new PZEV category (partial zero emissions vehicle). What this means is that you can now buy a conventional Ford Focus for $10k that produces fewer pollutants than an Insight.

But still, I love my Insight. :p

That said, diesel cars are not the "bad guys" the used to be. Modern diesels are not only very efficient, but produce much fewer emissions. In Europe they can run a catalyst on the cars because they have ultra low-sulfur diesel fuel (ULSD). This will not be available until 2006 in the U.S. That's why there isn't a lot of choice in the diesel-car market here now. But when ULSD becomes widely available in the U.S. (it's just now creeping into the market in Calif.), we'll have a lot more choice because more carmakers will jump in.

Diesels produce way less hydrocarbon emissions than gas cars, and diesel fuel is also easier and less-pollution to manufacture than gasoline. Plus, if you have a diesel car, you can run it on biodiesel and then you're really saving the planet. :D
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Skimmer wrote:
"Diesels produce way less hydrocarbon emissions than gas cars"

I would be very interested in seeing your data and/or understanding the specific context of your statement. Do you mean all vehicles, including trucks? diesel cars vs. gas cars collectively, only? or just plain comparitive HC emissions per mile?

I'm aware that the sulfer content in European diesel fuel is significantly lower than that currently available in the USA. However, the pollution from diesel vehicles in densely populated regions of Europe remains problematic. My understanding is that low sulfer diesel fuel won't be mandated in the USA until some time in 2008.

Diesel emissions in the USA have a profound impact on human health, particularly in cities, and they seriously affect people who suffer from asthma and chemical sensitivity. Higher asthma rates per capita in cities have been attributed to diesel vehicle emissions.

Emissions inspection of diesel powered trucks in my home state, despite the laws, is effectively non-existant, and basically a joke. (This is fact, not opinion.) The black clouds emitted from about 30% of the big trucks in this area probably contain more hydro-carbons and particulate than the collective emissions of all Insights, Prii, and "clean" Ford Foci worldwide. That's why I have a charcoal fan/filter system inside of my low-hydrocarbon-emission Insight.
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Stoner - how about this for Sod's Law - there is a silver 2002 5sp Insight, 51K miles for £4750 at a Honda dealer on right now. Presumably they could be knocked down to at least £4,500 - now that is CHEAP! Tempted to buy it myself but now hanging out for a white Insight.

Regarding the diesel debates above, I will repeat that (European) diesels have come on in leaps and bounds in recent years. Common rail diesel engines often have as much BHP as comparable size petrol engines but at least 50% more torque!

Diesel emissions are now much reduced especially when combined with particulate filters, which are becoming more and more common. Xcel - prices are similar to petrol versions. The only thing which has not much improved is their CO2 emissions which the Insight still wins hands down at 80g/km.
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Yes, that is cheap! Suspiciously so, considering it's from a Honda dealer.
I wonder what's wrong with it :roll: :p

Happy with my Civic for now - there's no going back!

PS. where will you get a white one? I looked into importing one, but there's no model report for the Insight yet, annoyingly.
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