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Can you pigeon-hole yourself? What type of people own the Insight?

  • Student (Cheap to run!)

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  • Environmentalist (Great Technology!)

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  • None of the above (please post)

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Discussion Starter #1
Try again! I thought it might be interesting / fun to see why people bought the Insight. It often depends on the type of person you are.....


Moderator Note: the original post (v.1) has been deleted in favor of this one... benjamin
 

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None of the above...

Well, not quite true. We use Green Mountain for electricity (wind-generated power) and have been recycling for longer than it has been trendy, so maybe we're environmentalists after all... but in all fairness...

Unlike many of you, my wife (highly intelligent in many areas, cars
not being one of them) fell in love with the LOOK of the car first,
having seen a silver one on the highway right after New Year's Day 2002, and having no clue as to the technological prowess contained therein. She came home and said "I saw my next car" and described the car... a "Honda Hybrid" (as in "Hybrid" being the model name). I subscribe to many technical and car magazines, so I (kind-of) knew what she was talking about, and described in detail what we would be getting if her initial impressions resulted in our acquiring a new toy. We've been married 17 years, known each other for 10 years longer, no kids (2
seats OK), consider ourselves adventurous, fun-loving, and looooove
to travel (have also a Saturn SW2 and a Dodge conversion van [the "Big *** Van"]). The BAV doesn't see a lot of miles (I work from a home office mostly) but it's ideal for hauling me, my beloved, and our 4 other closets friends or clients around. It's 15 mpg-16mpg, but I like to say, it now gets 30 mpg when I average the BAV and the Insight... :lol:

That very weekend, we went shopping, saw a Silver 2001 CVT in our dealer's lot, drove it, looooved it, and she wanted it more than ever after learning of the uniqueness of the car. They were having a huge sale
($5000 discount!), the salesperson knew next to nothing about the vehicle (I educated HIM on the car), and the knowledge I had of the vehicle convinced me this was a cool deal. I cut him a check for
$16999 + TTL, plus (yes I know but hey, it's new technology and all
that, and my peace of mind is worth the few extra bucks) an extended
100K/7 yr warranty, with no deductibles.

From the beginning, we knew this car was capable of outstanding
mileage and performance. But as my beloved, as explained above, has
little patience with things mechanical, and I know better than to try to challenge her many charms, we knew the car would be driven as a normal car. No concern for extra-special LMPG, no extraordinary
attempts to extend MPG in ordinary driving. We would just drive it
as though it was a Civic. Heresy, I know, but perhaps our experience may be of value to others who may benefit from our history and observations.

So. In November 2002 we took our second long trip, a ten-day blast from
Dallas area to D.C. to visit kin. I drove exclusively that time,
temperature in the 40s, with an average speed of 66.7 MPH for the
entire trip according to the GPS. 50 Lbs pressure in all corners as
repeatedly suggested here and in other fora. I normally drive 75-85 on the interstates, and we still got 53 MPG overall. Our LMPG is right at
that figure as well, with ~12,900 mi. on the odo. Our first long trip? To Zion National Park in Utah, returning home via Pike's Peak back in May of last year! It was a hoot and a half.

As our "cool" car, my Beloved does not use the Insight as much as the SW2 (which has virtually no trade-in value, so we're running it into the ground on her 40-mile daily commute, until it dies... but as reliable as it has been, this may be a long ways off). Compelling reasons: The parking situation for my beloved is hinky (lots of door dings and scrapes on normal cars, no real problem outside of cosmetic damage on the SW2 with the "plastic" sides), the mileage is pretty good (she manages 30-35 mpg), and every mile she puts on the SW2 is a mile she doesn't put on the Insight. So I've encouraged her to stick with the SW2 as much as possible. The Insight remains our neatest toy, the best travel car, the coolest kid magnet (and adult magnet too) in all our social interactions, and since we have the luxury of not having to drive it daily, we hope to maintain it in "like new" condition longer than our other vehicles. Plus (biggest reason): I get to drive it more that way! Heee hee hee hee...
 

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I bought the Insight while I was still an engineering graduate student; I'm definitely a geek and also an environmentalist. And the fuel savings over the expected life of the car convinced me to make the purchase on the spot after test driving it. Since I couldn't vote for all four, I chose the "environmentalist" slot although the "geek" slot came close...
 

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Geek enviromentalist penny pincher
 

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I have to go with Geek in first followed closly by Student/Cheapskate and Environmentalist. I had wanted one since they first came out and have only recently had the finances and need for a new car (My 12 year-old Toyota pickup (28MPG) is dying :cry: )
 

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Well, although some who know me might beg to differ, I don't see myself as fitting in with any of the above categories. I am a certified gear head, and bought my Insight because it was new, different, and very rare in Kansas where I was living when I bought it. The dealer told me at the time that it was only the second one sold in Kansas, although I have no way of confirming that nor will I try. I had read articles about the Insight in Car & Driver and Autoweek, went for a test drive, loved the car, went in and talked the details, walked out with the keys, then went home to figure out whether or not I could afford it. I was purely an impulse buy, and I've been happy every day now approaching three years with my Silver Spacepod since the day I drove home with it. Unfortunately, the addition of a family member for me in July might make my remaining time with my Insight shorter than I'd like, but I'm trying to figure out a way to allow my family to expand while keeping my Insight under my ownership. I'm going to look at a Mini this weekend, because if I have to part with my Insight I'll only do it if I'm gonna be getting another wacky cool car!
 

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We primarily purchased our 2003 5 sp Silver Insight as our commuter car because I drive alone ~300 miles a week to work. This would qualify as both cheapskate & environmentalist.

However, I've become increasingly aware of my unconscious motivation to make a political statement anti-Anwar drilling/ anti-SUV/ anti-'it's the end times so who cares about the environment' attitude.
 

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i got it because it's different and efficient.

when i drive "normal" cars, it seems like such a waste turning all that moving energy into heat instead of electricity!

though i am kicking myself for getting the CVT. it's not as efficient :(
 

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Hambone said:
Well, although some who know me might beg to differ, I don't see myself as fitting in with any of the above categories.
Hambone, don't know you, but after reading your post, hate to break it to you, but... you're a geek!

:)
 

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Tim Maddux said:
Hambone, don't know you, but after reading your post, hate to break it to you, but... you're a geek!

:)
Yeah, you're probably right! :p
 

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I bought the Insight because I've long been fascinated by things that fulfill the term "appropriate technology". It is a beautiful thing that does what it does well and the Insight is the perfect vehicle for doing the thing I do most often: Drive myself or myself and one other person from one place to another.

In the Insight, steering is smooth and effortless. Accelleration is fun. Stopping is predictable, safe and quite controlled. Parking is easy. The seats are comfortable and both my wife and I are comfortable in it, despite our 10" height differential. The light, rigid frame is safer than most cars in a crash and the good braking, accelleration and steering minimize the likelihood of there being one. The Insight is not particularly expensive for a new car, costs very little for fuel and not much extra for maintenance (fewer cheap tire or oil options, unless you are willing to give up gas mileage). It's instrument panel also puts the individual where the society needs to be focussed: On consuming less gasoline.

What's not to love? And what does that make me for choosing it? What label do I deserve?

Let's contrast it with the average choice one encounters on the road:

SUVs. I prefer to call them BUTTs: Big Ugly Toy Trucks. The design is basically that of a small livingroom on wheels. They reduce the driving experience to that of watching TV on a big screen. They don't accellerate well, brake well or steer well. They are hell to park. They waste gas, pollute and despite the illusion of safety, they kill more often, both occupants (often in single-vehicle accidents) and bystanders. Insurance figures show about triple the death rate both for people they hit and for single-vehicle accidents. Internal space is inefficiently arranged such that they can't carry particularly large cargos, and for the size of the vehicle, they don't even carry all that many people. Also, since they give the manufacturer more profit than anything else they make, it is clear that a purchaser is getting the least for their money.

Okay, here's my lable: Wise. I think we all should wear it openly, hoping the fools in their rolling dens would eventually wake up or grow up.

As for those rare times when I need to carry more people or more stuff (the kind of event people use to justify buying their SUV), I kept my 40mpg 1992 Honda Civic, put a trailer hitch on it and bought a 3/4 ton 5'x8' trailer to tow behind it. At 209,000 miles, it still does most of what the Insight does, though not quite as well.

The Civic lacks anti-skid brakes, electric power steering, gets a little over half the gas mileage, pollutes less than any truck, but more than the Insight, and at 11 years old, the upholstery is showing signs of my abuse of it. To its credit, it accellerates better, carries twice the people and many times the cargo. It's also been quite nice to have during this time period between the SUV destroying my 2000 Insight and Honda delivering my 2003 Insight, expected in a little over a month.
 

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I'm a Geek

I'm a Geek and can't wait until an Insight is powered by anti-matter :)

Will M brings up an excellent point on free space inside cars. In a high-speed collision, objects inside a car become missles. Some people have litterally been killed when a flying garage door opener flew into their head. :shock:

I'm going to try to put this nicely: the kind of people that drive Insights don't require a V-8 just to haul their ego. I suspect that some of the larger vechicles carry only that.
 

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It's soooo close. I am an environmentalist by trade and I love the technology the Insight provides. I'm also a geek and I drool when I think of all the engineering that went into the car. It's simply amazing!

And I also think Delta Flyer hit the nail on the head with the comment about big egos and big SUVs. I think that's the reason the V-10 was invented.
 

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Ya know I was answering a question today for one of our agents who had a Lawer that had a Ford F-550 super duty truck for his daily driver. Ok for those of us that arnt too up on commercial trucks f550's are usually cab chassis that dump or tow truck beds are added to. this guy had one that was just a big 2 1/2 ton pickup truck. I guess the Excursion was too tiny for his ego. But I digress. I have 3 vehicles for specific jobs 1 2003 Honda insight (commuter, travel car)
2 97 toyota corolla ( wifes car usually sits as we drive to work together) 3 72 ford F100 ( grand pa's old pickup used for picking up materials truck stuff sits about 50 weeks a year and will still pass a emissions test with the straight 6
 

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None of the above. I drive 70 miles a day round trip to work on a very flat, no traffic, few stops road. Just made sense to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I like Will M's pigeon-hole label that he is 'Wise'. In our own way, all Insight owners must be wise to a certain extent. Any Insight owners disagree?

Separately:
gomarlins3 said:
I drive 70 miles a day round trip to work on a very flat, no traffic, few stops road.
Gomarlins3 - You must have a great lifetime MPG with a commute like that. Or do you have a heavy right foot like me?
 

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Because.
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Okay real answer: I'm a geek that loves techno-toys! My next car will be that 240 mpg spacecar from Volkswagen. I think that looks soooo cool.
 

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Definately a geek. A network admin and server support by day, technogeek by night, I enjoy the technological aspects of the car, what other car has that kind of software running it other than a Giant Earth Mover? Love it. Have driven other hondas, a few SUVs, a m3 and needed to still be able to tow a small boat, so I kept my 2000 4 runner for those days when I need to tow, or the snow is too deep for the Insight.

Love it. I have some mods going in to the Insight that I will post links to soon, including the new Kenwood stereo.

Michael
 

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I would fit into the cheapskate/tightwad-environmentalist category, if there was one. I moved 51 to 73 miles(depending on which way I go) from where I work, so a 102 to 146 mile roundtrip was burning a hole in my wallet since my Civic was "only" getting about 37MPG. Filling up every three days was not fun. Now it's about once a week. That's the tightwad part. The environmentalist part of me is a Vegan(strict vegetarian), buy organic as much as possible, Arbor Society member, Save The Whales, etc, etc. There might be a little "Geek" in the mix also.
 

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For me over the course of my career each job was farther away from home. By the time I needed a replacement vehicle, I was looking for something with excellent gas mileage as a commuter car, strictly. I only learned about the Honda because it was one of the best mileage cars made. It ended up on my short list.

I had a number of misgivings about buying such a tiny car, no matter what the technolgy inside it was. I work on power conversion products for a living, so I understand more about the nuts and bolts of the technology than most folks do. I had no green motivation nor geek motivation for buying the car.

The Insight is the first car I had that I became enthusiastic about. Any other car I've owned or driven was nice when new, just transportation when old. I travel in my job and drive rental cars all the time. I'm always glad when I get back home so I can drive my Insight again.
 
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