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Honda Insight

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Comments

  • rcc442rcc442 Posts: 56
    I think the interior color was a design mistake to begin with. The exterior colors are fine; but a grey or charcoal interior color would have gone much better with all of them.
     
    Not asking for a "new" interior; just to manufacture all existing parts in a different color... don't even have to offer two colors!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,769
    Any manufacturing changes cost money. When you consider how much money Honda makes per Insight plus the low sales volume, even minor changes can be hard to justify business-wise.
  • xcelxcel Posts: 1,025
    Hi All:

    ___The Insight will be available in 2005 w/ no changes. It will be available to those that order one as of this writing. If you order one through your Honda dealership, you can expect to pay close to or at MSRP. You might find a dealership to order one for a grand or so over Invoice if you place a non-refundable large percentage of MSRP down payment possibly? MSRP or anything close to that price for any Hybrid is ridiculous imho. 2004 MY Insight’s production was halted in early summer IIRC and the same can be expected for 2005 if history repeats itself.

    ___Given the Insight’s low volume and unprofitable status per vehicle built, Honda is not going to improve upon there current capabilities or attributes at this point in time. Maybe if gasoline climbed to $6.00/gallon or more and people finally got serious about fuel economy and purchased boatloads of Insight’s, Honda might invest in improvements or an Insight II. As it stands, Honda still has the highest fuel economy capable automobile in the Insight available anywhere including the POS Lupo available in Europe.

    ___As for the mild/full hybrid discussion. I don’t know of any automobile available to us anywhere that has hit > 95 mpg in the city or > 115 mpg out on the highway. With that, the Insight 5-speed is your best choice for maximum fuel economy available anywhere. An Insight also forces one to sacrifice in areas one may not wish too. Some of these sacrifices include performance, ride, and handling and are inherent sacrifices to all hybrids available to date in one form or another. All of this doesn’t really matter of course because if you want greater fuel economy; you can achieve it from the vehicle you currently drive … if you so desire. Unfortunately, the practical fuel economy limits of all other automobiles can not come close to the fuel economy capabilities of an Insight 5-speed no matter how much we all wish our present automobiles (Hybrid’s, Diesel’s, or std. ICE’s) fuel economy to improve …

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne R. Gerdes
    ___2000 Honda Insight 5-speed #203 - 92.5 lmpg
  • rcc442rcc442 Posts: 56
    Thanks for the "insight".... especially on the pricing aspects. It would be difficult to place a large and/or non-refunable deposit having never even sat in one, let alone test driving one. Wonder why they'd only order one for you under those circumstances... if they are in demand, would seem they'd leap at (any) opportunity to order one. Then if you back out, they've got another to sell.
     
    How much lower MPG do you think there would be for the CVT? Your mileage is MUCH above the EPA estimates. Wonder if the continuously-variable transmission model could also be expected to beat the estimates?
     
    Have you ever experienced problems with the gas engine restarting so often (sounds like it will cycle on and off at every stop in city driving... quite an exercise for a starter)?
  • rcc442,

    The problem is that they are not in demand.

    Honda keeps making them because they can have the bragging rights for the highest mpg vehicle. This gets a lot of free publicity for Honda.

    XCEL is a pretty phenomenal driver for getting high mileage. I don't think many people can come close to what he can do. However, I think you can reasonably expect to get the EPA estimates and maybe a little better if you follow guidelines for getting maximum mileage.

    YMMV,

    MidCow
  • From my experience(around 35k miles), you can expect around 56 mpg in mixed driving from the cvt. I am not sure how that relates to the epa estimates. the 5-speed has a few advantages (more control of auto-stop, lean burn, etc) that result in greater potential impact on mpg by driving style.

    As for the starter, the insight does not use a conventional starter (except as a backup). The electric motor part of the drivetrain is used to start the gas engine.
  • Wayne (Excel) ,

    You have a 5-speed Insight. How well does the Insight AC coll down on hot (above 90 degreess0 days?

    I had a 1995 Acura Integra GSR and it colled very slow, maybe 5 minutes before you had real cold air. After I put in a cold air intake ( clear up a lot of the space take up by the factory air filter) it cooled much faster, taking only 1 minute.

    YMMV,

    MidCow

    P.S.- If I could ever find a car dealer that had a 5-speed Insight in stock that I could test drive, I might buy one. I am just not sure if I could handle the perfomance. However, I have test driven a Jetta TDI 5-speed twice and was pleased with the performance.

    P.S.S. -Wayne thanks for all of your insight and comments on the Hybrid forums. I for one really appreciate your knowledge and your point of view. Most of the time I fully agree with you!
  • billy5billy5 Posts: 4
    Greetings; On both of my Insights the AC has cooled the interior down very quickly, even on 103 degree days. Concerning the earlier post: Yes, Wayne is probably the best at getting high mpg. But really, any driver who WANTS to can do nearly the same thing, by re-thinking things in terms of: high tire pressure, slowing down, highway driving only, momentum, keeping OFF the brake pedal, very gradual acceleration, lean burn, watching the instant mpg graph. Billy....
  • rfruthrfruth Posts: 630
    Every car I've ever owned or ridden in that had a properly functioning A/C had/has cold air within seconds. I must say my current '00 Civic hatch requires a higher fan setting than most to stay comfortable but it does the job & there's cold air from the get-go.


    Xcel is a master at squeezing everything possible from a gallon of gas but I agree anyone who wants better MPG from whatever they drive can do so with some simple steps http://www.drivecleanacrosstexas.org/ - Astros in 7 !
  • On my way home from work, I usually drive with the fast work flow far left lane. But guess what there was a silver Insight I bascially had trouble keeping up with :) I guess he was in the correct lane at the right time. He seemed to do okay at 70-80 mph!

    My question about the air conditioning was because I agree with Rob , almost all cars I have driven except for one : 1995 Acura Integra GSR, had more than adequate cooling.

    Billy, Thanks for your answers.

    YMMV,
    MidCow

    P.S- Just put new tires, brakes, radiator flush on my commuter car. So I guess it will last a little longer.
  • Why do people automatically assume the Insight is slow and/or the air conditioning doesn't work?

    Seriously, I'd like to know.

    I own an Insight and it always amazes me when people come up to me and say, "How slow is it?" (shaking head) I wish people would stop making assumptions.

    Anyway, the Insight has a top speed of ~120 mph, and 10.5 second 0-60 acceleration. It's not slow. And the A/C gets so cold I need a winter jacket.

    The Insight is just like any other <100 hp car (Focus, Echo, Beetle, et cetera).
  • is near the "slow" end of the range offered by modern vehicles and is the most optimistic that I've seen among Insight test reports. Don't misunderstand, I admire the Insight's technology and consider it the best of the Hybrids thus far (in 5 spd form), but it is slow among modern cars and has modest handling and braking capabilities to boot.
  • I don't know much about cars, but I would like to buy an Insight to get high mpg (saving money is helpful) and to produce low greenhouse gas emissions (I work at being as green as I can afford).

       

    http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/findacar.htm has info on mpg and emissions. I selected the year, Honda, and Insight and it gave me info (and had links to other info) about various versions of an Insight. It seems I should be looking for an SULEV version in automatic because that's the only version that does both high mpg and low greenhouse gas emissions.

      

    I have several questions:

     

    (1) The other day I looked under the hood of a 2002 Insight at a used-car dealer near me and neither the salesperson nor I could see the version (SULEV, ULEV, ...) listed anywhere. Is there a foolproof way to find out the version?

     

    (2) Is it correct that if I want high mpg AND low greenhouse gas emissions, I need to find an SULEV+automatic? It seems that some of the versions have not very good emissions, but maybe I'm not interpreting that correctly.

     

    (3) To find an SULEV, would I need to get a car from California? Or do cars that meet the SULEV standard get sold elsewhere, even when new? Or are all Insights for the US market manufactured to meet the California standards (SULEV?), as my mechanic guesses?

     

    (4) If a Insight isn't an SULEV, can it be tuned by an everyday mechanic to have as low greenhouse gas emissions as an SULEV? (My mechanic says he doesn't have any information on variations in tuning Insights.)

      

    (5) Is there a way to get an analog reading of mph and mpg while driving? (An Insight I drove earlier this year--a 2000--had a always-changing digital reading of mph or mpg or both (I forget which), and I could see it might give me a headache in time.)

     

    (6) An Insight is pretty small. Does that make it less crashworthy? I do a lot of commuting on an interstate.

     

    (7) Is there year an Insight year that's especially reliable?

     

    (8) I don't see any online listings of Insights for sale that lists what version (SULEV, etc.) the car is. Is there a listing that does?

     

    (9) Am I going way overboard with this, in the sense that every Insight has such good emissions that going to great lengths to get the best emissions is foolish? I can't tell how much difference the difference makes.


     

    Thank you for your help. I'm not very car savvy, and yet I'd like to do this if I have a reasonable amount of confidence that I know what I'm doing.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,090
    I don't see any online listings of Insights for sale that lists what version (SULEV, etc.) the car is. Is there a listing that does?

     

    It is all confusing. I can tell you the SULEV rated Insight was produced for CA and the other CARB states. Also the CVT Insight gets about 9 mpg less than the Manual. The manual transmission Insight will put out less GHG than the CVT model. I would look for the best used Insight you can find. Preferably with some warranty left on it. No matter which version you get it will be very Clean and Green compared to most cars on the road. And best of all you are saving a lot of money on gas.
  • (10) I've had Honda's before. They all seem to do poorly at heating the passenger compartment in the winter. In the Insight the same? Or did they make the heater work better in the Insight?
  • xcelxcel Posts: 1,025
    Hi Shewith:

     

    ___Hopefully the following will help?

     

    (1) The other day I looked under the hood of a 2002 Insight at a used-car dealer near me and neither the salesperson nor I could see the version (SULEV, ULEV, ...) listed anywhere. Is there a foolproof way to find out the version?

     

    ___On my 5-speed, there is a sticker on both the back rear window and underneath the hood (look up, not down). The one on the rear window states &#147;ULEV&#148; (it is if run on low sulfur fuel) and the other under the hood shows Federal NLEV and California LEV compliance.

     

    (2) Is it correct that if I want high mpg AND low greenhouse gas emissions, I need to find an SULEV + automatic? It seems that some of the versions have not very good emissions, but maybe I'm not interpreting that correctly.

     

    ___No. GHG and high fuel economy are directly related. The Insight CVT&#146;s (not the manual) are offered in SULEV format (SMOG forming emissions are great but its GHG emissions are just good). The CVT&#146;s lack Lean burn and thus their actual and possible Fuel Economy is pathetic by comparison. I have read of 2 or 3 CVT&#146;s receiving into the low 70&#146;s for a segment distance whereas the 5-speeds (ULEV rated on low sulfur fuel) have easily surpassed 100 + mpg on both segments and whole tanks. This is where the GHG savings are actually achieved. SULEV is great for reducing SMOG forming emissions but it won&#146;t reduce GHG emissions in comparison to the 5-speed and it will not save you money at the pump much more if any then a std. Prius II will. I see too many mid 40 to low 50 mpg Insight CVT&#146;s around unfortunately.

     

    (3) To find an SULEV, would I need to get a car from California? Or do cars that meet the SULEV standard get sold elsewhere, even when new? Or are all Insights for the US market manufactured to meet the California standards (SULEV?), as my mechanic guesses?

     

    ___You might not find an Insight at all because they are now special order only and that window is closing up fast. If you find a new CVT on a lot, it will be SULEV-II rated.

     

    (4) If a Insight isn't an SULEV, can it be tuned by an everyday mechanic to have as low greenhouse gas emissions as an SULEV? (My mechanic says he doesn't have any information on variations in tuning Insights.)

     

    ___Again. GHG&#146;s are directly related to your Fuel Economy. A CVT has far less capability for reducing GHG emissions then a 5-Speed. Having a mechanic tune anything is asking for trouble in regards to emissions but there are hundreds of things you can do to achieve higher Fuel Economy with the Insight 5-speed being the top of the list as far as right off the lot.

     

    (5) Is there a way to get an analog reading of mph and mpg while driving? (An Insight I drove earlier this year--a 2000--had a always-changing digital reading of mph or mpg or both (I forget which), and I could see it might give me a headache in time.)

     

    ___You can turn off both the Instantaneous and the indicated fuel economy over the distance but if you want to reduce GHG&#146;s, maximum fuel economy is achieved by a study of the gauges over what ever terrain/temperature, weather conditions you are currently traversing. I wouldn&#146;t turn off these indications as they are a godsend for those of us that push the Insight to its extremes in terms of hypermile fuel economy and reducing GHG&#146;s.

     

    (6) An Insight is pretty small. Does that make it less crashworthy? I do a lot of commuting on an interstate.

     

    ___The smaller the vehicle, the higher the probability of injury in a collision with a larger vehicle. This is true no matter what size the car. As it stands, the Insight actually does pretty well for a vehicle in its class. The Honda Insight is rated by the NHTSA with 4 Stars out of 5 for frontal driver, frontal passenger, side impact - front seat, and Rollover.

     

    (7) Is there year an Insight year that's especially reliable?

     

    ___The Insight has changed very little from the 2000 MY to the 2005&#146;s so reliability will probably be ~ equal.

     

    (8) I don't see any online listings of Insights for sale that lists what version (SULEV, etc.) the car is. Is there a listing that does?

     

    ___Honda.com --> Automobiles --> Honda --> Insight --> Specifications. This will tell you most of what you need to know.

     

    (9) Am I going way overboard with this, in the sense that every Insight has such good emissions that going to great lengths to get the best emissions is foolish? I can't tell how much difference the difference makes.

     

    ___Not really. If you are purchasing an Insight to reduce GHG&#146;s and save the planet, the 5-speed is what you want although on high sulfur fuel it is only LEV rated. If you want to reduce SMOG related emissions, the CVT is cleaner but its Fuel Economy and performance are abysmal by comparison. I would consider an HCH or Prius II if you really want a CVT based automatic.

     

    Thank you for your help. I'm not very car savvy, and yet I'd like to do this if I have a reasonable amount of confidence that I know what I'm doing.

     

    ___Good Luck

     

    ___Wayne R. Gerdes

    ___2000 Honda Insight 5-speed lmpg (lifetime miles per gallon) = 92.5 mpg

    http://www.greenhybrid.com/compare/mileage/details.php?cid=54
  • xcelxcel Posts: 1,025
    Hi Shewith:

     

    (10) I've had Honda's before. They all seem to do poorly at heating the passenger compartment in the winter. In the Insight the same? Or did they make the heater work better in the Insight?

     

    ___No, there is not a problem with heat as the Auto-climate in the Insight works great indeed. With that being said, the more heat you use in the winter, the cooler the coolant temperature and the lower your Fuel Economy. The same in summer heat with heavy A/C use. A/C will knock a 5-speed&#146;s lean burn capability to 0 so you are back to maybe 55 mpg type numbers with A/C in use while out on the highway. The Hybrid&#146;s ICE&#146;s aren&#146;t big hulking 5.0 L V8&#146;s so they don&#146;t have the spare capacity to achieve both outrageous fuel economy while supplying you with absolute comfort in all climates. They will supply you with whatever temperature you need but at the expense of quite a bit of fuel economy. Oh, and in the heat of summer, the A/C when idling maybe not keep up with your own demands. Out on the highway or while tooling around town it will be fine but at idle, you might find it to be lacking a bit.

     

    ___Good Luck

     

    ___Wayne R. Gerdes
  • I have much more confidence going ahead with getting one. I appreciate your help in making things make sense.

     

    P.S. If the Insight is discontinued, is Honda likely to keep supplying parts?
  • yerth10yerth10 Posts: 428
    Looks like 2004 is the last year for Honda-Insight.

    I dont see the 2005 model in Honda's website itself

    while it is available for all other models.

     

    Honda must have designed it as a 4-Seater vehicle

    using its hatchback design. After all smaller

    Mini seats 4.

     

    Sad indeed.
  • xcelxcel Posts: 1,025
    Hi Yerth10:

     

    ___They are tough to get and will be discontinued early in the year just like the 04&#146;s if they have not been discontinued already but there is a shipment of 05&#146;s heading to the West Coast as we speak. A friend of mine actually has a delivery date for one into the Seattle area in just a few days. He has owned 2 previous and is actually hoping his latest to be the last available anywhere for not only its very unique attributes but its last of a kind status as well ;-)

     

    ___Good Luck

     

    ___Wayne R. Gerdes
  • brihambriham Posts: 33
    That's good to hear, I've been wondering about the longevity of the hybrids. My beef with the Honda Insight is that it is to small for the family. I'm looking at the Ford Escape Hybrid or possibly the Toyota Prius if it is big enough for my needs.

     

    Here is a good review of the Insight, Prius and Escape for anyone interested:

     

    Insight

    http://www.automedia.com/autoReviews/rts20031101hi/rts20031101hi.- asp?affid=

     

    Prius

    http://www.automedia.com/autoReviews/rts20031101tp/rts20031101tp.- asp?affid=

     

    Escape

     

    http://www.automedia.com/autoReviews/2005/ford/escape/rts20041101- eh.asp?affid=
  • boomer1bboomer1b Posts: 348
    That Honda has a 739 day supply of Insights on the ground waiting to be sold...........
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,769
    Did they mention what the daily sales rate is?
  • xcelxcel Posts: 1,025
    Hi Backy:

     

    ___Actually only (5) - 04 CVT&#146;s sold in November of last year. I know a few guys searching for brand new 5-speeds and they are nowhere to be found. Expect the 05 ordering cutoff to occur in about another month or two and then the Insight&#146;s run is over. A friend of mine in Washington State has had an 05 5-speed on order for over 3 months now and it is supposedly being built tomorrow or the next day. He is hoping for a delivery date of late February/early March.

     

    ___You might find the following link on Honda/Acura sales by model, Monthly comparison, and total YTD interesting …

     

    http://hondanews.com/CatID1001?mid=2004120151841&mime=asc

     

    ___Good Luck

     

    ___Wayne R. Gerdes
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,090
    Actually only (5) - 04 CVT&#146;s sold in November of last year.

     

    I think Honda is losing touch with what the public wants in a car. The Insight is designed for ultimate mileage and gets it with a manual transmission. Sounds like they are trying to unload those CVTs. They are not doing too good with the Accord either. People realize for a few bucks more you get the Acura name and a little more plushness. I see the cheapo Acura RSX is losing ground also. People are wanting room and comfort and are going for the Odyssey and Pilot. The gas scare is over. Bigger safer vehicles are back on the upswing.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,769
    Yes, the Insight was not a market success, but it did fill a need for some people better than any other car. It will be interesting to see what happens with this trend towards large vehicles once the current dip in gas prices is over and prices soar to an all-time high in February, which is the current prediction (I saw this in a USA Today story in December).
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    "Honda to stay with slow-selling Insight, says hybrid SUV not in 3-year plan

    YUZO YAMAGUCHI | Automotive News

    Posted Date: 1/4/05

    TOKYO -- Honda Motor Co. has no plans to remodel the poor-selling Insight hybrid.

    But it has no plans to kill the two-seater, either, says President Takeo Fukui, because it is the most fuel-efficient car sold in the United States. "That's an image car with the top fuel economy," he says.

     

    The Insight's U.S. November sales numbered only 5, down from 39 a year earlier. For the 11 months of last year, Honda sold only 575 Insights, a plunge from 1,124 in the year-ago period.

     

    The car was launched in 1999 to demonstrate Honda's fuel-saving technology. It is powered by an electric motor and a three-cylinder gasoline-powered engine. With a five-speed manual transmission, the Insight achieves 61 mpg in the city and 66 mpg on the highway. That tops the Toyota Prius' 60 mpg in the city and 51 on the highway.

     

    The Prius, which was launched in 2000, has been embraced by environmentally conscious Americans. In the first 11 months of this year, Toyota sold 47,704 Prius units in the United States, more than double the number sold in the same period of the previous year.

     

    Hybrid SUV not in 3-year planUnlike Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co. has no plans to build hybrid SUVs in the next three years.

     

    "For now, we are not thinking about it" for the three-year plan starting in April, says Honda President Takeo Fukui.

     

    SUV owners care little about fuel economy, Fukui says. "If they look for fuel efficiency," he says, "they could shift to a car."

     

    Fuel-efficient hybrids use gasoline- or diesel-powered engines teamed with an electric motor. Honda sells the Insight, the company's first hybrid, and hybrid versions of the Accord and Civic.

     

    View entire article here:

     

    http://www.autoweek.com/news.cms?newsId=101529
  • MPG = CO2/warming emissions. They are directly related.

     

    SMOG exhaust emission is controlled by the SULEV/ULEV rating. Although SULEV is lower at the exhaust, you also must consider emissions from the gasoline delivery truck, oil refineries, the supertankers, and the desert drilling wells. The less gasoline you burn, the lower the pollution along the *entire chain* from desert oil well to refinery.

     

    And that's why I chose the ULEV 5-speed Insight - because I'm getting 90 miles per gallon - and thereby reducing pollution along the whole chain from well-to-wheel.

     

    http://www.greenercars.org can offer you some more advice.

     

    troy

     

    P.S. If you buy a Civic Hybrid, try to get the PZEV version from California. It's warranteed to be SULEV for 150,000 miles...a great benefit for the consumer.
  • rfruthrfruth Posts: 630
    The Insight was one of the best investments Honda has made and this article tends to support

    that - snip - American automakers are accelerating their efforts in hybrid technology, with one notable success, but the Japanese lead over Detroit was in clear evidence as the North American International Auto Show got underway on Sunday.

     

    http://motoring.iafrica.com/motorshows/402673.htm
  • 2005 Insight -- I was just in my local Honda dealership yesterday and they had glossy 2-page brochures on the 2005 Insight. It included info on color choices and so forth. The car looks exactly like the earlier models. The in-dash CD player is standard. The interior color is a beige. With this info out there it looks like Honda will produce at least some 2005 Insights.
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