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Old 09-28-2018, 09:35 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: New Zealand
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ND Miata - '15 Mazda MX-5 Special Package
90 day: 40.51 mpg (US)
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An Insight post I haven't responded to yet?

I can believe in a decent $1000 G1. Few people want these cars. They're not super quiet. They're very slow with a failed battery. They have only two seats and look bizarre. Gas is rising, but people aren't thinking about it yet. It may be very easy to make one pass inspection with a bad battery, but it requires knowledge someone is unlikely to know unless they already own and care about one.

There are a bazillion used Priuses on the market for under $4,000 which will reliably deliver 45+ mpg, have trouble-free automatic transmissions, back seats, and batteries that don't fail. There are plenty of options with EV range for under $10,000 which are far more luxurious and cheaper to drive per mile, for those who care. The Insight is increasingly niche.

These are usually very reliable cars - I was just reading a Facebook post of one that had just rolled past 600,000 miles. It got its second transmission at 508,000, but otherwise hasn't had any maintenance to speak of. Chances are good that an Insight which won't start has either a very dead hybrid battery (which can be bypassed) and/or a dead 12v battery, and/or bad engine ground straps. Knowing what I know, I'd give it a 90% or better chance I could get it going and make it inspectable for under $50.

Without a hybrid battery, they're definitely not fast, but they'll still easily overtake any classic VW or Geo Metro. They're not nearly as fun to drive, but no less reliable, and even with a bad battery, 50+ mpg in any but the worst stop an go traffic is not only achievable, but easy.

Would I recommend one to friends a family at this point? Probably not. But I'd definitely help an enthusiast out on this forum.
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