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Old 04-06-2018, 04:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Calling Vx Owners! Would you trade for first gen Insight?

I've mulled around the idea of buying a first gen insight and selling my 92 honda hatch vx. It has been a great car and I haven't had any problems with it, but the thought of something 10 years newer does sound good. These are some of things that may be a nice change.

AC sounds nice, although I did install it in my vx, but have to charge it and put the belt on. Not that big of a deal.

Less road noise??

Simply more modern interior, are there cupholders that hold more than can of soda?? lol.

Cruise Control, not willing to install that on the VX. Too much effort IMO.

Added MPG, but not really too concerned about that. I get 45mpg in the winter and 55-60 in the summer/warmer months. It's been that way for the last 7 years I've had it.

I figure the insight might be more freeway speed friendly? Sure, the vx does 75 but not in lean burn mode unless you have a tail wind. lol. If I'm going to get 30mpg going 75 across the state, I might as well take a different more luxurious car.

Would you trade your VX for a first gen Honda Insight Manual?

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Old 04-06-2018, 04:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Ron Burgundy (retired) - '01 Honda Insight base
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Quote:
AC sounds nice
AC makes an Insight feel like it's towing a parachute when it kicks in, plus you'll never see a best tank with it on

Quote:
Less road noise??
Insight has plenty of road noise, you're only about 4 inches off the ground and the frame is very minimal. Putting a full belly pan on my first Insight helped a little

Quote:
Simply more modern interior, are there cupholders that hold more than can of soda??
OEM seats are cheap and thin. Fuzzy door panels get dirty easily. Cup holders are soda can size. You'll need to add your own center console, they don't come with one

Quote:
Cruise Control, not willing to install that on the VX. Too much effort IMO.
I owned two Insights and it was too much effort for me to put cruise on either one of them, although I did manage to install 3-button shift knobs with brake, clutch and kill buttons on both lol

Quote:
Added MPG, but not really too concerned about that.
When you own an Insight it will be your first concern, and the mpg bug will dictate your every move in the car. You'll ride your bike, walk or bum rides for short trips so they don't throw off your tank. Wind, rain, traffic backups will ruin your day. You'll strategize every trip in the car, you'll tell friends you're busy and can't give them a ride, and your car will force you to modify your driving habits to optimize mpg (it's a common sickness most Insight owners have).

Quote:
I figure the insight might be more freeway speed friendly?
Only if it's all downhill with a tail wind and you're guaranteed that a semi will be available to draft (and you don't hit the AC button). You'll also end up hating lean burn on the highway since the purge cycle makes you work harder, and if you do end up putting cruise control on it I have no idea how the purge cycle would affect it.

Insights are like boats. The best two days of ownership are the day you buy it and the day you sell it! That being said, I still loved both of my Insights and still miss them a little
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Last edited by cowmeat; 04-06-2018 at 05:13 AM..
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Old 04-06-2018, 07:16 AM   #3 (permalink)
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As much as I'd love to disagree with Cowmeat, he's right on most points.

The Insight is noisy, has small cup holders, the seats are stiff (I definitely want new seats), A/C saps significant power from the tiny engine, and if you want cruise control you'll have to install it yourself - I did. The MPG bug is real, but it has faded with time for me. You're also not going to maintain lean burn on level ground at more than maybe 65-70mph, but you can still expect 70mpg+ at those speeds in a properly maintained car.

Expect to need a grid charger, the hybrid battery is the weak point in these cars but a grid charger can limp along a weak battery for a very long time. Most will have a weak one at 17-18 years old, and a replacement is $1000-2000.

The only bit I disagree on is that I still love owning and driving my car.

With stiffer rear springs it's a joy to drive. Some perks include an aluminum chassis, which means you get to laugh at road salt, and the lack of a timing belt. Low-end torque is pretty great if your hybrid system is functioning properly, and as your battery gets weak and eventually dies, you won't get stranded - it drives reliably (if without much power) as just a conventional gasoline car.

BTW you really should be getting more than 30mpg at 75 in your VX. Speed murders economy on any vehicle, but I'd expect 10-15 more than that.
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Old 04-06-2018, 08:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I would go for the Insight, but for an extra reason not mentioned:

It's an econerd's supercar. It should be on every ecomodder's automotive bucket list.

I doubt there will ever be another mass market car where the designers will be allowed to pursue efficiency so relentlessly (for proof: the car has FIVE freakin' fuel economy gauges).

Every single time I drove mine, I marvelled at what Honda allowed the engineers to do.

Almost all of my driving was with hybrid assist disabled to prolong the life of the aging battery, yet I still loved piloting it. (I still used regen though.) With mods, in my usual driving environment, 100 MPG+ / 2.3 L/100 km was attainable all day long in warm weather.

Amazing machine.

If you have the chance, do it.
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Old 04-06-2018, 08:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
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PS: I've never driven a VX, and it's been close to a decade since I've even seen one. By the time I would have considered getting one, they were but distant rusty memories around here.
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Old 04-06-2018, 02:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Once you get out of lean burn with the Vx you're pretty much sitting at about 30mpg at highway speeds. Holding 65mph is about where it sits to stay in lean burn and at that point you're sitting right at 50mpg. Tail wind, head wind, incline become major factors from there.

My vx is very clean and no rust from what I can see. It's been great. It has 295K miles on it and it still performs well. I'm sure it is missing a few ponies simply on lower compression from wear and tear over 295k miles. I went through the whole engine when I got it with the exception pulling the head. I don't mess with the engine head if it doesn't need it. Doesn't leak at all. I think at this point, I simply couldn't justify getting a first gen insight since it sounds like a complete uncomfortable ride as well. My vx is super noisy on the freeway, especially on concrete sections.

My major POINT that I was hoping to achieve was much better freeway speed/economy. I can rebuild the power plant in the VX for $1500 and I'd be good to go for another 300k miles. By that time the rest of the car will probably completely fall apart and at the rate I put miles on it, I will be dead by then. lol. My next car will likely be complete EV, but I was hoping for something in between now and then. I'm still no keen on EV prices and adoption at this point.
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Old 04-06-2018, 02:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Nothing matches a G1 on the highway.




But yes, it's far from the most comfortable car in the world.

You can get pretty darn close in Hyundai/Kia's new hybrids though, and they're not half bad to sit in, and have comparatively oodles of power. And, any PEHV will deliver excellent economy until the battery runs out. I'd be sorely tempted to get a Niro PEHV if I had to buy a new vehicle, and the Volt is on my shortlist in the $6-10k range.
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Old 04-06-2018, 02:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Another gratuitous Insight MPG readout pic!



50 MPH cruising speed, ~380km round trip. Includes going through a small city and a bunch of small towns.

That's aeromodded.

http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...uft-25223.html
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Old 04-06-2018, 02:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by live4soccer7 View Post
I simply couldn't justify getting a first gen insight since it sounds like a complete uncomfortable ride as well.
I didn't find mine uncomfortable at all.

Quote:
My major POINT that I was hoping to achieve was much better freeway speed/economy.
Aeromods.

There are more than a few Civic (VX and non-VX) projects on here to take inspiration from.

Aeromods are IDEAL for lean burn vehicles: drag reduction widens the lean burn envelope and you get out-sized MPG results from the mods compared to a non-lean burn car.
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Latest mods test: 15 mods = 15% MPG improvement: A-B test, 2007 Honda Civic 1.8L, 5-speed
Ecodriving test:
Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown: Nissan Micra 1.6L



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has launched a forum for the efficient new Mitsubishi Mirage
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Old 04-06-2018, 02:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks for the pics and info everyone. I think for the time being that I'll stick with the good old vx. If I come across a manual first gen insight locally then perhaps I'll take a look at it and see.

What are some of things I would/should look for on a new one? I'm new to the hybrid arena, but am quite experienced with ICEs.

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