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Old 04-25-2018, 10:47 AM   #11 (permalink)
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When my partner was looking for a new car recently, after looking around at sub-$4000 options, she ended up going with a 5MT Fit. Driven gently, highway economy is not that much lower than a gen2 Prius. Stop and go would favor the Prius considerably, but most hybrids in warm clients will need a battery eventually, and the Fit has far more utility than any car with better economy.

If her budget had been higher we might've gone with a Volt. As-is, we'll take the Insight on long trips and use the Fit (or my trailer) for moving furniture.

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Old 04-25-2018, 11:06 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Stop and go would favor the Prius considerably
Depends on the driver!
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Old 04-25-2018, 11:25 AM   #13 (permalink)
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The automatics typically fail between 150k and 225k, much like on the HCH - avoid Honda CVTs unless you don't mind replacing it as your first real wear item to fail.
Thanks for those details. Are you saying to pass on 2009-2014 insights due to the CVT, or don't keep one past 150k miles?

What cars do you feel would be the best choices?
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Old 04-25-2018, 12:23 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j99civic View Post
Thanks for those details. Are you saying to pass on 2009-2014 insights due to the CVT, or don't keep one past 150k miles?

What cars do you feel would be the best choices?
I've heard of some CVTs lasting as long as 300k with gentle use and frequent fluid changes, so it's possible, especially for a hypermiler. I just would not count on it. I have no data on whether Honda's newer CVTs are more reliable than their older ones. You'd think they would have improved though?

Sub-$5k, I'd be looking at a Gen2 Prius, or perhaps a Scion or Fit hatch. The Fit has a wonderfully tall automatic transmission which I'd trust to fairly high miles, a great engine, and you can probably stuff a pool table into it and still close the hatch. It has a rather high CdA due to its shape, but still easily breaks 40mpg with an average driver. Looking at fuel logs here, several have more than 50mpg averages with a few having some tanks above 70.

If you're feeling adventurous or can find one with a new battery, a manual transmission Insight is still the king of the hill. There are still clean ones with low miles. I would not get an automatic G1 Insight. It stands to reason that one with ~100k miles would still have many good years left in it, but you're looking at potentially 20-40mpg more from the manual and that's a hard sell for me.

In the 6-10k range, I think the Volt would be my first choice. I don't think a Gen3 Prius is a bad choice and it does better on gas alone than a Volt, but a Prius doesn't put a grin on my face like a Volt does, and those all-electric miles are certainly sweet. Both have proven to be highly reliable vehicles.
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Old 04-25-2018, 12:32 PM   #15 (permalink)
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If those are your choices, I would go with the 2010 Insight. They've been very reliable cars and do a lot better MPG-wise than their EPA numbers suggest. They do have ring issues with the 2012-2013 MY and burn a lot of oil, but the 10-11 and 14-on MY cars are normal Honda engine reliability.

I would skip any second-gen HCHs.

https://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-...archRadius=100

This one in particular seems like a better deal:
https://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-...lCode1=INSIGHT

Last edited by samwichse; 04-25-2018 at 01:32 PM..
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Old 04-25-2018, 12:45 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Looking in your area there are a few G1 Insights for sale:

https://sacramento.craigslist.org/ct...534222165.html

^ Two automatic Insights for $4500. One of them has only 60k miles, the other has 148k miles and a failed CVT, but would make a good parts car if you need it. Lifetime mileage 47mpg likely from an Average Joe.

https://sacramento.craigslist.org/ct...566188217.html

^ 2003 automatic with 126k miles and no lights on the dash. - $3000

https://sfbay.craigslist.org/pen/cto...569916201.html

^ 2003 automatic with 140k miles and a new battery under warranty. - $2400

https://sfbay.craigslist.org/scz/cto...556292370.html

^ Just for giggles, a manual with 355,000 miles and no lights on the dash. - $1700
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Old 04-25-2018, 12:57 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I would not get an automatic G1 Insight. It stands to reason that one with ~100k miles would still have many good years left in it
The Insight above is G2. How is the rear visibility in your Insight?

Sacramento is not close to here. I'm south of San Luis Obispo, 93444.
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Old 04-25-2018, 01:21 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j99civic View Post
The Insight above is G2. How is the rear visibility in your Insight?

Sacramento is not close to here. I'm south of San Luis Obispo, 93444.
I drove 700 miles to get our Fit. Willing to travel for the right car?

This is what I see in my rearview mirror:




Subjectively, looking at the rearview mirror, it was worse than the 90's Civics I drove before I had my Insight, and worse than my partner's Fit. It's considerably better than either gen 2 or 3 Prius, which I feel have lousy visibility.

The side view mirrors have great visibility though, which I think is due to the significant rear taper of the car.
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Old 04-25-2018, 01:31 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I drove 700 miles to get our Fit. Willing to travel for the right car?
Yes I'm definitely willing to travel, but would have a hard time getting back with two cars, and not sure how to solve that dilemma.

Quote:
This is what I see in my rearview mirror:

Subjectively, looking at the rearview mirror, it was worse than the 90's Civics I drove before I had my Insight, and worse than my partner's Fit. It's considerably better than either gen 2 or 3 Prius, which I feel have lousy visibility.

The side view mirrors have great visibility though, which I think is due to the significant rear taper of the car.
Thanks. That looks quite bad to the sides.
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Old 04-25-2018, 01:55 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Yes I'm definitely willing to travel, but would have a hard time getting back with two cars, and not sure how to solve that dilemma.



Thanks. That looks quite bad to the sides.
Keep in mind that Gen1, then gen2 should be a bit better.

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