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Old 04-24-2018, 07:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Civic stolen - What next? - Plug in Prius

My 99 civic was stolen, so I'm looking for a car to replace it. Below are my choices so far. Please make comments on which one you think would be best. I like the first one, but it's older and the miles are high.

#1~ 2005 honda civic hybrid automatic - 165,000 miles $3500
The battery was replaced a few years ago, but it's 125 miles from my home.

#2~ 2010 toyota prius hybrid automatic - 127,000 miles $10,000
This is my second choice, but the price and upkeep is quite high.

#3~ 2010 honda insight hybrid automatic - 115,000 miles $7000
This would be my second choice, but has very poor vision to the rear.

#4~ 2008 honda civic hybrid automatic - 98,000 miles $5500
Wikipedia reports poor battery life and other issues.


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Old 04-24-2018, 08:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Of those, I would ignore the civic hybrids due to the battery pack. Did the insight use the same battery?

The Prius is a bit pricey with that many miles.

If the insight battery is more reliable than the civic hybrid, I would choose that.

What kind of commute do you have?
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Old 04-24-2018, 08:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j99civic View Post
#2~ 2010 toyota prius hybrid automatic - 127,000 miles $10,000
This is my second choice, but the price and upkeep is quite high.
Why do you say that? If anything, I would say the upkeep for a Prius should be cheaper than for a Honda hybrid. Honda's batteries and CVTs tend to be less reliable than the Prius'. If I were to get an older Honda hybrid, it would be one with a manual transmission.

What's your driving like? You could get an EV like a Fiat 500e or Spark EV for under $10k or a Volt if you occasionally need more range. There should be plenty of cheaper Prii in California.
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Old 04-24-2018, 10:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The 2010 insight apparently uses a better battery pack than the civic. I'm concerned with it's rear visibility.

I drive the old chevy 10 or 20 miles a week around town, used the civic for 250 mile road trips every 6 weeks or so and would do same with the next car. I might sell the old chevy this year and would use the next car for all driving.

The Prius would have higher ongoing cost for registration and insurance, but perhaps lower maintenance cost would balance that out. My driving style is roughly 3000 miles a year and conservative. The 5 speed civic averaged 50+ mpg.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vskid3 View Post
You could get an EV like a Fiat 500e or Spark EV for under $10k or a Volt if you occasionally need more range. There should be plenty of cheaper Prii in California.

That's good to know. I'm interested in EVs but don't know much about them. My one way trips are usually 125 miles, with a garage and smart charger at each end. I don't know if the chargers would work with hybrids or EVs but I could get new ones. I would like the car to be at least as safe as the civic was (which wasn't much) and no smaller.

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Old 04-24-2018, 10:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'd get a used volt. I'd like a Outlander PHEV but to expensive.
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Old 04-24-2018, 10:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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One nice thing about the gen III Prius is no belts. It has a timing chain, and no accessory belts.

That said, I'm always touting the Ford Fusion hybrid. 45 MPG in a super quiet, normal power, midsize sedan. The only thing missing is the utility of a hatchback with lots of room when seats are folded forward.
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Old 04-24-2018, 11:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j99civic View Post
#1~ 2005 honda civic hybrid automatic - 165,000 miles $3500
The battery was replaced a few years ago, but it's 125 miles from my home.

#2~ 2010 toyota prius hybrid automatic - 127,000 miles $10,000
This is my second choice, but the price and upkeep is quite high.

#3~ 2010 honda insight hybrid automatic - 115,000 miles $7000
This would be my second choice, but has very poor vision to the rear.

#4~ 2008 honda civic hybrid automatic - 98,000 miles $5500
Wikipedia reports poor battery life and other issues.
Except for the Insight all of those seem majorly overpriced. #1 should be $2000-$2500, #2 should be similar to the Insight, and #4 should be $3500-$4500.

I mean, that's going by prices near me, which honestly aren't the best compared to places like Chicago, Florida, etc.

Out of those four I'd go with the Insight, but honestly if I was shopping I'd keep looking for better alternatives.

Good luck to you though, hopefully you find a car that works out great for you!
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Old 04-24-2018, 11:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpg_numbers_guy View Post
Except for the Insight all of those seem majorly overpriced. #1 should be $2000-$2500, #2 should be similar to the Insight, and #4 should be $3500-$4500.

Out of those four I'd go with the Insight, but honestly if I was shopping I'd keep looking for better alternatives.

Good luck to you though, hopefully you find a car that works out great for you!
Thanks, that is quite helpful. I do like the Insight quite a bit.
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Old 04-25-2018, 08:10 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I would pass on the Civic hybrids. The HCH1 is a good car and only has marginally higher battery failure rates than the G1 Insight, but did not have the Insight's 10 year battery warranty. As such, most G1 Insights got new batteries between 2008 and 2016, whereas most Civic hybrids are still using their original batteries - or in junkyards due to failed ones. If you buy one, expect in the near future to need a new $1500-2500 battery. The CVT in these can realistically be expected to fail between 150k and 225k miles, so it sounds like that one is also in the last quartile of its transmission's life.

Early model year Insights may be getting close to end of life on their second batteries though (depending on the climate they've been driven in), so that's a consideration as well. Mine is still quite healthy and if taken car of, I might get 5+ more years out of it, but batteries in warmer climates age far more quickly. There is a project over on IC right now where several members are working on a drop-in lithium solution, but I would not buy the car on the expectation they'll ever get it working. Another member is using Prius cells, but this is a DIY solution and not remotely drop-in. That said, the car will run reliably on gasoline alone. Acceleration is poor unless you wring the engine out (which it will happily do for half a million miles), but you'll still get better fuel economy than any other car on the road. A bigger issue is that when the battery gets weak, you get a CEL which is an automatic fail on inspection in most states.

As far as reliability goes, the manual transmissions reliably develop a downshift grind into 2nd gear, but otherwise you can expect hundreds of thousands of trouble-free miles from the drivetrain. The engines run practically forever. 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. One annoying bit is that some car parts are simply not available anymore, even through Honda, and others are available only through Honda. Need engine mounts? Expect to pay $100+ for each of them.

I'm not intimately familiar with Priuses. I know both generations commonly burn a lot of oil as the miles add up, but this wouldn't bother me too much. I believe Honda builds more reliable and more efficient engines, but considering engines almost always outlast the rest of the car anymore, it's a bit of a moot point. I can say for certain that the Prius orbital gearbox is vastly more reliable than any CVT made by anyone. An orbital gearbox like those in the Volt and Prius are probably the only automatics I'd remotely consider after 200k miles, whereas there are a handful of examples of running G1 Insight manuals on the factory engine and transmission with 5-700,000 miles.

Speaking of the Volt, I would definitely add the it to your list.
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Old 04-25-2018, 10:35 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm a Honda guy, but a Prius is going to be more reliable than any Honda hybrid.

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