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Old 06-10-2015, 10:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Honda Insight 2000-2006 vs.

Hello,

I am looking to buy my first vehicle ever, I need it to commute to work. Thus far, I've been living in the city, close to work and have been biking year round. I'm now going to be moving out of the city so bicycle is no longer an option.

I don't know much about vehicles but know that I want a fuel efficient one, used and preferably under $3k. I've come across Honda Insight and see it can get over 50mpg.

Now, my question is, why do I keep seeing comments saying 2000-2006 are the desirable ones vs 2007-present?

Any additional info would be appreciated, a crash course would be thoroughly welcome. My current situation only materialized itself about two weeks ago, along with figuring out the vehicle I'm also juggling apartment searching along with job prospects. I have about two months to get this sorted out.

Thank you!

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Old 06-10-2015, 10:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The 2000-2006 gets better mileage than the 2010 and newer Insight. And can be had with a manual transmission.
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Old 06-10-2015, 10:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The 2000-2006 Honda insight gets 20MPG+ than the 2007-2014. The 2000-06 insight is only a 2-door 3 cylinder 1.0L while the 07-14 is 4 door, 4 cylinder 1.2L.

Only really, really bad drivers get 50mpg. I haven't seen an insight driven by a diligent driver get under 60mpg. Hell, I drove a CVT 02 with no hybrid Battery and I still got 55mpg!

If you aren't willing to work on the car yourself, I wouldn't get a 00-06 insight. They aren't hard to work on, but a lot of mechanics don't know how to work on these cars, so they charge extra due to unknowns.

In order to get the best MPG possible, you must do the following.
Proper stamped spark plugs torqued to 17 foot pounds.
All underbody paneling intact.
Bridgestone potenza re92's tires, no NOTHING ELSE WILL WORK. All of the alternative tires are horrible for mpg.
Coast a lot in neutral (MT).
Avoid hard braking up to stop lights, and hard acceleration from a stop.

Everyone I know that follows the above tips, and learns how to optimize lean burn (MT only) gets minimum of 60mpg. I know one guy that has all the aforementioned and uses A/C and he still gets 55 on average for a tank.

If you are looking for something to get you from point A to point B in a timely manner, be relatively smooth and comfortable, and still get decent MPG, go with the CVT. If you want the best mileage possible so you can not spend all your hard earned money on gas, but deal with shifting, then go with the manual. The manual gets about +/- 8mpg better than the CVT due to lean burn. However, the CVT costs minimum 2500 to fix, and a rebuilt manual from a forum member (replaces all bearings, and fixes downshift grind synchro issue) is only 750$.

[Edit]: I took a trip out to San Diego with my dad about a month ago, I did 80-85MPH on the freeway, the road was rainy and wet, and I still managed 58MPG. I had no underbody paneling at the time.
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Old 06-10-2015, 10:46 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the quick replies, that's great to know! Is a manual transmission a must for best mpg? I've never driven manual...anyone willing to give me a tutorial? I'm in the twin cities area of MN, will totally buy you a beer!
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Old 06-10-2015, 10:51 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dessoir2 View Post
Thanks for the quick replies, that's great to know! Is a manual transmission a must for best mpg? I've never driven manual...anyone willing to give me a tutorial? I'm in the twin cities area of MN, will totally buy you a beer!
Yes, as said above, the manual gets minimum 5mpg better than the CVT.

An insight is a perfect car to learn how to drive a manual in, it's quite difficult to stall due to the hybrid Battery giving a little oomph whenever it's about to stall.
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Old 06-10-2015, 11:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Got it, now, price wise. What is the average reasonable price for a 2000-2006 honda insight? I've seen some priced at $6k from 2001 with 150k miles on it. Seems rather steep.
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Old 06-10-2015, 12:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I got Ron Burgundy for 4,500 bucks, with barely over 111K miles, a new IMA battery, shaved doors, sunroof, nice sound system, custom color, leather interior, etc . . . . . Turtle I got for 3 grand. My son got his for 2,200 bucks.

Deals are out there if you know how to look for them and are willing to bargain with people.

If you'd narrow your area down a little closer than "USA" I'd be happy to find you a good deal in your area.
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Old 06-10-2015, 12:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm located in Minneapolis, MN. Currently I've looked through craigslist, ebay and major websites like autotrader and cars.com with little results thus far, thanks!
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Old 06-10-2015, 12:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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A couple in your area, and a couple where you have to be willing to make a road trip.

Fs 2004 Honda insight
Honda Insight 2000 5spd. One of a kind!
2002 Honda Insight
2000 Honda Insight for sale, runs great
04 honda insight
2001 Honda Insight

You should be able to talk every single owner down on these examples.
When I went to buy Ron Burgundy, they were asking 5,900 bucks. I talked them down to 4,500 bucks. You just have to be persistent and know the warning signs of the cars you're looking at.
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Old 06-10-2015, 12:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Incredible. I'm going to have to brush up on my CL-skills. Thank you so much! About those warning signs, I don't suppose there is a wiki page?

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