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pete c 04-18-2017 10:00 AM

Insight G1 vs G2
I drive a lot for work. If my company had any sense, they'd get me a company car. I used to drive my own car and laughed all the way to the bank collecting 56 cents/mile. My boss wasn't laughing so much if I had a 400 mile day, since it makes $$$ sense to rent for such occasions. But that is a PITA to do last second as I have to move tools/parts to the rental. Also, unless I drive a half hour to the airport, I am limited to picking up between 9AM-6PM.

Eventually, he agreed to just let me rent a car by the month. Some months, this works out for the company, some months, it doesn't. As territories/equipment change, it seems that I may be doing less driving. And I suspect that at some point, the boss man is going to say go back to driving your own car.

So, 2 of the leading candidates are the Insights. Here are the pros/cons as I see them.

G1 pros-

1.High coolness factor. It looks like a freaking spaceship.
2. MT. Fun to drive, and the already insane mpg numbers can be bumped with some hypermiling
3. This is a rare, seriously cool car. I suspect that it is going to become collectible and values will rise. Hopefully, this rise in value starts the day after I buy one.

G1 cons-

1. possible IMA trouble. The plus side to this is it seems superior aftermarket Li Ion packs will become affordable some day.
2. Limited cargo capacity. I occasionally have to drag around a bulky 200 lb xray generator. I think it will fit without having to leave the hatch propped open, but it will be a PITA.

G2 Pros-

1. Newer
2. IMA system seems to be bulletproof, comapared to the G1, anyhoo.
3. Plenty of room, can actually put more than 2 people in it if need be.
4. An insane value, compared to its competition, the Prius.

G2 Cons

2. Hell will freeze before it becomes collectible.
3. Very good mileage, but not quite G1 good.

I have talked to a guy with a G1. Its a 2000, MT, 5 speed. Comes with grid charger. 145K Looking to get 2K, which seems very reasonable to me.

There is a 2010 EX 56K miles. Asking 5800. But it has a rebuilt title. Seller says it was a light hit, which I assume means no structural/mechnical issues. This does void any Honda battery warranty.

So, what to do?

My sensible practical side says take a chance on that rebuilt title and go with the newer, lower mileage car.

My other side that still thinks like a 13 year old boy says go G1 baby!!!! Get the spaceship with its 5 speed and pimp ass wheel skirts.

Any recommendations welcomed.

Daox 04-18-2017 10:56 AM

I've never driven a gen 2 Insight. I do own an 1st gen Insight and I love it... and hate it from time to time. Its a 2000 which means its 17 years old. While it only has ~135k on it, its still a 17 year old car and that means it has issues that need to be dealt with. I've had to do a fair amount of repairs on it and its still in need of more. These issues are pretty well documented on insight central, but its still time and money.

My other vehicle is a 2004 Prius and all I ever do is put gas in it, and do oil changes. The thing is a solid rock of a car. For this I do love it. No, the driving experience isn't as fun as the Insight, but it just goes and goes, and they both get some pretty great mileage.

Daschicken 04-18-2017 12:38 PM

I vote spaceship! Just make sure there's one left when i'm ready to buy one!

Natalya should pitch in, she had a G1, now has a G2 insight.

pete c 04-18-2017 12:47 PM

That 13 year old kid inside just asked me to tell you to STFU. :)

The sad thing is, you are right. I suspect that a 7 year old Honda is likely to be at leAst as reliable as your 13 year old Toyota and most certainly more reliable than a 17 year old Honda which was built using brand new at the time, technology.

Still not sure what to do but I am still leaning towards that 13 year old's way of thinking. It's a character flaw of mine. Just ask my wife.

The good thing about the G1 is that it's so damn cheap, if I get 6 months out of it, it's paid for itself.

jamesqf 04-18-2017 01:35 PM


Originally Posted by pete c (Post 538821)
The good thing about the G1 is that it's so damn cheap, if I get 6 months out of it, it's paid for itself.

So worst case, it's fairly cheap fun :-)

I have a 2000 G1 also, and except for one irritating quirk* it's been pretty trouble-free. My only concern would be with hauling the X-ray machine.

*Which is that if the 12V battery goes bad, the car won't run, and AFAIK there's no way to tell if it's going bad. With a conventional car, I'd notice a weak starter &c, but with the Insight, there's no clue.

pete c 04-18-2017 01:55 PM

Easy enough solution would be digital volt meter. I would think that the battery voltage with everything off would tell when it is getting weak. I could easily mount a few probe test points in the dash to measure it with my fluke from time to time.

pete c 04-18-2017 01:56 PM

Can you bump start a G1 with a tired battery?

vskid3 04-18-2017 05:26 PM

I'm in a similar boat as Daox, have a Prius, had a G1 Insight, never driven a G2 Insight. The Insight was fun, but I didn't drive enough to call it anything other than a toy (so I got rid of it for toys that don't require insurance It sounds like you do drive enough, but then there's the issue of fitting your equipment.

If you can get a G1 Insight for $2k and you're not afraid to give it some love, I'd say go for it. If you decide the G2 would work better for you, I would highly suggest looking at a Prius as well. In my area it looks like the biggest difference between a G2 Insight and Prius of the same price is that the Insight will be a few years newer, but they'll have similar miles.

pete c 04-18-2017 06:02 PM

I haven't researched it, but my impression is that Priuses (Prii?) is that they sell for more. The G2 just never did catch on, I suspect because most buy a Hybrid for it's amazing urban driving mileage. And the G2, or G1 for that matter can not match the Prius in this category. But the thing is, I don't give a crap about how efficient it is in stop and go traffic. 90+ percent of my driving is interstate. And in this area, I believe it is close to a draw. And the G2 is a more fun car to drive, because Honda just has a knack for making even their most boring cars fun to drive. Toyota, not so much.

It's a shame they didn't offer the G2 with a 6 speed manual as nobody does sweet shifting fwd manuals as well as Honda.

pete c 04-18-2017 08:48 PM

Just looked at the G2. Very impressive. Looks very good. Extremely clean underneath. No signs of damage. He said it had a light hit in front, new fender. Under the hood it looks brand new. The IMA gauge read charge/assist as you would expect. Tires close to new although I don't believe they were LRR tires. I would like to take it on the highway and see how it does at 70mph.

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