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AJI 07-27-2014 04:12 PM

Yet another first-gen Insight...
2001 Honda Insight

Hi all. I really don't post here much, since I spend a fair bit of time writing for Green Car Reports and I post way too much on another forum, so by the time I'm done with all that I'm sick of computers for the day!

As those of you who follow my writings know though, I bought a 2001 Honda Insight back in early March, and since then I've put 5,000 miles on the little thing. So I thought it deserved a thread to detail how things are going.

I shall install pictures throughout, to alleviate your boredom at hearing me ramble on ;)
(Sadly, the Porsche isn't also mine...)

It's a fairly neat and tidy example. Has a full service history, it's done about 96k miles (not sure of the exact figure, since mine is one of the many whose trip button doesn't work), and has a lifetime MPG in the low 70s (imperial - nearer 60 mpg U.S.)

You can see more detail on that here, though:

I'm not doing too badly, I reckon. Took one tank to get used to, and since then I've been hovering around the 60 mpg (U.S.) mark. That's just with regular, economy-minded driving, and no dedicated hypermiling techniques.

I'd better say here that I don't intend to change that, either. The car will not be getting a boat tail, or any other aftermarket tweaks, nor will I be practising any hardcore hypermiling things. If that's your poison then good for you, and there are some great projects here on EM, but I'm both a stickler for originality and as much a fan of performance cars as I am economical ones, so I like to match economical driving with "making progress" to the extent I can.

Not to say I've not changed my driving style.

I quickly learned the Insight's quirks. Like how it's easy to get the car to kick its engine off when braking from higher speeds than the 19 mph mentioned in the handbook. Or that when it comes to lean burn, even the 5 mph difference between 65 and 70 makes a lot of difference - enough for at least 5 mpg instantly over a tank, perhaps more.

Like many Insights now, it does need a few bits doing. Some are mechanical, some are cosmetic, all will get attention eventually:
  • Trip computer button doesn't work, as already stated
  • Latch for the hood is a little creaky and doesn't secure the hood as well as I'd like. It isn't dangerous, just annoying!
  • EGR plate almost certainly needs cleaning - low-speed jerkiness
  • Alloy wheels have suffered with the ravages of time. They need re-coating - re-doing the diamond-cut finish seems to be both expensive and not that long-lasting
  • I want an S2000 leather steering wheel!
(The headlights were yellowing. I quickly sorted that... though more recently they've begun to cloud again)

Beyond that, it's pretty good. The speed freak in me would like a little more performance, but in the lower gears it's really not bad. And I like that it looks like the sort of thing Citroen or Saab would have made had each not been absorbed into larger, more financially-conscious companies in their past.

Future plans: Apart from fixing the things that need fixing, I shall simply drive it. I don't yet know how long I'll keep it - I have a fairly short attention span with cars but sadly have neither the budget nor space to own more than one at once.
(The Insight is small... but other small coupes are smaller...)

But in theory it will be with me for quite some time - and I quite like having one of only 220 or so of them in the UK...

Cobb 07-27-2014 05:28 PM

Is the porsche yours too? Just for comparisons how is its mpg?

Like the HCH wheels. :thumbup:

MetroMPG 07-27-2014 10:10 PM

220 Insights in the UK! Holy cow.

I thought the ~400 1st gens that found homes in Canada was a small number. (And there's no competition from competitively frugal small diesels to explain the car's scarcity here.)

Aeromods + "making progress" are your friend, Antony! You've discovered the magic of keeping it in the lean burn "window", and aero mods expand that window further up the speedometer. ;)

Glad you're enjoying the car. It's a bit of the hard-core efficiency nut's Ferrari. I'm very glad I had one. I still miss being able to get 100+ mpg (US) all day long at 50 mph in my modified example.

And... nice pics as well.

AJI 07-30-2014 07:15 AM

Attempted to reply to this the other day but my computer decided it didn't want me to post.

For me, aeromods won't be happening mainly for aesthetic reasons. I can appreciate their merit, but I'm not interested in having bits of coroplast flapping around all over my car. My resolve in that department isn't as strong as some here!

That said, when I say "making progress" I don't mean higher constant speeds, which is more or less impossible in UK traffic, but quicker acceleration.

In terms of other modifications though, I was wondering whether anyone here has any recommendations with regards to suspension bushes? Mine are getting a bit creaky so I'll likely be changing the whole lot in the not too distant future.

Originally Posted by Cobb (Post 437230)
Is the porsche yours too? Just for comparisons how is its mpg?

Like the HCH wheels. :thumbup:

The Porsche isn't mine sadly (as captioned).

How do you mean Civic Hybrid wheels? The ones on it are the standard Insight rims.

MetroMPG 07-30-2014 11:19 AM

I suspect your answer re: the bushings will be easier found on Insight Central.

Don't forget: some aero mods can be essentially invisible, eg. complete underfloor paneling (simple to do with lots of OEM plastic attachment surfaces) and more extensive grille blocks. Expand that lean burn window!

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