Our Honda Insight
Half-Gas, Half-Electric!


In September 2000, Elizabeth and I were looking at options for a new vehicle, and the only two we would consider were the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight, the two available gas-electric hybrids.  We had never been able to test-drive either vehicle, because no dealerships near us had them available!  One day, I decided to call Süd's Honda in Sheboygan Wisconsin and see when they might get one in.  I was lucky -- They had a silver one sitting on the showroom floor!  We were heading up North for a Garden Club trip, so we decided to stop and take a look.

It turns out that Süd's is both a Honda and Toyota dealership, and they happened to have BOTH an Insight and a Prius sitting in their showroom!  We had done our homework, though, and the Insight's incredible gas mileage made it the clear leader of the two.  It didn't hurt the Insight's chances, either, that it was the smaller of the two and fit perfectly into the first of our three garage bays, which was smaller than the others due to a furnace located there.  We asked for a test drive, and they wheeled the Insight out of the showroom for us and handed me the keys.

Well, to make a long story short, we bought the Insight the next day.  We really don't drive it that much because most of our other driving is done in the pure electric vehicles.

The pros and cons of the Insight:

Pros:

1. Incredible gas mileage (I've gotten up to 82 MPG on some highway trips)
2. Fantastic space-pod styling!
3. Two-seat limitation gives great excuse to not be the group vehicle for road trips

Cons:

1. Two-seat limitation makes it impractical for both of us to visit someone & take them to dinner
2. No cruise control available (!)

Well, there are probably more pros and cons, but the biggest "con" was the lack of a cruise control.  We use our pure EVs for local/short-range trips, so this car only gets used when we need to go a long way.  That means highway trips, and that means long stretches where you have to hold the speed steady.  Are you thinking leg cramps?  Me too.

Cruisin'

We took a two-hour drive to Appleton, Wisconsin a couple of months ago and the next day I ordered a cruise control kit!  I couldn't deal with that kind of driving, having been totally spoiled by the cruise control in our van and the Saturn.  I did a self-install on the cruise control unit.  Because there are other Insight owners out there who might want to do the same thing, I documented the entire process and posted it, with photos, here.  Read and enjoy, and if you have any questions or improvements.

Powerful Armrest

After taking my first long-distance road trip, I wanted to get an armrest for the Insight.  Luckily for me, Husco Engineering came out with one a couple of weeks later!  Here's where you'll find an article on how I installed mine, with the added bonus of a handy, second 12V power outlet!

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This page last edited March 02, 2004