Saturday, January 24, 2009

Honda Insight

Earlier in January I read an article about the upcoming re-launch of the Honda Insight on Wired. According to the article, the Insight turned in some pretty impressive mileage numbers in real world driving:
During a day behind the wheel last month, we managed an impressive 42.4 mpg without even trying. When we pushed the Econ Mode button and used Eco Assist to mind our hypermiling P's and Q's, the Insight returned an amazing 65.6 mpg. That's on par with the best figures we've seen from the Prius.
That's all I needed.

So the wife and I drove down to a local Honda dealership on Highway 50 and I put a deposit down on an Insight, even though they won't be released until late April at the earliest. That's due, in part, to Honda promising that a base-line Insight will cost $18,000, which in this day and time is actually pretty darn cheap for a hybrid, especially compared to the Toyota Prius. Of course, Toyota announced that the 2010 Prius, which will also be released in late April, will now get 50 miles/gallon. I have no idea about the price, except to say that it's probably as high as the earlier models, which in the Orlando area seems to run from $25,000 to $29,000. Ouch.

My wife and I want to purchase a hybrid for the following reasons:
  • Gas last summer (2008) was above $4/gallon, and we firmly believe it will return to that same price if not higher in the very near future;
  • We both believe that foreign dependence on oil is crippling America economically and strategically;
  • We actually believe in global warming and want to do our part to help correct it.
I've owned Hondas in the past. My first was a silver 1978 Honda Civic CVCC and my second was a tan 1982 Honda Civic. I put 120,000 miles on both driving around the Atlanta metro area. When I got married we traded up our small cars (she had the very first Nissan Sentra, a 1982 model) for larger Nissan vans, and we haven't own Hondas since. I suppose I should perform the patriotic act and Buy American, but I can't wait until late 2010 for the Chevy Volt, and equivalent Fords are $9,000 (and more) higher than the Insight. And Chrysler... don't make me laugh. So I'll buy an import to get what I, this country, and the world needs at a price I can afford, and move on.

Of course, if we had a real mass-transit system in Orlando then I'd forgo another car and just ride it instead of communting, but our mass-transit plans are so bogged down in local and state politics that it's enough to make you cry.

1 comment:

  1. And if they ever do implement a mass-transit system here, it will never solve the last-mile problem. Heck, it'll probably just provide an alternative to I-4, and completely ignore the rest of the region.

    That's the thing with big-city area mass-transit that people forget. It actually has stops near where you live *and* where you work, and is also very convenient to use. The moment mass-transit is easier than driving my own car, I'll consider using it. Until then, it doesn't even register on my radar.

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