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Old 06-12-2005, 12:40 PM   #1
dp97sc2
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Default slightly ot: saturn s series vs. honda insight

hi again,
I have almost 250,000 mile on my sc2. Its been thru hell including 3 accidents and a pizza delivery job. with that and the miles its starting to be a little worse for wear. I was wondering what everyone's opinion of the saturn s series vs. a used honda insight for 9-10k$ (hybrid part still under warranty). Im leaning slightly toward the saturn again as I have a lot of experince with them (some good, some bad).
p.s. it seems that whatever my circumstances I end up driving about 25k miles per year. I've been paying on average $2 a gallon where I live. The estimate I get on fuel savings (looking at averages are) 25k/30mpg (saturn) = 833 X2$ a gal=1666$ a year. for the insight its 25k/60mpg = 416 x2$ a gal = 833$ a year for a yearly fuel savings of 833$ a year. Now the savings could be negated in one year if something goes wrong out of warranty (battery pack is expensive). also the used insight price is higher. However, if they continue to hold up well, the used values should hold up well too, meaning it would still be worth something when I went to sell or trade it.

Last edited by dp97sc2; 06-12-2005 at 12:49 PM..

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Old 06-12-2005, 12:51 PM   #2
marcusa
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Default Re: slightly ot: saturn s series vs. honda insight

The Insight is cramped, slow, and loud, don't bother. If you really want a hybrid car I suggest the Prius. But as I have argued in the past, when the battery goes out 10 years after it was made there's no telling what kind of expense you'll have, and for the same fuel economy a VW Jetta Diesel w/5-speed can be had, and will be much more fun to drive.

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Old 06-12-2005, 01:00 PM   #3
dp97sc2
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Default Re: slightly ot: saturn s series vs. honda insight

marcusa,
yeah the battery is a variable. However imho fuel costs is even more of a variable. and if it takes 10 years for it to go out, that would be a good thing. for the one Im looking at it would be 2010 before it went out. By that time they will be much more popular + the price will probably be cut in half (for the replacement battery). Also in my discussion I set fuel to be $2 a gallon? Anyone want to wager that gas will be only $2 a gallon 5 years from now? I'll give you 5 :1 odds. If in 2010 gas is at or under $2 a gallon(USA average) + you wager $100 I'll pay $500. If its over that price(USA average) you fork over $100! Well I bet not many people would take that bet even at 5 to 1 odds! my guess it will be $2.50 or so. Finally, I don't really care too much about fast vs. slow. Also, the one time I test drove it a year ago (another used one) it didn't seem overly loud to me.

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Old 06-12-2005, 02:26 PM   #4
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Default Re: slightly ot: saturn s series vs. honda insight

An Insight would be a hoot!, but I probably would go with the S as it is much more practicle (and American). Even Honda says an Insight would be a good second car, for commuting to/from work, saving the suv for the weekend.
If not driven properly, I believe an Insight could have "mormal"car gas mileage.
This may help:
http://www.insightman.com/

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Old 06-12-2005, 03:22 PM   #5
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Default Re: slightly ot: saturn s series vs. honda insight

Most here know how I feel about hybrids. Let me just advise you to stick with the Saturn for these reasons to name a few:

1) More room
2) Easier to work on
3) No stupid battery pack to worry about = hazard for landfills, environment.
4) Doesn't look like a space ship driving down the road
5) Achieves in the mid 30 MPG easily


Plus, it's a Saturn...your experience should tell you to stick with them. You can't beat having a 250K!

Go for a late model (2001, 2002) S model.

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Old 06-12-2005, 03:25 PM   #6
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Default Re: slightly ot: saturn s series vs. honda insight

Stay with the S. You can get a straight SOHC sedan with 150k for $1000.

I'm not a fan of the "a car is an investment" philosophy. Remember if you have a loan on that insight and have to carry full insurance coverage it's probably pretty expensive.... but check it out. Then you've got a car everyone wants to steal for that "part X" that's the first to wear out and $3000... maybe the battery pack, maybe something else, we don't know yet. Look at 15 year old Camrys topping the list (though S-s are up there too). As a pizza guy you might get lured into bad neighborhoods where the bling might make you worry. Then if hybrids are as rare in the future (doubtful; toyota doubled prius manufacturing capacity recently) and if the Insight is still the pinnacle of engineering (doubtful, many great minds are working on it) then you'll get most of your money back. And why would someone in their right mind trade in an insight to a dealer? (hint: there's something seriously wrong with it.) If I had one and kept half the maintenace schedule up my coworkers and friends would be all over me for it if I hated mine. There are waiting lists for new ones....

With a cheap used saturn, the most you're out is the price of the car and a little extra fuel.

Last edited by eljefino; 06-12-2005 at 03:31 PM..

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Old 06-12-2005, 09:17 PM   #7
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Default Re: slightly ot: saturn s series vs. honda insight

Flip a coin, go w/ the result and don't look back. in 20 years it won't matter and you'll be wishing you'd spent the time drinking beer anyway!

Seriously, I think these 2 are a tie; but eljefino brings up a good point, a slightly used one turned in as a trade in sould probably be avoided.

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Old 06-13-2005, 06:36 AM   #8
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Default Re: slightly ot: saturn s series vs. honda insight

I could be wrong...I think I remember reading once that insights are expensive to repair if crashed. I could be wrong, but that is something else that should be taken into consideration.

Also, how are the insights in snow and other bad weather? I personally rather stick with the traditional engines untill they develop hybrids a little further.

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Old 06-13-2005, 06:56 AM   #9
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Default Re: slightly ot: saturn s series vs. honda insight

signature says it all.

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Old 06-13-2005, 08:23 AM   #10
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Default Re: slightly ot: saturn s series vs. honda insight

Your calcuations don't include the initial cost difference between the 2 vehicles. I assume that you could purchase a saturn for about 4k less for the same year, ect.
Also, it is not a fair comparison at 30 mpg for the saturn. That may be your actual, but it is rated about 38 on the highway. I would suspect that the hybrid doesn't get rated fuel mileage either.

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Old 06-13-2005, 08:38 AM   #11
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Default Re: slightly ot: saturn s series vs. honda insight

Big fan of new technology, but it's not always what it's cracked up to
be (just ask any stalled Prius driver). The most simple cost-analysis would use the cost of fuel (use $2.50/gal) vs. purchase price.

If Honda is $9k to purchase, and Saturn is $4k, all things being equal (which they usually aren't) you have $5k of "free" gas with the Saturn... . Assuming gas at $2.50, that's 2000gal. and at 30mpg., you end up w/ 60,000 "free" miles. I'll assume the Honda repair costs will also be higher, adding to the cost advantage of the Saturn. Moreover, look at incremental savings vs. purchase price:

Insight (50mpg) would use 2000gal over 100k, or cost $5000 (at $2.50gal)
Saturn (30mpg) would use 3333gal over 100k, or cost $8333 (ditto), or $3300 more over 100,000 miles.

Looks like it would take 150,000 of driving just to break even on mileage variable between the two.

You mentioned being in some severe accidents? Some great posts about the hardiness of Saturns in accident. I have no experience with hybrid safety, but my feeling is I would rather get a bruise in a Saturn than an acid burn from a leaking battery in a hybrid... .

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Old 06-13-2005, 02:00 PM   #12
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Default Re: slightly ot: saturn s series vs. honda insight

Go Saturn. The Insight will cost you more, even in the long run. It cost $5K more in the first place, might have high repair costs, and doesn't save a ton on gas. It doesn't get 60mpg in the real world.

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Old 06-13-2005, 10:12 PM   #13
dp97sc2
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Default Re: slightly ot: saturn s series vs. honda insight

spencerb,
I have to defend the insight there. There are actually people getting 90 mpg. In this regard it DOES live up to the hype. I asked a guy in a blue insight at wal mart gas station the other day..so what did you get this fill up? his answer...75 mpg!

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Old 06-14-2005, 07:15 AM   #14
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Default Re: slightly ot: saturn s series vs. honda insight

Quote:
Originally Posted by dp97sc2
spencerb,
I have to defend the insight there. There are actually people getting 90 mpg. In this regard it DOES live up to the hype. I asked a guy in a blue insight at wal mart gas station the other day..so what did you get this fill up? his answer...75 mpg!

I dont know anyone who has one, so I am basing my response on an article I read...The article stated that it depends a lot on how you drive them. If you really try hard to get good mpg, and you watch all the guages...you will do well on gas. However, if you try and accelerate quickly (and where I live, everyone moves fast)...you will tend to get a more "normal" mpg rating. I have read about pple getting anywhere between 40 and 70 mpg, but not anything about 90. I personally have gotten high 30's consistantly through the the first 250k of an 1996 SL2.

So me personally, I would stick with the saturn as a primary driver. As I mentioned once before, I am guessing it is better in the snow and cheaper to repair. Plus, much more room and I can easily cary bikes, skiis, and boats.

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Old 06-14-2005, 01:56 PM   #15
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Default Re: slightly ot: saturn s series vs. honda insight

Besides that but if you have a lot of highway miles you can approach the same kind of fuel economy as most hybrids are getting in a well-tuned Saturn. Some people we kno here have a Prius and while it get's fantastic mileage in town (where a lot of the driving is on the electric motor before the engine even kicks in) driving on the interstate runs the engine, one that is barely more efficient overall than our 4-bangers are.

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Old 06-14-2005, 03:01 PM   #16
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Default Re: slightly ot: saturn s series vs. honda insight

Quote:
Originally Posted by ud503j
Besides that but if you have a lot of highway miles you can approach the same kind of fuel economy as most hybrids are getting in a well-tuned Saturn. Some people we kno here have a Prius and while it get's fantastic mileage in town (where a lot of the driving is on the electric motor before the engine even kicks in) driving on the interstate runs the engine, one that is barely more efficient overall than our 4-bangers are.

I believe the Insight does get better mpg than the prius...but the prius is also much larger and actually has some room in it.

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Old 06-14-2005, 03:14 PM   #17
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Default Re: slightly ot: saturn s series vs. honda insight

This guy has some pretty good information (like way in depth) about driving his Prius. A coworker of mine looked at Priuses (Priuii?) for a while...reading about the highway shortcomings (mileage wise) of the car made him reconsider as he does a lot of travel.

Honda Insight is rated like 60/66 EPA City/Highway
Toyota Prius is rated at 60/50 EPA City/Highway

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