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Discussion Starter #1
Potential Insight owner.

I've been lurking as a guest for a few months now, so I figured I should sign up. I'm looking to purchase a new car between now and January. I currently have a 2012 Nissan Sentra, but the struts are going out. It's possible I could trade it in for $2-3k but the upper end would require fixing the struts. The original plan was January 2022, but the struts may require me to purchase sooner. Given the weather, the car feels normal, or like I'm driving a raft, with wind gusts feeling like cresting a wave.

So my current dilemma the path to take:
  • Wait out information on the 2022 Insight, then purchase
  • Fix the struts and wait until January to purchase
  • Trade in and purchase a 2021 Insight now
My daily commute is 120 miles round trip (85% highway @ 70 mph), and I'm currently getting ~30mpg from the Sentra. Unfortunately, gas is cheaper near my house than near my job (15c difference on average), so I have to fill up every 2 days if I want to save a little on fuel and make it home with peace of mind. Either way, I'm most interested in the Insight as my next car. I'll be scheduling a test drive at some point, so what things should I be looking out for? I've read that the engine can drone, but my Sentra sounds like it drones as it approaches 3000 rpm.

I apologize if this seems a bit scattered, but I'm trying give enough background information and ask the right questions before I test drive and buy.

Thanks!
 

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Potential Insight owner.

I've been lurking as a guest for a few months now, so I figured I should sign up. I'm looking to purchase a new car between now and January. I currently have a 2012 Nissan Sentra, but the struts are going out. It's possible I could trade it in for $2-3k but the upper end would require fixing the struts. The original plan was January 2022, but the struts may require me to purchase sooner. Given the weather, the car feels normal, or like I'm driving a raft, with wind gusts feeling like cresting a wave.

So my current dilemma the path to take:
  • Wait out information on the 2022 Insight, then purchase
  • Fix the struts and wait until January to purchase
  • Trade in and purchase a 2021 Insight now
My daily commute is 120 miles round trip (85% highway @ 70 mph), and I'm currently getting ~30mpg from the Sentra. Unfortunately, gas is cheaper near my house than near my job (15c difference on average), so I have to fill up every 2 days if I want to save a little on fuel and make it home with peace of mind. Either way, I'm most interested in the Insight as my next car. I'll be scheduling a test drive at some point, so what things should I be looking out for? I've read that the engine can drone, but my Sentra sounds like it drones as it approaches 3000 rpm.

I apologize if this seems a bit scattered, but I'm trying give enough background information and ask the right questions before I test drive and buy.

Thanks!
Here are my thoughts:

1. If there is a local Carmax near you, see if you can sell the Sentra to them. I find they typically will offer you somewhere between trade-in price and Blue Book. The pros: It takes about 30 minutes for an appraisal which is good for 7 days (so you have time to think on it and aren't rushed). You don't have to deal with private party crap like haggling or them taking it to their mechanic, and you don't have to lose money in the shady dealings of a trade-in. Carmax probably won't even check the struts and it's up to you to disclose that. They do enough of these to take a loss like that. The cons: No negotiating. You take what they offer or walk away...but again, you'll probably get more than a trade-in. It can't hurt to try. If you don't like their offer you don't have to take it and can choose another option.

2. While waiting for a 2022 model would be nice...if you actually keep an eye on 2021 inventory up until around August or September, you can get a really good deal on a new 2021 since by then they will be wanting to get rid of them to make room for the 2022 inventory. This is what I did for my 2020 after the 2021's came out and I saved a few grand off the normal price. The 2021 model is their third year and most of the kinks should be worked out and you probably won't see too much difference unless they alter the colors and it comes down to a preference on that. (One of the major reasons I went with the 2020 over 2021 besides the great deal I got on the price is that it came in Crimson Pearl and they didn't offer that anymore with the 2021's)

3. I love my Insight. Upping your mpg from 30 to 45-47 (which will probably be closer to your average with mostly highway driving) is nice and the features of the vehicle are good.

4. Lastly, and I hope I don't offend anyone, don't be cheap and get anything less than the EX. The differences are worth it and if you can afford it and like the additional luxuries of the Touring, go for it.

Again, these are just my opinions and I'm sure you get a wide spectrum of others. Happy shopping and I hope you ultimately get what you want without too much compromise. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the thoughts!

1. We purchased a 2019 CR-V for my wife last year, and went through Carmax to sell her 2008 Hyundai Elantra. She got a pretty fair price on it, and we were happy with that. Good to know about the non-disclosure, but since the struts are going, I have "slip indicator" and ABS warning lights always on in the instrument panel. I'd likely need to repair the struts before those lights go away. That's probably why it feels like I'm driving a raft at times.

2 & 4. I'm most interested in a modern steel EX, though I need to see the other colors in person. When were we shopping for the wife, the RAV4 and CR-V were our final choices. The RAV4 felt like nickel and diming vs the standard features on the CR-V. The CR-V LX wasn't what she wanted feature wise (same with the Insight), so we went with the EX. I don't really care for the leather and lower combined mpg in the Touring, so the EX is where I'm shopping. My only concern with the 2022 model is that with the lackluster sales and nonexistent advertising, there won't be a 2022 model. I was hoping some of the other bugs would also be ironed out (BCM), rather than just needing the new hotness of the 2022 model. Also, since my wife has a CR-V, is the 'loyalty' incentive a thing?

3. Improved mpg (of course) is one of the primary reasons I'm looking to change. Safety features, a modern console/infotainment center, are all great additions, but I'll be trying to squeeze more that out of it. Anything 45+ will make me happy, but I'll be working those paddles to get the most out of the car as well. My route is somewhat hilly, think 10-20' elevation over half a mile but not quite rolling hills, though my estimate of elevation is likely completely incorrect.

I appreciate your opinions and I'm hoping to get some other opinions as well.
 

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One other quick thing I forgot to mention was that the September timing of my purchase fell on one of Honda's 0.9% financing deals. Between selling my 2012 Insight to Carmax and adding other money I saved up for down payment, the low-interest rate, and a recent graduate discount, I ended up financing about $15,027 and my monthly payments are $219. Not too shabby for a brand new 2020 Insight EX. :)
 

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I agree with @CmpeGeek's statements 100%. If you can back down to 65mph on the high way, you'll see a significant payoff (50mpg+). For safety's sake, I'd get rid of the Nissan as soon as possible. There hasn't been much difference between model years with the exception of blind spot monitoring vs. LaneWatch. I like LaneWatch, but would take either when presented with a choice. Due to the lack of differences, I'd go with a past model year leftover.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'd love to see that 50+ mpg payoff, but other drivers may make that difficult. The posted limit is 70 and everyone else is usually near 80. However, its good to see my ducks are mostly in a row already. I'm tempted to go with the 2021 model as I feel like fixing the struts will be a wash overall. Any things of note for the test drive?
 

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I'd love to see that 50+ mpg payoff, but other drivers may make that difficult. The posted limit is 70 and everyone else is usually near 80. However, its good to see my ducks are mostly in a row already. I'm tempted to go with the 2021 model as I feel like fixing the struts will be a wash overall. Any things of note for the test drive?
Welcome to the forum. Here are some leads/links on test drive considerations:
There are also several reviews on the Insight, but I like this one that shares a "drivers journal" from an extended test drive. It may give some additional things to assess during your test drive. Good luck!
 

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Carmax is a great place to bring your car for an appraisal. You can bring that appraisal voucher to a dealership to see if they will match the trade-in price and save on a portion of the sales tax for your new vehicle, too. As for the Insight, we should know by the end of this month if the new Civic comes in hybrid form. If so RIP to the Insight. 😭
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Welcome to the forum. Here are some leads/links on test drive considerations:
There are also several reviews on the Insight, but I like this one that shares a "drivers journal" from an extended test drive. It may give some additional things to assess during your test drive. Good luck!
Thanks! I had read through a few of those but hadn't seen that driver's journal, it's pretty cool!

Carmax is a great place to bring your car for an appraisal. You can bring that appraisal voucher to a dealership to see if they will match the trade-in price and save on a portion of the sales tax for your new vehicle, too. As for the Insight, we should know by the end of this month if the new Civic comes in hybrid form. If so RIP to the Insight. 😭
That's exactly what we did when shopping for the CR-V. They matched it with no hesitation and the whole process went really smooth. I didn't think about a hybrid civic as a way to gleam insights for the Insight, but I'm hoping they stay around. The first two gens looked homely (as nice as I could put it), and the civic isn't what I'm looking for. I don't think an Accord hybrid will fit the sweet spot the Insight seems to fill for me. 😩
 

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I'd love to see that 50+ mpg payoff, but other drivers may make that difficult. The posted limit is 70 and everyone else is usually near 80. However, its good to see my ducks are mostly in a row already. I'm tempted to go with the 2021 model as I feel like fixing the struts will be a wash overall. Any things of note for the test drive?
Been two years since my purchase as the 2nd owner of my 2019. (The salesperson called me on the 2nd year anniversary to check in). Insightfully has laid out good references for the test drive.

Thinking back to my own test drive, even if you don't drive highway as much as local, I'd say still log some time since it stresses the Insight more. While on the highway:
  • consider whether you'll be a left, middle, or right lane driver and at what speed with adaptive cruise
  • mileage and cabin noise will vary accordingly and I'd say, one should manage one's expectations that you'll get luxury-tier quiet even from a Touring
  • if you're in hilly highway terrain, you may need to activate SPORT mode for best mileage results otherwise ECON should do it.
  • you may still want to activate SPORT mode if you prefer or need to drive aggressively on your area highways (merges/passing)

I also agree with Hasarad to keep an eye on previous year leftovers or used.
 
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Carmax is a great place to bring your car for an appraisal. You can bring that appraisal voucher to a dealership to see if they will match the trade-in price and save on a portion of the sales tax for your new vehicle, too.
I'd recommend getting a couple of online quotes from places like Carvana and Vroom too. It only takes a few minutes. I got my 2020 Insight last Labor Day Weekend on sale, and I got them to match Carvana and Vroom's quotes on my trade, yielding a decent deal overall.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Been two years since my purchase as the 2nd owner of my 2019. (The salesperson called me on the 2nd year anniversary to check in). Insightfully has laid out good references for the test drive.

Thinking back to my own test drive, even if you don't drive highway as much as local, I'd say still log some time since it stresses the Insight more. While on the highway:
  • consider whether you'll be a left, middle, or right lane driver and at what speed with adaptive cruise
  • mileage and cabin noise will vary accordingly and I'd say, one should manage one's expectations that you'll get luxury-tier quiet even from a Touring
  • if you're in hilly highway terrain, you may need to activate SPORT mode for best mileage results otherwise ECON should do it.
  • you may still want to activate SPORT mode if you prefer or need to drive aggressively on your area highways (merges/passing)

I also agree with Hasarad to keep an eye on previous year leftovers or used.
Thanks!
  • I'm on I-64/288 for my commute. Two lanes all the way for my route. I'm a right lane slowpoke who usually drives at the posted limit with cruise when I can manage.
  • Anything "should" be an upgrade to my current drive. I have to turn up the radio/music to drown out the road noise. I don't need silence, but some dampening would be nice.
  • Thanks for the tips. When I was lurking, I thought I saw some members test that normal was good most of the time. I guess the environmental factors change that calculus at driving time.
  • I'll keep that in mind.
I did some basic inventory search and found a 2021 listed at ~24k online (I suspect some price shenanigans though). However, I hate dealer logos/emblems/insignias plastered on the vehicle. I'll have to avoid that as much as I can. If I can't, is there an easy way to remove them?

I'd recommend getting a couple of online quotes from places like Carvana and Vroom too. It only takes a few minutes. I got my 2020 Insight last Labor Day Weekend on sale, and I got them to match Carvana and Vroom's quotes on my trade, yielding a decent deal overall.
Awesome! I didn't think about Carvana, and I've never heard of Vroom. Are these physical locations or online estimates?
 

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Potential Insight owner.

I've been lurking as a guest for a few months now, so I figured I should sign up. I'm looking to purchase a new car between now and January. I currently have a 2012 Nissan Sentra, but the struts are going out. It's possible I could trade it in for $2-3k but the upper end would require fixing the struts. The original plan was January 2022, but the struts may require me to purchase sooner. Given the weather, the car feels normal, or like I'm driving a raft, with wind gusts feeling like cresting a wave.

So my current dilemma the path to take:
  • Wait out information on the 2022 Insight, then purchase
  • Fix the struts and wait until January to purchase
  • Trade in and purchase a 2021 Insight now
My daily commute is 120 miles round trip (85% highway @ 70 mph), and I'm currently getting ~30mpg from the Sentra. Unfortunately, gas is cheaper near my house than near my job (15c difference on average), so I have to fill up every 2 days if I want to save a little on fuel and make it home with peace of mind. Either way, I'm most interested in the Insight as my next car. I'll be scheduling a test drive at some point, so what things should I be looking out for? I've read that the engine can drone, but my Sentra sounds like it drones as it approaches 3000 rpm.

I apologize if this seems a bit scattered, but I'm trying give enough background information and ask the right questions before I test drive and buy.

Thanks!
I have a 2020 EX, no regrets! Its a commuter beast, especially getting crazy good mileage when there's traffic. If the engine drone sound doesn't bother you, that's good! Definitely get the EX (or Touring) - IMO the only significant value of the touring is the leather seats - otherwise the EX is recommended, value-wise.
Good luck
 

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If you want leather you can always get Katzkin aftermarket for about $1600. I was going that direction but got the Touring which included the moon roof with the leather as well as a bunch of other "stuff". One tank in I am happy.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I have a 2020 EX, no regrets! Its a commuter beast, especially getting crazy good mileage when there's traffic. If the engine drone sound doesn't bother you, that's good! Definitely get the EX (or Touring) - IMO the only significant value of the touring is the leather seats - otherwise the EX is recommended, value-wise.
Good luck
I'm mostly in it for the commuting, but I'll do a fair amount of city driving when I have better fuel efficiency. As it stands right now, I'm only using my car for the work commute. We use the wife's CR-V otherwise. Her commute is about 15 minutes each way. It'll be nice to save her fuel as well, though I'd lose some range for these additional commutes.

If you want leather you can always get Katzkin aftermarket for about $1600. I was going that direction but got the Touring which included the moon roof with the leather as well as a bunch of other "stuff". One tank in I am happy.
I'll manage without the leather, but the moon roof would be nice. When did you make your purchase? How was the inventory where you were shopping? In my area, the picking are slim. Usually 2-5 cars on the lot and less than 30 in a reasonable radius. Is that the norm everywhere?
 

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Thanks!
  • I'm on I-64/288 for my commute. Two lanes all the way for my route. I'm a right lane slowpoke who usually drives at the posted limit with cruise when I can manage.
I did some basic inventory search and found a 2021 listed at ~24k online (I suspect some price shenanigans though). However, I hate dealer logos/emblems/insignias plastered on the vehicle. I'll have to avoid that as much as I can. If I can't, is there an easy way to remove them?

Awesome! I didn't think about Carvana, and I've never heard of Vroom. Are these physical locations or online estimates?
When I'm in the right lane and not annoyed enough by slower-pokes or frequent merges, I'm cruising at 60 or 65 mph so that I'm not blocking tractor-trailer traffic (and also so that I can draft behind them). I tap cancel when I see someone planning to merge and resume once they have to avoid the ACC slowdown/surge.

As for dealer logos/emblems - just specify that in the negotiation whether new or used. Dealers understand and I believe they know how to remove them too (esp. when they get used cars).

Cars.com is the leading Google result in the Chicago area for "used cars" so I used that searching nationwide for used Insights to secure pricematches on my local used negotiation.
 

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If you want leather you can always get Katzkin aftermarket for about $1600. I was going that direction but got the Touring which included the moon roof with the leather as well as a bunch of other "stuff". One tank in I am happy.
I got yanked up to a Touring for the moonroof after expecting it from a Civic EX, but did want built-in navi rather than relying on Apple CarPlay. (which one should include in the test drive as well since CarPlay doesn't display nav cues on the driver info interface, Android and Built-In only). Unexpected need for winter climates - heated front seats when you don't want to activate the ICE and reduce mileage.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I've seen enough crooked logos and printed logos that I don't want to advertise for a company who can't put it on straight. I don't mind the plate borders, as I can easily removed them.
The heated seat are what I'll miss most from the Touring.

Thanks for the Cars.com tip.
 

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Thinking back to my own test drive, even if you don't drive highway as much as local, I'd say still log some time since it stresses the Insight more. While on the highway:
  • consider whether you'll be a left, middle, or right lane driver and at what speed with adaptive cruise
This comment from @elvin reminded me that there's been a love/hate response to the Honda Sensing features. Some can be turned off or have selection features (ACC, LKAS, RDM, TSR) but some do not (CMBS can be turned off each drive, but turns back on each time car is powered back up). RDM and CMBS tend to be the most annoying, if you're not expecting the alerts or what triggers them.

RDM can be 'tested' by veering toward the edge of your lane without signaling a lane change at 45+ mph speeds. You'll see an alert and feel a steering wheel feedback/adjustment (and possibly corrective braking) depending on how much of a deviation you've made.

CMBS can be 'tested' by braking later than normal for a stop. You'll see an alert and possible auto-braking depending on how close the next car is. One of the complaints is that the system camera can be overly sensitive to things like lighting changes and tar snakes.
 

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I'm mostly in it for the commuting, but I'll do a fair amount of city driving when I have better fuel efficiency. As it stands right now, I'm only using my car for the work commute. We use the wife's CR-V otherwise. Her commute is about 15 minutes each way. It'll be nice to save her fuel as well, though I'd lose some range for these additional commutes.
One thing I also hadn't anticipated is how much gas I'd save. Our driving is about 10K miles, 100 highway miles on the weekend but otherwise local plus vacation road trips. Even avoiding 2020 for pandemic reasons, year-to-year savings are still estimated at $500/yr. (additional savings came from reduced service costs).
 
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