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Is a first generation Honda Insight a good buy?

What are your views on a 2001 Honda Insight? I am very keen on them for aesthetics and economy, cheap tax. Are there things I should ask the owner about? Could I attach a tow bar to it? It's up for £4000.

Asked on 4 September 2019 by ellie

Answered by Keith Moody
Along with the Prius, the first-generation Insight was a critical stepping stone towards the mainstream acceptance of electric vehicles. As such they're regarded as classics - although have a slightly smaller following than mainstream tradition models such as the Jaguar E-type. I don't think you need to pay £4000+ to get a good first gen car ... unless it's low-mileage or you're after a show winner. These Insights recharge their batteries via energy recovered from braking and offer the 1.0-litre petrol a performance boost when required - there's no plugging in to worry about. The small engine means they're not really suitable for towing, I'm afraid. And yes, you'll need to check the car over as you would any secondhand car (check the condition of the brakes, that the engine doesn't overheat). Like any old car, the suspensions can get a bit creaky and you may find it needs TLC in this area. It's crucial that all the electrics work, though. Ideally, you want to find a loving owner who's looked after the car - they're at an age when bodges are common now. It can also be hard to track down certain parts for the car (ie expensive).
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