Honda In­sight MKI is a retro-fu­tur­is­tic bar­gain

Classic Cars (UK) - - Chasing Cars -

Four-and-a-half grand doesn’t sound much for what was once one of the world’s most tech­ni­cally ad­vanced cars. But that’s about what you’ll pay for a de­cent 2000 to 2006 first-gen Honda In­sight. Be­hind the space­ship looks there’s an alu­minium body, sus­pen­sion and brakes, a wind-cheat­ing 0.25 drag co­ef­fi­cient, mag­ne­sium en­gine parts and an in­ge­nious hy­brid sys­tem. The three-pot 995cc VTEC petrol is aided by 144-volt elec­tric mo­tor that charges the NIMH bat­tery.

For years the In­sight was the world’s most eco­nom­i­cal petrol car, good for 65mpg and 112mph. Even back in 2000 at a strong £17,000, Honda lost bun­dles on ev­ery new In­sight it sold. And the com­pany didn’t sell many, with only around 200 of­fi­cially im­ported into the UK. See the In­sight as the mo­tor­ing equiv­a­lent of the first Ap­ple Mac or Mo­torola DYNATAC mo­bile ‘phone and you’ll un­der­stand the po­ten­tial for retro-tech nostal­gia. But the In­sight is on very few en­thu­si­ast’s radar and prices have stayed low. The Car Ware­house in Cleve­land has a mint black ex-ja­panese 2004 auto with 39k miles for £4995 while a pri­vate seller in Dundee has a grey 2002 Uk-sup­plied car with 52k, orig­i­nal Honda let­ter of con­grat­u­la­tion and new bat­tery pack for £3995. Man­u­als are pref­ered to the 2001-on CVT auto and you’ll need an af­ter­mar­ket grid charger to keep the bat­tery pack con­di­tioned. New bat­ter­ies are around £2000 fit­ted and avail­able from In­sight specialists. I’ve seen low-mileage cars with clas­sic deal­ers for as much as £8k so now might be a good time to buy.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.