21 December, 2009

Gaining Insight (Part I)

It seems like during the past several months, when I have not been writing at all, I have perhaps been lacking more than just the attention that comes with "publishing" to my tiny readership. I've also been lacking in introspection. And it seems that whenever I stop looking inward, it's usually because I don't want to see, deal with, or face what's going on inside.

What I really have been needing was more insight.

So I decided to buy a 2005 Honda Insight. I'm only half joking. Actually, less than half, since both of my above statements are absolutely true. I did, in fact, purchase a 2005 Honda Insight. And I have, in fact, as you have witnessed, not been writing here for many moons (well, for 3 moons, anyway).

I'll start with the Insight Part I (the car) because that's easier.

As you may recall, I went through a fiasco about 2 years ago, where I bought a brand-new Mazda 3, and then became completely disenchanted with it, because of the miserable gas mileage that it got. And I cannot fault the EPA, since their estimates turned out to be exactly correct. Thing is, I could not believe that their estimates would possibly be correct, and I operated on the assumption that I would do much better. But sadly, over the life of that ownership (about 6 months), I netted about 24 miles per gallon. And that was Mazda's most fuel efficient vehicle. That's another story altogether. And it is an utterly disgusting one. That a Japanese automaker, in the 21st century, does not sell one car in the United States that averages better than 24 miles per gallon.

Stop and think about that for a moment...

So I bought the Civic, opportunistically, because a friend had it to offer. After about a year of owning the Civic, I started to feel like, while I like the vehicle, I wanted something just a little nicer. Not a fancy car.  Not a luxury car. But perhaps a car with power locks, so my passenger doesn't need to wait in the rain, while I get in to open the door for them (or vice versa). Maybe a car that has power windows. Maybe a car with power-assisted steering, so that I could get in and out of parking spaces without feeling like I am opening one of those hatches between the decks of a submarine. But most importantly, one that still gets as good, or better gas mileage.

So, of course, the most logical, sensible, cost-effective way of pursuing that goal would be to purchase... what? I know what you think I'm going to say: a hybrid.

Well, actually, nope. That's not what I wanted.

What I wanted to find was a Civic model that is called the HX. That car was rated at 40mpg on the highway, running entirely on gasoline. I am pretty sure I have ranted about this before. My search of Craigslist, and discussions with mechanics, revealed a sad reality: if you can even find an HX out there (they were discontinued around 2003), it will either be overpriced, or have extremely high mileage on it. This is because nobody wants to get rid of these cars.

So, I was wallowing in sadness, and beginning to consider "sucking-it-up" and just buying another Civic, a little bit newer, with a higher "trim" (meaning, it has all the bells and whistles), either the DX or the EX models. There are a billion of those out there. Of course, there are probably a lot of sketchy deals out there too. So it was fixing to be an unpleasant process.

Then, coincidentally, a friend of mine texts me: "You still wanna buy my car" (we'd been semi-joking about the idea for over a year). A 2005 Honda Insight. Now, 2 weeks later, the car is mine (and she's now driving a 2010 Honda Insight - which, I should note, weighs fifty percent more than the original Insight - but that's also a topic for another rant).

I picked up the car yesterday, and was excited to immediately see that one can easily get 55+ mpg on the highway, with "proper" hybrid driving technique (if not higher).

Now I just need to sell my Civic.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats, Bob! Post a picture, if you're feeling generous. Also, I might know someone who is looking for a reliable used car if you have any details on your Civic!