For July 13, 2020, our used car find is this 72k mile 2003 Honda Insight hybrid, which is listed on craigslist by a private seller in the Atlanta area for $8250.

Here’s what makes this car special.

The first generation Honda Insight (ZE1) debuted in 1999 as the first hybrid car in North America, beating the Toyota Prius to market by about seven months. It was a revolutionary design, far ahead of its time, which used the first version of Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist technology along with lightweight materials and a wind-cheating design (with a record low 0.25 coefficient of drag) to deliver an EPA-estimated 47 mpg in mixed driving.

Here’s a geeky video that explains how the powertrain works:

This example is pretty much everything you could ask for in a used Insight, with relatively low miles, a like-new appearance inside and out, an accident-free history, and full service records from the local dealership, including a hybrid battery replacement less than one year ago.

These cars were available with a 5-speed manual gearbox, which is cool. However, the optional continuously variable transmission (CVT), which is fitted here, is actually a better match for the hybrid powertrain. The CVT allows the battery-management computer better control over the application of electric assist, which helps to keep the battery pack in a proper state of charge no matter how you’re driving.

Most first-gen Insights have been pretty well used up by now since most owners drove them as commuters. That makes an example this clean pretty rare.

The $8250 asking price reflects that rarity. That’s honestly a bit on the high side, even for an unusually nice specimen. We think $7500 or under would be well bought.

Vehicle Details

  • 2003 Honda Insight CVT
  • 72k miles
  • 1.0 liter inline three cylinder engine with electric motor assist
  • continuously variable transmission (CVT)
  • Sebring Silver on gray cloth
  • for sale by owner for $8250
  • Milton, Georgia
  • link to craigslist listing HERE
  • JM1NC2PF4B0214950

For more used car finds — or to submit your own — please visit our Used Car community pages.

Notable Replies

  1. Love these cars, especially the digital dash and unlike 80’s cars the dash isn’t accompanied by a recorded voice reminding you that your door is ajar.

    The CVT on these cars is a flaky unit though. This and the 1st gen civic hybrids as well. Around 100k is when they seem to go. I’m not sure if any preventative maintenance could save them, I didn’t look into that as the 3 pedal cars are easy enough to find and would be my preference.

Continue the discussion community.klipnik.com

Participants

About Mark Holthoff

Before joining Klipnik, Mark spent eight years at Edmunds.com developing and running their Live Advice and Consumer Reviews programs. His first car was a 1974 Triumph TR6 in Sapphire Blue, which he bought with his life savings of $2000 and kept running with a combination of spare change, duct tape and dumb luck.

Category

Find of the Day

Tags