My original review was published in my blog on October 16. You can read it here: 2019 Honda Insight—A 5,000-mile review.
I got so frustrated with my car that I took it in again on October 18 and complained about the problems and inconsistencies. I had two pages of documentation to show them, having added three more items to the list that I had in my previous blog post. I asked them to do a factory reset. Again, they claimed they did. It didn’t help.
They also claimed that they took a “similar car” out for a test drive and everything was fine. Pardon my French, but that’s just stupid. Why not take my car out for a test drive?
I drove it for another two days and made more notes:
Computer reset, 10/18/19, 5895 miles
- 10/18/19 — Auto light setting did not work. I had to turn the headlights on manually. I got stopped in Santee at 10:40 p.m. because a police officer saw me repeatedly turning my headlights on and off over the course of a mile on Mission Gorge Road trying to get the Auto setting to work. The Auto setting also controls bright lights, something that is quite useful living out in Winter Gardens. I explained to the officer what was going on and he gave me a choice of taking a roadside sobriety test or going to jail. Since I had not been drinking, I took the roadside sobriety test and passed.
- 10/19/19 — Braking, such as coming to a traffic signal or stop sign, causes the vehicle to cancel EV mode. One can immediately re-engage EV mode, but why cancel to begin with?
- 10/19/19 — EV mode sometimes gets cancelled for no reason whatsoever. Trying to switch back to EV model provides an “EV MODE NOT AVAILABLE” message, even when the battery charge gauge is 50% or higher. A most useless message.
- 10/19/19 — EV mode was not available because ENGINE TOO COLD. After driving 3.9 miles, about 2 miles more than is usual for warming the engine, EV mode was available. After another few miles of driving in EV mode, EV mode was canceled. Attempting to re-engage EV mode provided the message, ENGINE TOO COLD. Makes no sense whatsoever.
- 10/20/19 — EV MODE NOT AVAILABLE for 6.9 miles of city driving. Battery charge was 50% to 100%. EV light indicating that EV mode was available, was on.
- 10/20/19 — With battery charge at 80%, EV light flashed quickly on and off for 1.2 miles during city driving.
- 10/20/19 — Car continues to cancel EV MODE during braking, especially hard or semi-hard braking as is done when coming to a stop at a traffic signal or stop sign.
- 10/20/19 — EV MODE CANCELED while turning. Battery charge at 50%.
It turns out that there are two different kinds of computer resets, a factory reset and a hard reset. A factory reset is when the factory resets the computer. However, when they do that, they use what is called smart memory, which keeps all the user settings. I was 99.999999999% sure that I had changed a custom setting on 8/19/19 which was causing problems, so I did not want a factory reset. What I wanted was a hard reset, which is what the computer would be like when it comes from the factory. Confusing….
The hard reset worked! My car drives like it did for those first 2,300 miles. When it drives like this, I’ll give it a 9 out of 10… 4½ stars… 4½ diamonds.
My only complaint when it drives like this is that the computer is smart enough to disengage EV mode when certain conditions are not met but is not smart enough to re-engage when conditions are met. As far as I have been able to determine, those conditions include:
- Battery charge too low (needs at least 3 bars on the battery charge gauge).
- Hard acceleration requested (Anything above the second long dash on the power required gauge).
- Speed too high (above 75 mph).
- Speed too low (below 20 mph).
- Cabin being heated (heating & cooling set at 71°F or higher).
FYI, the things I like most about the 2019 Honda Insight:
- It’s a hybrid. I love electric mode but I also need the range that gas provides me since I do a lot of driving out in the California, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah deserts. I don’t have time to sit around at a charging station waiting for the car to charge. A hybrid car charges its battery while one is driving.
- I have more leg room on the driver’s side than any car I ever have owned, and that’s saying a lot since I have owned several land yachts.
- I have plenty of room to carry all my camera equipment in the trunk where it can’t be seen and tempt someone.
- I have plenty of room to carry a whole lot of cacti & succulents to plant shows, such as the Palomar Cactus & Succulent Society show coming up this weekend.
- The stereo system is the best stereo system I ever have had in a car, and that includes the $10,000 custom stereo system I had put in my 1989 Saleen Mustang GT.
- The stereo system reads USB flash drives, so I have all my non-classical music on a 2 TB external USB drive, allowing me to never have to listen to an AM/FM radio and their commercials never ever again in my life…. never ever again in my life…. never ever again in my life….