Honda Insight
Current MPG (August 2014): 51.9

A while back, I installed some rear speakers into the Insight because Honda eliminated them from the factory for some strange reason. Back in August, I had purchased and installed rear speakers. The only thing left to do was to cut the carpet and expose the grills. It’s an easy project, only annoying.

A factory bought 2002 Insight doesn’t come with rear speakers. I don’t even believe it was an option. It’s an absurd decision if it’s for weight savings, or even cost. But, that’s how it was. And so we’re left with bland front speakers, no bottom end, and an overall lackluster experience.

After a few months with the car, I decided that was unacceptable and chose to upgrade the factory cassette player and speakers to something a little more contemporary. That installation can be read here . With the front speakers installed, the overall experience was drastically increase. The bottom end thumped a bit more, and the range was extended to where it wasn’t muffling the voices or cutting off the hi-hats. Still, without rear speakers, the audio was very positional and still sounded mediocre.

I purchased two more speakers for the back that matched the front. They are Sony XS-GT1638F. They aren’t expensive at $49 a pair, but sound quite nice for that price point. The only hiccup on the front was that the grill could not be used without cutting the door mold, something I wasn’t willing to do for a little aesthetics. The rear, however, could support the grills with only having to cut the carpet, something more easily replaceable if I messed it up.

Started by removing the sills and exposing the rear speaker component.

You can see that the speakers fit well. They are 6.5” diameter speakers, but low profile so they don’t come into contact prematurely in the battery compartment. The same had to be done for the front door speakers. Using deep speakers would work on the driver’s side rear, but not the passenger side as there is a plastic housing that delivers cool air to the batteries in the way.

The only issue here might be with the mounting brackets on your speakers. The Sony’s came with clips that I had to first tape into place. Otherwise, they would fall off and into the battery compartment. Your mounting apparatus might vary. I marked the speaker mounting holes on the carpet with a sharpie and made some other “do not cut past” lines with an ink pen. This way, I knew how far I had to go before I would become visible around the grill. I also had to drill some holes in the aluminum speaker casing for the mounting screws on the speakers. This, also, may not be something you have to do.

Once comfortable with how the speaker will mount, the carpet can be cut. I used a knife to puncture the centre hole, and cut from there to each mounting hole. Fixed around some areas that didn’t line up properly.

The nastiest piece of this task was screwing in the mounting screws. The back of the carpet is lined with cotton, about 1/2” thick. Screws + cotton = headaches. Be sure to remove enough of the cotton so that when screwing the speakers into place, you’re not hitting the cotton. It only clogs up the threads and pulls the carpet out of place. It was more annoying that I originally thought. Even after doing one speaker and having issues, I wasn’t able to get the second into place without fighting the cotton in some way or another. This is what took up the most time honestly.

The final installation should look flush with the carpet and show no cut marks or cotton.

There will be plenty of cotton floating around the car afterwards so give it a good vacuuming.

This wasn’t hard, just time consuming. The first speaker took about 90 minutes to do as it was my first time. The second, probably 45 minutes. It can easily be done in a single afternoon. In the end, your Insight will thump, even with middle-of-the-line speakers. The battery compartment provides quite a nice enclosure to reverberate the bottom end. It’s something everyone who listens to the radio in the car should try to do at some point.

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