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Old 01-31-2019, 04:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Strategies for better MPG?

Any thoughts on what's been working best for you in terms of increasing MPG and what things to avoid?

Some obvious ones are flooring it and slamming the breaks are bad and you should try to smooth out things. Sitting stationary for a half hour with the heat and lights on on is bad. But what about subtleties, especially stuff specific to the Insight?

Having the heat on will mean it needs to use the engine more often and may prevent EV mode at times. But how much does eco mode help the heating situation? I know it allows bigger variation in temperature. And is it a good strategy to keep the heater off most of the time, but then if the engine has come on for some other reason (and you're starting to get cold), turn it on at that point? Or would that make it worse somehow?

And better to warm up the car for 10 mins and start to drive, or start to drive immediately?

I saw that rear defroster with heated side mirrors draws a lot of power. Do we know if even a single heated seat draws a ton of power as well? Like if you can leave the heater off more if you have the heated seat on, is that a net benefit?

What about knowledge of hills on a longer commute? Would it make sense to use sport mode during a hilly area (but not so hilly that you're having to ride the breaks down) to build up battery for a flat area right after? Or the same thing for when you're about to get off the highway to build up so you can use EV mode in the city?

I see mpg getting better when the engine gears to the wheels on the highway, but I'm still not sure on the parameters. I saw it gear in as low as 45mph. Is it more about keeping a constant speed or a constant power or both?

I've experimented a little, but not systematically enough to know when I'm making things worse. Is it better to just to leave it on cruise control in eco mode on the highway? One thing that seemed to help a bit was following a big truck since they tend to accelerate slower by necessity (though following at 3 or 4 bars to try to avoid kicked up rocks).

When did you start seeing the car was really broken in? I'm at almost 1k miles now and the most I've gotten on a 50 mile highway commute is 45.7mpg so far. That's not too far from the 47 listed for Touring and it has been below freezing a lot of the time, but I'd like to think I can still get more than that eventually?
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Old 02-07-2019, 11:58 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I used to use eco but I prefer normal now. I can still get good MPG in normal mode and the car is not as sluggish. I like using cruise control and lane keeping assist. I don't think they hurt MPG, at least not significantly.

Cold weather and driving over 55 MPH will really reduce your MPG... especially at 70+ MPH.

I think the gear can appear at 45 MPH or more... at least that is what I've noticed.
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I just got done adding this to another thread...

I've owned two hybrids, now. A Prius C and, now, a first generation Insight. Do not be discouraged by the winter mileage. The cold, dense air, the snow and frozen slop adding weight and ruining airflow, the change in fuel chemistry, and the slower batteries all conspire to ruin the mpg. I am a careful driver and still lose about 20% in the cold. I did on the Pruis and I do on the Insight. If you've not driven the car in warmer weather I bet you'll find it a completely different, and better car.

Unless you're into modifying your car (and I'm not) about 80% of the hypermiler stuff is gentle starts and stops, getting in the flow of the traffic, and letting the car do the rest. I use my cruise all the time and always keep up with the other cars and I get excellent mileage. You do *not* have to tailgate to increase the mileage. You know that big blast of air that follows traffic? All you have to do is be somewhere in there.

It's heartening to see a community starting to build around the latest incarnation of the Insight. Keep up the good work!
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Best advice is to drive at/below the speed limit and anticipate everything.

ACC is great for flats, but, in hilly terrain, you know better than ACC as to how to use the throttle. Build a little speed before hills and let some bleed off on the way up.

It's all ball-bearings these days!
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:38 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Hills kill mileage, and Sport Mode with a fully charged battery is the only way to help the gas engine over the hill so it doesn't work overly hard. Eco and Normal don't charge the battery enough for long hills.

So, if you are on a flat road, Eco works well for mileage. Moderate hills? Normal is fine. But bigger hills need Sport Mode. That is why I switch modes around my area and still get 50+ MPG. Of course I play the regen breaking game to recover as much energy as possible. And I also do slow starts, keeping the accelerator under the "power" mark. But if I just let the ACC do everything for me, I get around 45 MPG. Mind you, all this is in near freezing conditions. I can't wait to see how it does in warm weather.

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