Originally Posted by firsthonda
That's my point. With this car, you have to make a conscious effort to get really high fuel economy. If you just drove it without paying attention to the light, your MPG typically wouldn't be that high. The way the Insight is set up is the driver GREATLY determines the level of fuel economy. This is true with conventional cars as well; although to a MUCH lesser extent.
With driving habits, MPG varies lets say 2-5 MPG on a conventional car. With the Insight, MPG could vary 20-25MPG
I know I'm late to the party but I have to pipe in. With any
car you have to make a conscious effort to get really high fuel economy. I think you're looking at the equation from a skewed perspective. What I think you should really look at is the difference (delta) between what the EPA number is, what you and other drivers achieve, and what the car is fully capable of doing.
For instance, the 2010 Fit AT is EPA-rated 28/35/31. My friend, who owns one, can manage 38.5mpg at best with mostly highway driving (steady-state). Her normal average range is 27-33mpg.
Contrast that with my Insight which, as we know, is EPA-rated 40/43/41. The worst FE avg has been 36mpg which is a result of my wife idling with the A/C on (curse you warmest year on record!) while our combined normal driving average range is mid-40s (43-46mpg). Driving that same "best" route as my friend's 2010 Fit at the same speeds (also steady-state) I easily hit 50.4mpg. If I try
with moderate hypermiling (55mph, P&G, etc...) I can definitely hit upper-60s if not into the low-70s.
As you can see, the delta between EPA and beating the EPA for the 2010 Fit is +3mpg whereas the Insight is +7mpg. If you really hypermile, I doubt the Fit could get much higher than mid-40s without resorting to advanced hypermiling techniques. That would be a +10mpg increase (probably +15mpg with advanced techniques). A number of other Insight drivers on this forum can consistently hit the mid-60s which is more than a 20mpg increase.
The large delta exists not because of the effort required but rather because the Insight is so much more capable as a high-FE machine. In other words, the payback
for being FE-conscious is greater in the Insight than in a conventional car. The worst you can do in an Insight (without intentionally degrading FE) is somewhere in the 30s. In a conventional car like the Fit it is totally possible to be in the teens. However, the best
you can do in the Insight is 70+mpg whereas the Fit can eek out, maybe, 50mpg. Between the two using the same speed and driving style the Insight will give you greater efficiency numbers than the Fit over the EPA-rating.
And for the record, it was a struggle for me to even achieve the EPA rating on my previous car much less beat it!