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Old 07-08-2013, 04:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Paddle Shifting in Mountains - Effect on MPG

We moved up to Talent, OR from Stevenson Ranch a couple of months ago so I have been too busy to post. A few days ago I picked up the August copy of Consumer Reports as it had articles on the EPA mileage vs real world mileage on several hybrid cars, including the Insight (pg 50) and data on the effect on mpg going from 55 mph to 65 mph (pg . CR claimed that the real-world average mpg for the insight was 38 mpg vs EPA 41 (pg 51). As anyone who owns this car knows, this is really a low ball number for the Insight.

So I was really annoyed at CR and decided to do a test of the Insight driving from my home in Talent, OR up to Lake of the Woods, which has an elevation increase of around 4000 ft (you drive up into the Cascade Mountains). The trip is 90 miles there and back. I decided to put the car in sports mode on all the steep hills (up and down) and even used sports mode with paddle shifters on the way back going down curvy mountain roads. On the way out I got in the mid 30s mpg. The dashboard reading was 49.6 mpg for the 90 mile trip when I arrived home. It was an interesting experiment using the paddle shifters. I found that I could really control the speed downhill using mostly 4th gear in sports mode and sometimes 3rd gear. The higher revs had little or no effect on mpg going downhill according to the readout. But it really had a significant effect on engine breaking and keeping the car at a well controlled speed. So I finally found a real good use for the paddle shifters.

By the way I did send a letter to the editor of CR telling them there mpg number for the I2 is way below the average "real-world" numbers for the car, as exemplified by the data on fuelly.com. Perhaps others on the forum will follow suit and contact CR. I am hard pressed to figure out how they got such a low number. Either the engine was not broken it or the test regime is not representative of real world driving.
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Old 07-08-2013, 09:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Not bad. Ive been doing mostly short trips and Ive seena low of 29mpg. I am curently driving my sidekick to see what its mpg is as with my former commute it got 30mpg.

If your speed is 45 mph you can beat the computer using sport mode and lugging the car in the highest gear possible.

Yeah, Ive engine braked since day 1 behind the wheel. Something my folks did and taught me. Its nice to save the brakes for stopping and let the engine hold the car back.



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Old 07-10-2013, 02:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I also use engine breaking on all my stick shift cars. I just rarely tried it out on the Insight. On occasion in the past I shifted from D to Sport mode going into fast turns but I never tried the paddle shifters for engine breaking to the extent I did on this trip. I drove part of the same road as the Insight downhill with my Subaru Impreza (5 speed stick) the night before we did the trip in the Insight. I was pleasantly surprised how well engine breaking worked on the Insight going down really steep grades. It was not that much different to the Subaru with its much bigger engine (2.5 Liter).

I am still waiting to hear back from the editor of CR. You really have to try hard to average 38 mpg in a 2010 Insight when a significant portion of the test is at freeway speeds. I have no idea what the test regime from CR is, but it is not accurately representing the real-world mileage of the I2. The only time I got below 40mpg at freeway speeds (55 to 65 mph) was from the dealer the day we bought the car. The engine was breaking in. Of course if you are driving really short distances so the car never warms up you can get to this number. We have driven the I2 since coming to Oregon on a lot of short distance runs (my grandson is one mile away, lot's of 3 to 10 mile drives to stores, etc). Even under these conditions with the AC at full power (we have had 100 F temps here) we are getting 44 mpg (over the last 2500 miles). My Subaru under the same driving conditions gets around 26 mpg. And I am really trying to keep the mpgs up on this car. So real world the I2 is getting 18 mpg better than the Subaru. This adds up. On the I2 if I really am careful I can do much better than the above number (90% of the time my wife drives the car and she does not care about mpg). But it requires a lot of concentration when the drives are mostly a few miles!
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Old 07-10-2013, 03:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I just filled up my sidekick, 22mpg with all my short trips, normally I get 30mpg.



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Old 07-10-2013, 04:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It all boils down to............"How Tight is the Nut on the Steering Wheel".
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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You mean adjust the nut behind the steering wheel?



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