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.