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Reading around, it seem there is an average mpg difference of about 5-12 between manual and cvt all else equal. There also seems about a 5 or so mpg spread in epa ratings depending on year of the car. I also read tidbits about cpu differences that have mpg effects. Any comments ? If you have a cvt what is the highest mileage you have had so far
 

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I'd say the differences grow as one pushes these cars to their fuel economy limits. Prior to some under the hood changes, my 5MT would cruise at almost exactly 100mpg @ 50mph. I don't own a CVT, but I'm under the impression any USDM CVT (Japanese ones have lean burn) would fall at least 20-30mpg short of that figure.

One member on here has consistently had tanks over 150mpg, though his car's modifications are extreme and arguably reckless to achieve that.

For the average driver? I'm not sure.
 

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Well, since I have driven a cvt for a year, I can say that on a highway I could get a solid 63mpg and even 75 drafting behind a semi. It's not easy at all to do and semis do not like you drafting them. Now, let's take into account that the speed limit is 70. At that speed my best was 50 somthing, maybe 52 at best. In traffic stop and go and part way speed limit 55, my best was 53. I never aired up my tires past 50.
On this manual that I picked up in California, thanks to one of the former forum members, that thing with a dead IMA got a solid 78MPG going from Laguna Hills to where Hasport Motorsports is on less than 3/4 of a tank and then after filling up going up into the mountains great mileage (of course with no IMA it was limp mode through the grades). I couldn't be happier. My first thought was to simply kswap this thing instead of the cvt but I couldn't bring myself to it. The cvt could use a swap. I think the money spent to the actual MPG I would get from a lithium swap and new mounts, and probably flywheel soon, to get it to actually be tip top and the money spent to get a set of mounts and kswap...pretty much a kswap would be better money spent. I can get a k20 here fairly cheap the way these kids can't handle the vtec truth. I digress...
 

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But there is most certainly more than a 5mpg spread between the two. It's much much easier to get high mpg from the manual because of the gearing and lean burn. I thought, when I first saw them come out, that there was a 10mpg spread on the highway.
 

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As I recall, in good conditions I could get just under 70mpg at 70mph with my manual, or 65 @ 75. So, I'd say ~15-20mpg advantage is a reasonable expectation.

With my new 2.4L engine I can around 57-58mpg @ 55mph. So, the CVT must really rob a lot of economy.
 

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2002 Monte Carlo Blue CVT
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With 36 psi in Potenzas, OEM plugs and standard Honda underbody panels, my single best mpg in my '02 CVT has been 54.9 (segment, not tank) on local secondary streets and arterials, no highway in that, but I'm in a pretty hilly area. Probably all below 50 mph. Car has nearly 300k miles. That's also with rear side skirts off.

Haven't had it on the highway since I put the OEM plugs in and I'm considering airing up the tires to 45 psi. I have a belly pan on order from Scott.

More than likely going on the highway tomorrow. I'll report back on mileage.

Lifetime mpg is 54.7.

Plus, I drive the car for mileage and don't flog the IMA pack.
 

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Long term JDM CVT owner here, so I have lean burn. When I was commuting 115 miles a day I averaged 76 UK mpg. Our gallon is about 4.5 quarts. If I hypermiled the whole journey, best I managed was 114mpg and it was HARD work. Manual owners on here can get over 120mpg quite easily.
 

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2002 Monte Carlo Blue CVT
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Time to ship my car to Scott for a lean burn CVT conversion. Or drive it cross country.
 

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Best tank for me in my 02 CVT was from Montgomery AL to Williamsburg VA, 74.4 MPG at about 58MPH. All pretty darn level. I’ve cracked 80 MPG with a fresh fill up and level ground commute of 30 miles or so.
previous owner averaged 65.3 MPG, but had a retiree’s time on his hands ;-) Hegave me the advice of [email protected] On level ground, it works!
I’ve driven manuals on that same commute where I could get over 90MPG, but I did drive on that struggled to break 70. Never did figure that out.
Down here in San Antonio, the traffic and shorter commute and gentle grades make it so that I’m averaging around 54 MPG. Back on the coast it was closer to 63.
The BIGGEST difference is when you have that 5MT tuned up so that it can take advantage of leanburn. Then the difference starts to shine. I’m one of the lucky ones that is in the process of a CVT Leanburn conversion, so we’ll be able to capture some more data before too much longer!
 
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Highway segment with tires at 45 psi -- 54.5 mpg. I'll work the 100 mile return leg this evening.
 

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Nice! I will say that I joined the 50 psi club a long while ago. It makes a difference.
 

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Best tank on my 04 CVT was 58.6 but that was during a mild TX winter (i.e. high 60’s,low 70’s) so no AC.

Avg when not trying to keep up with the F350’s and with AC on is 51 mpg & I too, run 50psi.
 

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Having only driven cvt Insight (need something wife will drive in a pinch) I think it really comes down to Lean Burn and also control (like with any automatic you cede some control to the computer and if your goal is 1 thing you're compromised).

I've read plenty that seem to indicate the cvt's are 'automatically' a little better at battery management over time ... so thinking overall cost of ownership vs. mpg it might be closer to a wash. Hard to know coming into Insight ownership 16 years after my car was first produced.
 
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I have since passed my 01 CVT on to another member here, but during the time of my ownership (10 years, 100k miles) i maxed out in the low 60's on a per-tank basis, but averaged closer to 50 on most tanks (the lifetime MPG was roughly 46.3 when I bought it and it crept up over the 100k miles I had it, but only barely). When non-thoughtful drivers used it regularly it bottomed out at 43 mpg and averaged under 46 per tank.

My best mileage (per tank) was probably on long-haul highway runs where my speed was significantly lower than freeway speeds and likely close to flat/downhill. One of my most common high=mileage runs was from 7000' to 3000 ft over 300 miles with very limited up/down and the opportunity to stay below 60mph most of the time. I haven't been a "drafter" since my long haul motorcycle days...

I also averaged > 60mpg on a regular run from 5000ft elevation to 7500ft and back over 15 miles each way. This number included some classic hypermiling, coasting downhill with engine off. This is almost identical to my performance on the CRX HE I had before the Insight which was easier to hypermile (no power steering or brakes to miss with the engine off).

I displaced my Insight I with a Chevy Volt I which is apples/oranges. My average MPGe on the 4000lb 4-door is over 70 and my average fossil-fuel MPG much higher... As soon as I get some (used) PV panels set up to charge (Including the old HV battery from the Volt I replaced as a "buffer"), my Carbon Footprint and fuel cost could approach 0 as long as I limit myself to EV range. Unfortunately, my power grid is currently 70% coal... with PV/wind overtaking as Coal gets decommissioned (end of life for plants)...
 
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  • Going to get another highway run in on Sunday. This time with fresh oil, a fresh CVT fluid drain and fill, side skirts on and Scott's belly pan installed. I'll see if I can squeeze out a few additional mpg.
  • I'll put almost 200 miles on it tomorrow.
  • Highway trip cancelled. Weather did not cooperate for soccer tournament I was refereeing on grass fields. Becomes a dicey proposition in December in NJ. Too much rain over the last couple days.
 

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So, no highway today, but 36 miles on surface roads (max speed limits 45-50). Average mpg is now at 55.4 which is higher than displayed lifetime MPG of 54.7. I think the side skirts and belly pan made a difference. Plus, 38 deg. F and 15-20 mph winds ambient conditions. Might squeeze even more mpg out at say, 75 degrees F.
 

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I have a 2001 CVT and (up until just recently) a 2000 manual Insight. For me, overall, there is about a 9 mpg difference between the CVT and the manual. I typically got 64 mpg summer time driving per tank (non-highway commuting) in the manual. Same routes, I get about 55 mpg in the CVT.

I'm sad to report that I just traded in my manual Insight on a 2017 Chevy Bolt EV (23k miles). If I had the space to keep the manual Insight, she'd still be mine, but a 250 mile range full electric vehicle for under $15k was too great of a deal for me to pass up. I still have the CVT Insight for long distance trips, but the Bolt EV is really nice and really trumps the Insight in creature comforts and power. BTW, the price I paid for the Bolt wasn't an exceptional deal...it's fairly typical for off-lease 2017 Bolts hitting the market right now at model year end.
 
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