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Discussion Starter #1
Who here drives a 5-Speed Insight? How hard is it to drive a 5-Speed? I think it would be pretty hard. What do most of you Insight owners prefer to drive, CVT or 5-Speed? I am going to buy a 2005 Navy Blue Peral Insight around when I graduate, and would really like to get good mpg, but I cannot drive a 5-Speed, only a CVT. I would really like to learn how to drive a 5-Speed so I can get up in the 90's and 100's for mpg. If I were to get a CVT what kind of milage do you think I would get? To me driving a 5-Speed would be too hard, it sounds complicated. I mean I don't really like the fact that if I get a 5-Speed I would have to drive one handed all the damn time. How long did it take some of you to learn how to drive a 5-Speed, and how long have you been driving one? Another thing I do not like about a manual or 5-Speed is that when I go to break I will have to put the clutch in every time, or atleast I think you do. What would you Insight owners that drive a 5-Speed do if someone slams on his brakes in front of you? I would think that you would crash, but if you were driving a CVT you could just slam on the brakes. Also what is it like driving a manual in bumper to bumper traffic? I would tend to think you would rear end someone. Can someone please explain to me how you would drive a manual of 5-Speed? I have heard that you can slow down faster in a manual or 5-Speed, is this true? I think that you would slow down faster in a CVT. How do you even know when to shift in a manual? Also what is lean burn mode?
 

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Driving a manual transmission is easy once you get the hang of it. You don't have to have one hand on the shifter most of the time, only while shifting. In the Insight it's usually best to leave the clutch engaged while braking until you are almost stopped, so as to get the most regenerative braking.

Anyways, it is foreign, but you get used to it, and then it's second nature. It's much akin to moving from a mouse to a trackball or vice versa. At first it's awkward and seems like it's more complicated, but eventually it just feels natural.

As an added bonus, the manual is marginally faster and standards are definately more fun to drive once you get the hang of it. The only time when the clutch and shifter are a hassle (once you get used to it) is in busy parking lots where there's a lot of stop and go.

Unfortunately, getting started from a standstill is the hardest part of driving standard, (by far) and it is necessarily the first part you have to learn. This I think is what turns people off to manual transmissions most.

Lean burn is a mode where the car burns less gas than is theoretically the ideal mixture for the amount of air that is coming in. It produces less power, but is more efficient.
 

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Chris said:
Who here drives a 5-Speed Insight? How hard is it to drive a 5-Speed?
TWO ANSWERS (based upon my own experience)
- EASY = shifting from 2-->3 or 3--->4 or 4--->5 is easy; piece-of-cake

- HARD = shifting from Neutal to 1. That's because the car will stall below 5 mph, and so it can sometimes be tricky moving from 0 to 5. You have to slowly release the clutch as you apply gas until you pass 5 mph.

Fortunately this car has an electric motor. I've found that sometimes I can pull out of a stall by using the electric motor. This is probably the easiest car to learn manual shifting.
 

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Chris said:
I would really like to learn how to drive a 5-Speed so I can get up in the 90's and 100's for mpg. If I were to get a CVT what kind of milage do you think I would get?
A CVT gets about 60 mpg. You might as well buy the Civic Hybrid CVT which does about the same.





[1]I don't really like the fact that if I get a 5-Speed I would have to drive one handed all the damn time.

[2]What would you Insight owners that drive a 5-Speed do if someone slams on his brakes in front of you?

[3]Also what is it like driving a manual in bumper to bumper?

[4]I have heard that you can slow down faster in a manual or 5-Speed, is this true? I think that you would slow down faster in a CVT.

[5]How do you even know when to shift in a manual?
(1) When cruising down the interstate, I don't shift at all. I leave it in 5th & I eat my McDonald's breakfast.

(2) I'd slam on the brakes. The car would stop, and the engine would stall, but that does not matter. Just slam the brakes.

(3) Bumper-to-bumper is a pain. My approach is to coast along in 1st gear at 5 mph, so I don't need to shift. It's easier to deal with stop-n-go traffic if you just coast along slowly.

(4) The car which weighs more is the one that takes longer to stop (the transmission is irrelevant). I think the CVT weighs more.

(5) I shift like this:
1st - 0 to 30
2nd - 30 to 60
skip all the other gears and use 5th

Or when slowing down:
5th - 60 to 30
neutral - 30 to 0



I HOPE YOU BUY THE INSIGHT! You'll love it! Don't let the manual scare you. As I just described above, it's not difficult to learn. I learned it & you can too.

I had my salesman teach me. I made it a pre-condition for sale. I suggest you do the same.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I don't get it how can you skip 3rd and 4th gears, can't you jam or lock up you gears doing that? Also aint it hard on the car if you stall it? What does it mean when someone pops the clutch? I would not buy a civi hybrid, I do not like them, I like the Insight, alot more, it is more unique looking.
 

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You can shift in whatever order you feel like. 1-2-3-4-5... 1-2-5 (like me)... 1-3-5... 1-4-5... or even 1-5. You have a car now? If yes, watch the RPM gauge and pay attention to how the automatic transmission shifts. (Also note that sometimes the auto skips gears if you put pedal-to-medal)

Popping a clutch is revving your engine to 6000 rpm, and suddenly releasing the clutch pedal. It makes your wheels spin and causes a lot of internal stress & wear. Not recommended unless you plan to junk your car at 50,000 miles.

Stalling the engine is not the best thing to do... no. But it's preferable to do that then rear-end someone. So, just slam the brakes.


Like I said, don't worry. The electric motor makes the Insight hard to stall & easy to learn.
 

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Can't be of much help telling you how to do it: it's like riding a bike in that once you learn, you never really think about it. The hard part, for me, is driving an automatic. I don't do it often, but just spent a week in one (business trip). Horrible! No control, the engine is lugging all the time, and whenever I stop concetrating I go to shift, and stomp on the brake instead of the clutch... I was so glad to get back to the Insight.

Bottom line, unless you have some major physical disability, I bet you'll do better in the Insight. Just takes a little investment in learning :)
 

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Go with the stick!

I have driven automatics and manuals, but I learned to drive on manuals and I have never owned an automatic ever.

I have never owned an automatic.

Never.

I find all of the fun is gone with an automatic.

In my opinion, if you have never driven manual, then you have deprived yourself of a huge opportunity. Manual puts you in control, not the car. It lets you make decisions, not the car. It makes you a better driver because you are in tune with the car and paying attention to how you are driving.

The only possible reason anyone would ever want to drive an automatic would be because they were physically unable to handle a stick or if their entire driving time were spent in stop and go traffic and nothing else ever...

Sure the learning curve is steeper over an automatic, but it's also harder to walk than crawl, but isn't walking fun!

One more closing bad analogy:

Driving an automatic is like taking a gourmet meal and putting it into a blender!
 

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Chris, I didn't know how to drive standard either when I fell in love with the Insight. So I got a friend to teach me how and it's like everyone else said.. it took some learning but once I got it it stuck with me. Now I can drive anyone's manual car.

The standard Insights get slightly better mileage.. not sure of the exact numbers.

Ron
 

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Regarding 5 speeds...

I think I'll respond to your inquiry as someone whose driver's ed car was a 1986 Ford Escort 4-speed manual with broken power steering; that is, I learned to drive an automatic uh...six years later. Maybe it'll a helpful perspective.

My Insight is a CVT, which surprised me since my prior car was also an automatic and I had always said never again. :oops:

BUT, the CVT doesn't drive like a normal automatic; it won't take off at 7mph in drive if you lift your foot off the brake. It also doesn't have that little buck when shifting as do many automatics (but then again, my Celica didn't have that, either). Plus with Second or Sport mode (a button on the wheel) the shift ratios can be adjusted for conditions where you need more power, such as climbing up a steep hill in the city or passing quickly that crazy driver on the freeway weaving in and out of their lane at 50mph. It does feel a bit strange when slowing down without the foot on the gas or brake pedal, since one can't feel it shift downwards and it's those times when I want to downshift into 4th or 3rd gear the most.

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Okay, that said, I'd say learn to drive a manual transmission on a traditional gasoline car, preferably an older one. Start out in big parking lot and just practice slipping the clutch at first, until you can comfortable bring the car to the point of a stall but save it by pushing the pedal back into the floor (this is hard on clutches; another reason to use an older car). Then try going into first gear and forward, then braking--putting the clutch pedal into the floor so you don't stall when stopping. The drilling isn't very sexy, but its a good way to practice as well as learn to reflexively start the car back up when you stall--'cause you WILL stall on the road in an intersection; everyone does when they're learning. People don't get rear-ended as other drivers can tell when someone's learning a clutch.

For now, try driving with just your right foot, braking with it instead of your left, if you don't already.

Most who drive manual transmissions don't go back unless they experience a lot of stop-and-go traffic in their commutes or drive often with kids. Driving a manual transmission affords more direct control of the car and is sexy for both genders.

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So why did I get a CVT? For the same reason as last time: the car was perfect for me otherwise, and the CVT didn't have all the drawbacks of an automatic, especially with Second or "Sport" mode. Also, since much of my driving is in the city, the SULEV rating was a bonus to me.
 

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I learned to drive standard in a clapped out 3 speed Envoy Epic with no syncro rings and no compression. My father taught me and used the street as a school. I still recall seeing the cars in the rear view mirror as I stalled it for the second time at a left turn and told my father I couldn't do it. He said "yes you can, try again". He was right

Learn to drive standard on the worst piece of junk you can find and you'll be hooked for life. I love it! Trust me, when I had to drive the foremans three quarter ton pickup at 40 below in a mining camp a few years later I was very gratefull for the experience. :wink:

Oh, yes, learn in an empty parking lot!
 

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Learning to drive standard is not hard. Like learning any new skill, it's better to learn from someone that knows.

And keep in mind that only in North America do most people drive automatic transmission cars. In the rest of the world, everyone learns and only drive standard cars. Go to europe rent a car and it will be a standard, getting an automatic rental car can take efford!
My friend from Spain came to visit Canada, she rented a car and she was shocked to see it was an automatic. She had never been inside an automatic car before and she needed the car rental agent to teach her how to use the controls of the automatic rental car! :lol:

It takes less then 30 minutes to learn how to drive a standard trasmission to be point that you can get around, but it takes years to master the skills.
 

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It takes less then 30 minutes to learn how to drive a standard trasmission to be point that you can get around, but it takes years to master the skills.
Well said "G". 8)
 

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"...only in North America do most people drive automatic transmission cars..."

Do they really? If so, it lowers my opinion of the American public even further. I've only owned one automatic, one of the early turbo Subarus, and that was only because the didn't make the turbo with a manual. I spent quite a bit of thought on converting it, but got lazy and bought a CRX instead :)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
So what would happen if I was driving down the street in 5th and put it in reverse accidently? Also what would happen if you were in 5th and put it in 1st? Do you always have to put the clutch in every time you stop and then hit the brakes, or can you just put the clutch in, then put it in neutral, let the clutch out and then hit the brakes? So what would happen if you were comming in to stop at a light or a stop sign and you were in 4th grear and you just slammed on the brakes to stop?
 

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There is a lockout from 5th to reverse. If you managed to get it moved towards reverse while moving it will grind long before it will let you engage reverse. I think the damage could be much worse putting an automatic in reverse while going forward.

When slowing with the 5 speed you want to keep it in gear in order to get regenerative braking. Most of us down shift to 2nd on the way to get that extra regenerative braking. Once you get slowed down enough you will have to push the clutch in in order to prevent it from stalling. At this point the car will enter auto stop anyways.

For panic stopping conventional wisdom is to hit the brake and clutch together. This keeps the engine running and brake vaccum going. If you just hit the brake the engine would eventually stall and you might jerk forward a little as it tried to stay running.... have you ever seen the movie "Gone in 60 seconds" ? There's a good scene where Nicholas Cage has to stop the 4 speed Mustang fast and they show his feet simultaneously hitting the brake and clutch. It's pretty much like that.

Personal recommendation, find someone that can teach you how to drive a manual and get a rental car to learn in. It's worth knowing anyways because there will be some occasion where you might have to drive a manual car anyways. My family owns a small used car dealership so I've always had to drive all sorts of different types of vehicles so learning a manula wasn't optional, but it's worth knowing. Personally I've been to some parties where my friends have had a few too many and I end up driving their vehicles home. At least one of them is a manual usually.
 

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Consider the motorcycle (Canadian for bike). On a bike you have the accelerator and brake on one hand, clutch on the other, rear brake on one foot and the gear shifter on the other with neutral sandwiched between first and second. Plus you have turn signals that don't shut off automatically and posibly a kick starter that has to be manually swung out if you stall the engine. The human brain manages to keep track of all this while keeping the bike ballanced on two wheels.

Don't worry about it too much. Just learn it, enjoy it, and become good at it. :D
 

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As Rick mentioned, there's a physical lockout into reverse if you're moving forward, just like in an automatic. It won't let you into reverse unless you're standing still. Also, most manual cars have a lockout in 1st gear based on your speed. If you're going, say, 15mph or more, the shifter will give you a lot of resistance to prevent you from accidentally putting it in 1st gear.

Regarding putting the clutch down when coming to a stop, it's important to understand that putting the clutch down is identical (for all intents and purposes) to putting the car in neutral. That said, there's no specific order you have to press the pedals to come to a stop. You can push in the clutch, put the shifter in neutral, release the clutch, then push the brake. You can start braking for a little while, then push the clutch in just before coming to a complete stop. Or any other conceivable combination. The only one rule is that a gear cannot be engaged (shifter in gear and foot off clutch) when the car is standing still. As long as you prevent that, you're golden and the car won't stall.

Also, don't be apprehensive about making sure the clutch is down when you come to a stop. Once you've mastered driving a manual (which really doesn't take very much time if you're committed), pressing the clutch down with the brake when coming to a stop will become completely second nature. You won't even think about it, it'll just happen.
 

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Of course, pushing the clutch in on the Insight when braking will disable regen, so I usually do not do this until my speed drops to 20mph. Then the car will go into idle-stop mode.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
So how exactly does the idle-stop mode work with a Insight equiped with a 5-Speed or manual transmission? So if I keep the car in lets say 1st grear at a stop is it going to enter idle-stop mode, or do I have to have it in neutral for it to go into idle-stop mode?

Well I found a good website on how to drive a stick shift, it has some good videos. Here is the site: http://www.standardshift.com/videos.html
 
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