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How do you think an Insight would do on my commute?

1578 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  3509
I live in tehachapi, California, and I work in Bakersfield California. My commute is only about 50 miles each way, but over that 50 miles, there is a 3,500 feet elevation change over the Tehachapi pass. I am sure the insight would do fine on the trip from tehachapi to Bakersfield, but I was wondering how well it would do from bakersfield to tehachapi? There are several sections of the road that are 3 to 5 miles of 5% grade. I currently commute in a V-6 Chevy S-10, and I have to drop it into 4 to climb the grades. I would like to be able to climb these grades at least at 55 mph.

If I do buy an Insight, it will more than likely be used, and I imagine the condition of the battery will be an issue that will determine how well the car climbs the grade. I am conserned that I will have to deal with the battery cutting out half way up the hill, and I have to finish the climb on the gas engine alone. How well does it climb hills on the gas engine?

C. Alan
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I think you would make it fine. You have (at least) 2 options to approach the big hills:

1. Max MPG: Leave it in 5th or maybe 4th if necessary, and floor it. You will use a lot of battery assist, and this will help your mileage, but really pound your battery. You can watch your charge meter drop, drop, drop, while your jaw clenches and sweat breaks out on your forehead as you try to will the car up the road, until you have no choice but to downshift.

2. Low stress: Drop it into 3rd (or even 2nd if you're in a big hurry), and scoot up the hill. No, this isn't the best approach for max efficiency, but you will still use 3 or 4 times less gas than your truck.

Since your route is a little extreme, it might be best for you to try your usual drive in an Insight if at all possible.
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