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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have seen the occasional question regarding the ability of the 1st Gen Insight in the mountains.

Yesterday I needed to go pick up my daughter in Grand Junction and bring her back home to the Denver area, so I'm adding a quick trip report that hopefully will answer the question.

I left my house with 35 miles showing on the trip odometer and an indicated 78 mpg at that point. I live a little north of Denver, so route was I-25, I-76 then I-70 though Eisenhower Tunnel, Vail pass, Glenwood canyon and into Grand Junction.

The trick to driving in the mountains is to not be afraid of downshifting and letting that engine rev! On the steepest grades out of Denver, then after Georgetown to tunnel and over the Vail pass, I was in 2nd gear with revs up around 5,000. That translates to 55 - 60 mph, in the right lane with all the heavy trucks that are laboring up the grade too. By watching traffic ahead and timing my passes, I was able to keep my speed up as I passed those trucks that had slowed to 35 mph or less in places. I never slowed to less than 55 mph headed up the grade.

Headed into the tunnel I had driven 115 miles and averaged 65.5 mpg.


Headed downhill once out of the tunnel, watch your speed! You know how aerodynamic the Insight is? Yeah, the puppy will build some serious speed on a 12 mile long 6% downgrade.. I always find myself bummed that I don't have more battery to charge on the way down, it's usually full with no regen braking available by halfway down. Judicious use of the brakes (don't ride them, brake then let off allows them to cool between applications) and engine braking will get you down with no problems. Do keep an eye in the rearview mirror for big rigs that have failed brakes, I counted four trucks pulled over to the side of the road with smoking brakes on this trip.

Rinse and repeat for Vail pass. Top of Vail pass I had driven 142 miles and averaging 67.6 mpg.

I ended up stopped for 20 minutes in a traffic jam for road construction in the Glenwood Canyon, which wasn't all that bad, gave me a chance to really look at some of the incredible rock walls and formations. At this point I had driven 206 miles, averaging 73.7 mpg.

Ran into headwinds for the last 75 miles to my daughter's house, arrived there at 306 miles and 71.9 mpg.

Quick stop to use restroom, stretch my legs and we headed back home, reversing the route.

Weather turned worse over the Eisenhower/Johnson tunnel, ran into rain - there was fresh snow above treeline. Snow on June 18th - gotta love the Rocky Mountains!! :)

Arrived home having logged 577 (-35) so 532 miles in 9 hours and fuel economy of 69.5 mpg. I think that is really impressive considering four high mountain pass crossings. I still have a quarter tank of gas to empty!

Love my Insight!

IMG_20200618_195221585.jpg
 

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Thanks for this. The main reason I got my insight is that I love road trips. No other vehicle combines the set of advantages and features of an insight for me as a road car. Economy, comfort, carbon footprint. And drivability. I need to get out in mine for a drivabout soon.
 

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Yes, thank you for this post. This is one of my favorite stretches for cross-country road trips.

Headed into the tunnel I had driven 115 miles and averaged 65.5 mpg.
And that is absolutely amazing, considering the mile climb in altitude.

532 miles in 8.5 hours and fuel economy of 69.5 mpg
I am not there yet on mine; I have a few more things to sort out. I think, though, I'm going to sacrifice a little weight for comfort. Do you have any sound deadening and are you using a different seat? (I would love to know the ideal long distance seats that could be found fairly easily at a Pick-a-Part.)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Stock seats, I find them reasonably comfortable.

No sound deadening, yes it is noisy, especially on some of the worn concrete surfaces on the Interstate.
 

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As I’ve written in other posts I put 30+ square feet of sound deadened in mine plus a layer of
Thick beige carpet thruout. It cut the road noise by more than half. I’m a smaller guy , so the stock seats are fine. But I’d love to know what others have found for a comfortable replacement.
 

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Haley is from Grand Junction. :)

You can read about my trip from Santa Fe, NM to Grand Junction, CO in the 444,000 mile(at the time) Insight back in ... holy crap, 2011???!!! Time flies.....

Link:


Those are still my best numbers....
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi Eli,

Wow, I was feeling good about my numbers.. then you showed us what a real master can do! :)

Cool that you pulled out those kind of numbers from a car with that many accumulated miles.

I've been lazy, still haven't replaced the belly pan or right side front air strake that were missing when I bought it.

I did not have an app like yours, but my guesstimate of moving speed average goes like this:

Total time gone: 9 hours
Time spent in two rest stops, 1 construction stop and midway break: guess 45 minutes
so 8+15 time driving

532 miles divided by 8:15 = 64.48 miles per hour
 

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You should feel good about them. :) Most people have no concept of their actual average moving speed, it's almost always much lower than the posted speed limits of the roads you are traveling on. It definitely took effort, there was no "going with the flow of traffic" on that trip. If your average moving speed is anywhere near close to correct, they're fine numbers.

It's actually exceptionally difficult to average a 65mph moving speed(while hypermiling); it implies extended time at 75mph+ to make up for the times where you are below 65mph... And believe me, if you pay attention there are plenty of things that conspire to lower your speed along a route... Small towns are a prime culprit, but mountain passes and beautiful scenery will do it too.....
 

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Eli wrote:
You can read about my trip from Santa Fe, NM to Grand Junction, CO in the 444,000 mile(at the time) Insight back in ... holy crap, 2011???
Incredible mileage. What year is the car? Would you happen to have the numbers on the BCM, MCM and ECM?
 
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