Honda Insight Forum banner
41 - 60 of 64 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
891 Posts
el_vacho said:
I've never said it was the cleanest, only that it is cleaner than most.
http://www.epa.gov/greenvehicles/about.htm
"The average overall emission score for model year 2000 and 2001 vehicles is about 3. This average is expected to increase in future model years as cleaner vehicles are introduced."

http://www.epa.gov/greenvehicles/whatisnew.htm
"This year, EPA's new stringent "Tier 2" emission standards for cars and trucks officially take effect. Stricter standards mean cleaner choices for car buyers - the average score for 2004 models is 6, compared with a score of 4 in 2003."

Insight 5spd has a score of 6 or 7, depending on where you are. So it is unfair to describe them as "actually pretty dirty" in terms of emissions, and a more accurate description would be "slightly less dirty than average." EDIT - is it "cleaner than most?" This depends on your interpretation of the EPA use of the word "average." If they mean the "median," then yes, the Insight is cleaner (in terms of tailpipe emissions) than most. If they mean the "mean," then you cannot say for certain without more information, but you could say "cleaner than average."

EPA characterizes cars with scores as 8 or higher as "the cleanest 2004 vehicles offered for sale." Insight CVT, Prius, Honda Civic Hybrid, and many other conventional cars are scored 9 or 10, and you can see them listed here:
http://www.epa.gov/greenvehicles/all-rank-04.htm

Note that the only car to rank 10 outside of California or NLEV areas (New England) is the Honda Civic CNG.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,819 Posts
"I've never said it was the cleanest, only that it is cleaner than most."

That's the way I feel. I figure that with the Insight, even driving as I do, I'm beating 99% of the population on both fuel economy and emissions - and that's not even counting the time spent on the bikes :) So I'm not much interested in arguing whether some other car or driving technique might boost me to 99.9%. I'd rather stay the same, while the world around me changes so that I'm just average...
 
G

·
Hi El_Vacho:
el_vacho said:
You spend too much time on the highway. Sure, the Insight has limited umph for passing at 65+mph. But at 40mph ... It's no 240Z, but there are people using them in racing circuits and doing quite well. And numerous other people here in this forum have stated that they easily get ahead of the pack when taking off from stoplights.
___Still no go. 0 – 60 in 10.5 seconds or worse does not make it a 6 - 8 second to 60 automobile. The 5-speed Insight is capable of ~ 3.2 seconds to 30, also on the low end of the scale … And the Sierra club tells us what our automobiles emissions are? I will tend to stick with the EPA myself. (text edited by moderator)

el_vacho said:
You By the way, Honda also put a lot of effort into minimizing pollution in the manufacturing process of the Insight, and using nontoxic and/or recycleable materials when possible.
___Yes, they did and I am glad for it … The other side of that equation unfortunately is that an aluminum structured automobile uses ~ the same amount of energy to build as it will use in its lifetime. It is quite a bit more energy intensive to use aluminum vs. straight steel actually.

___(moderator edit) 0 - 30 in 3.2 seconds and 0 - 60 in 10.5 seconds at best does not make a performance car. .77 G’s on the skidpad is just an Ok number as well.

___(moderator edit) I just pray to god that whatever Honda offers us to replace the Insight is as clean as the PZEV’s are today and offers even better fuel economy …

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:1ja6r1mm][email protected][/email:1ja6r1mm]

(moderator note: this post required editing to remove redundancy. repeating ourselves back and forth does not lend itself to discussion and doesn't help the original poster. also had to remove some and comments of a personal nature. please refrain from these in the future. thanks)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
891 Posts
The tone of this discussion appears to have gotten steadily worse over the past few days, in a manner that is unhelpful to people who might want to use it as a reference. I have reviewed the last 2 pages of this discussion and made changes in an attempt to salvage it. I may continue going backward in time.

Please refrain in the future from directing personal comments at each other or in analysis of posting habits, and the like, and save such discussion for private messages or email.

If you have problems with what I've done here, you can respond to myself or benjamin privately. Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,819 Posts
"...an aluminum structured automobile uses..."

Isn't that calculation based on aluminum refined from ore? That of course is a very energy-intensive process. However, aluminum lasts longer - you poor souls in the northeast won't see your Insight full of moth holes in a couple of years - and is more effectively recycled.

"...0 - 60 in 10.5 seconds at best does not make a performance car."

Which brings that argument around in a circle again. You say it's not a performance car, while a lot of us find that in the real world we get off the line and go down the road faster than the average driver does.

Doesn't that say that a) the Insight is about as fast/powerful as a car really NEEDS to be - though of course I wouldn't actually complain about a bit more performance :) - and b) a lot of manufacturing resources are going into building cars with a level of performance that most people will never use.

Indeed, as I think on it, that's a whole unaddressed field for energy/resource conservation: the building of things that have far more power than their owners realistically will ever use. Like the Hummer that only gets driven to the store, or the people who buy a computer with the latest, fastest processor, then install Windoze and go web surfing :)
 
G

·
Hi James:

___In regards to a 0 - 60 mph automobile, this is definitely a wants vs. needs area. ('nuff said - moderator)

___The one area I find the Insight’s power lacking is when climbing 50 - 100’ high hills. If you don’t shift down, you are into the IMA. If you shift down, you lose a bit of momentum and especially gas mileage. If you shift down under a coast scenario, you still loose mileage as you pick it back up on the downhill side. The Corolla never has problems with these same hills in the least. Another more recent example. I left Champaign Urbana Sunday night in 32 degree temperatures heading into a wind so fierce I couldn’t believe it. It had to be gusting straight down the nose at over 35 mph during some of that drive. Weather.com was showing just 17 - 22 mph winds expected from that direction from Champaign through Kankakee IIRC. To do a steady 60 mph in fifth gear, I was into and out of the IMA! This is absolutely unsustainable with 180 miles to go. I tried using fifth at slower speeds, fourth, fourth at slower speeds, drafting the few 18 wheelers on the road that Easter Sunday night. I ended up pulling over at a rest area some 40 miles out with an instantaneous of just 61.x mpg showing and waiting for the wind to die off some. I ended up driving in fourth from that rest area almost all the way to Kankakee, IL on I57 just to keep out of the IMA yet maintain close to highway speeds. I have driven the Corolla in this kind of wind (my work location is actually in Tornado Alley) and although it bounces around a bit, it doesn’t have any trouble w/ its torque converter staying locked up in top gear. This is where performance meets my real world. Fortunately, that kind of wind only appears every 2 or 3 months. Once I reached Kankakee, I was sitting at just 64.x mpg and then the wind subsided some to maybe 5 - 10 mph. I limped home the rest of the way and picked her all the way back up to 78.4 mpg but oh that first 60 miles was one horrid SOB … The SOB part is driving in fourth to stay out of IMA while just maintaining highway speeds.

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:1rc80sch][email protected][/email:1rc80sch]
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
891 Posts
I have had similar experience driving west across the great plains on I-80 in 40-50 mph northerly winds. Winds taking the car sideways, in other words. I was glad for my wider-than-OEM tires. Much of the drive was either floored in 5th or downshifted to 4th or 3rd. MPG was in the mid-to-low 50's.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
830 Posts
I also have had to go to 4th gear in high wind/ mountainious areas. To me this is perfectly normal. I understand that the car was build for high mpg and that the 4th and 5th gears are overdrives.

Having to go into th 3d gear would be similar for an other car to go from 5th to 4th (out of overdrive mode)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
700 Posts
Hey, I had an '82 Mazda GLC ("Sport", which equals 5-speed) and I routinely had to downshift to crest hills, etc. I never felt slow. It was actually my favorite of all my cars, probably due to sentimentality since I drove it for 13 years. In other words, I'm used to "adequately" powered cars. :wink:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
489 Posts
I don't know how people can complain about the performance of the Insight, though I have a hunch it's because they use higher gears. And important thing to remember is that 4th and fifth are both overdrive gears, and 3rd is a hairs breadth away from overdrive itself. If you need performance, 1st gear goes past 30 mph and 2nd will reach past 60 mph - and the Insight accelerates quite satisfactory in those gears.
 
G

·
Hi All:

___This dropping down a gear or two on hills is the performance issue that stares me in the face every day.

___Here is a small example: I am in a std. lean burn cruise and the Insight is forced into a NOx purge as the engine needs more power to maintain speed climbing a slight hill. Then comes an IMA assist and a drop down of a gear w/ the same or more IMA assist afterwards while still on the ascent … This is larger hills of course. It is great for teaching/learning the “driving with load” technique as it forces me to let off the accelerator some what and I receive great mileage over the smaller ones but the Corolla and MDX don’t even know I am traveling up these overpasses or small hills other then the MDX’s game gauge shows a slight drop in fuel economy. I am sure the Corolla is adding additional fuel as well. I now force drive with load on these hills with the Corolla and MDX as well but I don’t have too if traffic conditions don’t warrant it. There is simply no change in either of these engines tone or increase in rev’s on the tach or anything else one can detect other then the 2.5 to 5 mpg decrease on the game gauge of the MDX. Both of these vehicles torque converters are locked up the entire time and they never drop down or feel as if there is any struggle in front of them. The Insight on the other hand doesn’t just see these climbs as bumps but as large hills and the IMA will kick in almost immediately if I don’t begin shedding speed almost as soon as I begin the ascent. One of these hills (a 100’ climb in ~ 1/3 – ½ of a mile) as I cross the DesPlaines River from the North on I55 is a tough one. Not only can I not maintain a fifth gear climb w/ 10 + bars of assist showing at a steady 55 mph, I can’t keep out of the IMA in third or fourth either. Fortunately, there are usually not a lot of cars and trucks that far south of Chicago and to maintain max fuel economy, I can hit the trough before the climb at ~ 65 mph and bleed off ~ 15 - 20 mph on the way up and not touch the IMA that hard while still in fifth. Maybe 5 seconds of a 4 bar assist is what I try to keep it under … If there are cars and trucks around however, I hit the trough in fifth at ~ 65 mph, then fourth just as I see the first 4 to 6 bars of assist and I keep climbing w/ 10 + bars until I hit the crest while still maintaining at least 58 mph. If there is a stronger head wind, I have to drop down into third and get into the VTEC w/ 10 + bars and maintain what I have to keep from getting run over … Fortunately, the 18 wheelers get hit with the same problem as I do and usually are slowing into the 58 - 59 mph range as they hit the crest so I only have to maintain that speed to keep a distance.

___The first technique is not a power issue as I am maximizing fuel economy but when the cars and trucks are around or if there are headwinds, I sure wish I had a bit more under the hood as I am getting a bit close to its limits. The Corolla and MDX just don’t see this hill like the Insight does. I cannot imagine what you guys that live in the mountainous regions go through as this is where the MDX loved to pop out of lock up and that thing has one monster amount of engine available at anytime … The Insight must just about die unless she is revving in the 4,000 RPM + range in third gear while on the cam and with a hell of a lot of assist brightening the gauge cluster.

___And as always, I am always open to suggestions if it will help on the fuel economy side of the equation. I know Rick Reece hits some decent size climbs on his commute so I know I am not alone and I only have to deal with little hills, let alone a mountain to climb.

___From a “Is a Hybrid right for me” to a learning exercise? I hope Jeepnut had a chance to review the last 5 or so pages before we stray way OT?

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:vqds0aj0][email protected][/email:vqds0aj0]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #52 ·
Sorry I didn't get back to the board sooner, got hit with a bad virus (not me, the computer)

Thanks for all of the great responses. I am overwhelmed with all of this info. The only thing I still don't know is....How much the battery back will be to replace, projected to last 80-100k. I will be at this mileage in three years. I can (and have) gotten 250k out of a well maintaned ICE. (past Hondas, Toys, Chev.)

It's now between an EX (AT) or a HCH (5spd if I can find it). Or, (gulp - unchartered territory..) a Jetta TDI. Long term durability and low operating costs are the goal. I have excellent driving habits and can pull the best mileage out of any vehicle, I never have trouble obtaining EPA highway figures. Currently get 27mpg out of my V6 Camry, EPA rates at 27.

My main motivation is long term durability and low operating costs. I can save about $380 per year based on my annual mileage (30k) and gas at $2 per gallon. (that's if I get 45mpg in the HCH and 35mpg in the EX) I can get a HCH locally for $19k (CVT) and an EX for $16,300 (AT). (I feel the EX is better for comparisons, as they are equiped the same except for the EX has a sunroof). With the $1500 tax break from Uncle Sam, I'm at $1200 difference between the two. Maybe less if I get the 5spd. Not bad IMHO. I'm a techno-nut (as well as a Jeepnut) and I like the engineering that has gone into the Civic. Plus, I'm a fan of Hondas, have owned a couple in the past (CVCC & Prelude)

I really like where I work and where I live, and I don't mind the 75 minute drive, but my current costs are starting to hurt. The toy has served me well (120k) but has suffered major undercarriage damage recently when I plowed into a rockslide on the way home. It will be traded in after I get it back from the shop. $6500 damage, ouch.

As for the Prius, there is an 8 month waiting list....And I'm not fond of the looks.

Focus....no way, I have a Focus rental now while the Toyota is in the shop, the dash makes me sick just looking at it. Feels like I'm driving my old company Tempo again.

Other vehicles (keepers), 1978 Jeep CJ, 1990 Jeep Wrangler (175k never rebuilt), 1997 Grand Cherokee(wife's), 1990 Suburban (225k, never rebuilt). As you can see, I am not a greenie, each of these vehicles has a place in my hobby and my work and my play. However, I like to save where I can.

Doh! 10 O'clock news just said gas will be nearing $3 by the summer....we're getting killed here in AZ!

Thanks again, I hope to decide soon.
Jeepnut
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
james said:
So the conclusion seems to be that most people are paying extra money for performance capabilities that they choose not to use, 'cause I DO go faster/quicker in my Insight than most.
on topic, i can say that i agree with the idea above. i know the insight is
right for me, as during our test drive, my wife and i were having a ball
smacking people off the line at redlights and so forth. we were tickled pink
with the acceleration of the insight.

do i make the claim that these people we were beating had any clue we were
"racing" them? not in the least. mostly it was a various array of clueless
looking middleaged women who seemed to be driving automobiles they chose because
Reader's Digest scored them high marks for "safety"; but what is important,
since *i* am going to drive the car, and *she* is going to drive the car, and
neither one of us are going NHRA top fuel nationals with the insight, is the
subjective. in our case, we found the car to be powerful enough; and especially
so given light to something she told me once:

we were driving somewhere; talking about cars nowadays -- hulking death rams
drawn by 400 HP charged with the task of dragging the 5000 lbs of iron, comfortably
suspended and climatrolled with satellite DVD navigation in dolby surround sound
and professional sound-booth quality insulation from the rest of the universe
which surrounds them, from "A to B" in a mind-numbing fashion -- and how, even
with all the wild power claims these things have, the people driving them will
likely never realize that power as if they even do inadvertantly drop the hammer
on their splendidly lobotimized hippomobile, the sensation of the automatic
transmission losing its tenative watery grip on reality by tumbling towards recall
gear-by-gear, roughly two full seconds *after* required throttle input was given, as it
brings the RPM of the engine up to the stratastrophic nose-bleed height of
some 4000 and change, eliciting such a heinous shrieking from the NASCAR bred
lump of iron between their front wheels as to convince them stoutly that they're
going to *break* the vehicle about which they care more of its resale value in
*four years time* than its ability to take a proper corner *now*, will make them,
in despite of being in the middle of a 65-70 mph moving neighbourhood of traffic, find
the genious inspiration to hop onto the brake pedal in a shocking display of "carefulness".

she told me that, for me, even tho my little 11 year old civic may have had only ~120 odd
HP max at the factory when freshly born, i get *all* of whatever-remains-of-that-120 HP
out of it in my driving; whereas they will likely only drive at about 40% of the car's
potential, provided you've subtracted all the straight lines out of their travels...

or something to that effect.

suffice it to say that the insight, to me, transcends in power the weary adjectives
of "spunky", "peppy", "zippy" to the point where i could say that for anyone who has
the presence of mind to look at the reality and math of the situation brought forth
in the insight, it can haul quite a bit of any part of your body i'd rather not have
to run the risk of having edited out by the moderators.

anyway, all that non-withstanding, it is a proper car for the driver who
fancies paying attention, and enjoys the rewards of doing so.

---

edit: oops. forgot to turn on BBCode for the quote thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
700 Posts
xcel: Life is a compromise. Pardon the lecturing tone of that.

If you don't want to downshift in times of need, that is your choice. But, a brief run in 3rd with VTEC to get up a big hill will not make a huge impact on your trip mpg, but would probably help your stress level. Just plan to do it each time without thinking, no questions asked. Don't watch the gauge, just downshift and be done with it.

Just a suggestion.

:D
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
891 Posts
Jeepnut said:
How much the battery back will be to replace
Unknown to us as well. Nobody has yet had an out-of-warranty battery pack failure. Few of us are even driving beyond the 80k mile IMA warranty on an Insight, and certainly no Civic Hybrid owners yet. I would expect the Insight battery pack to be more expensive and in shorter supply than a Civic Hybrid battery pack, based on production/sales numbers of the two cars. EDIT - people have speculated the cost to be $1k to $3k.

If you are concerned chiefly about costs then xcel's calcs will be helpful. It looks like you've done your homework there as well. Edmunds also has a good calculator. When I got my Insight I found that it was about a wash on cost, and I decided I'd rather give the money to Honda up front than pay it out to oil companies over time, plus I really dug the car.

Taking hills and maximizing mpg would be good for another discussion. A new discussion on that subject might attract more comments than something buried 6 pages deep here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,819 Posts
"___The one area I find the Insight’s power lacking is when climbing 50 - 100’ high hills."

Guess we have a difference of opinion on what constitutes a hill :)

For the basic freeway overpass type rise, I just keep constant throttle and bleed off a bit of speed. Anything bigger, and I drop into 4th or 3rd. Yes, it kills the mileage on the way up, but I get it back on the way down. I manage to maintain 70 mpg+ except in the dead of winter, and regularly do 2000-4000 foot climbs.

You're right that the Insight doesn't have the power needed to take such hills in 5th, but I think that's part of the philosophy of having only what engine is needed. The great majority of the time you can cruise along in 5th, often in lean-burn, and get exceptional mpg. When you need more power, you drop a gear or two, and the engine produces it by going to higher rpms. Of course it burns more fuel in the process, but even going up a fairly steep, winding, 4400' climb I probably average around 30-35 mpg. Then on the return trip I get near-infinity mpg thanks to the fuel shutoff, so the average stays around 70.

And for Jeepnut, I think your best option at this point would be to find a good used CRX, or Civic if you need the four seats. Lot less cost upfront, decent mpg, and no worries about battery replacements. And if you run into another rockslide, you can buy another for less than $6K :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,819 Posts
"...even tho my little 11 year old civic may have had only ~120 odd HP max at the factory when freshly born, i get *all* of whatever-remains-of-that-120 HP out of it..."

I think that's why the Insight reminds me so much of my old Austin-Healey. Not a whole lot of power - I think the engine was only 1100 cc or so - but quick & fun.
 
G

·
Hi All:

___Not to bemoan the issue because I am in the minority here but I have driven this route in 7 other automobiles and none of them needed to be downshifted (a manual in both a Nissan and an S-10 P/U w/ 4 banger’s) as well as all the Autos … And with that, I don’t think my mileage will improve much as I have been receiving in the low to mid 90’s on this 96 mile return on warmer days but I sure don’t like to be shifting down a gear or two because their isn’t much left under the hood is all :(

___In terms of performance feel, James brought up a very good point and I will agree with it wholeheartedly. The Insight is very quick and it is very fun. It goes where I point it and it goes there right now. The entertainment value of the game gauges is worth its weight in gold as well … The rest of my vehicles don’t have anywhere near the quick snap feel to them nor are they as entertaining. Well maybe the MDX because of its included game gauge and RES ;)

___Jeepnut, sorry for taking this thread so far OT … Have you considered renting a Hybrid for a trip or two on your commute? There are TRAC 04 Prius’ available to test drive/rent for a day form many larger Toyota dealerships. I can bet you now know somebody that might let you take their Insight for a rather lengthy spin as well. Speak with your local Honda dealer as they might have a demo HCH to try out for more then just the std. 5 miler around the block drive. There is an EV/Hybrid rental shop in California (a Google search will lead you too it) and they may have one in your area as well? Well, maybe not Payson but in the Phoenix area anyway?

___By the way, when I was traveling through your area last year, there was quite a bit of road construction on Rt. 87? (I think that was the state road?). Did they get that all cleared up? We might be heading back down there in late summer and that short cut to Phoenix looked great until we hit the road construction somewhere along the route? And I really enjoyed the beautiful vistas into and around the Payson area! It beats the heat down in Phoenix by a long shot … Sorry Glendale Rick ;)

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:3byc7weg][email protected][/email:3byc7weg]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
700 Posts
xcel beat me to it.

Jeepnut: It hit me earlier today to suggest, it seems the obvious suggestion now, so I will second the notion of renting an 04 Prius for a few days. Drive your route several times and see how it goes.

I did just that last year to check it out. It doesn't take long to "get in the groove."

And be sure to let us know what you experience!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
453 Posts
http://www.tdiclub.com

No battery, no need to ever down shift, plenty of TORQUE, cheaper fuel cost about .20 less per gallon, durable PROVEN design, 4 seats, dual front air bags with side air bags, plenty of options.

Driven like most Insight owners drive the TDI can get 55+mpg. My wife and I average a solid 43mpg on each and every tank.

The 2003 VW Golf or Jetta TDI's are the best. 2004 have went to a different fuel pump and get less MPG.

I can say all of this because I/ the wife own a 2003 Jetta GLS with a TDI engine.

At least test drive one... I'll probably trade the Insight back to Honda if the new accord diesel is a good design.
 
41 - 60 of 64 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top