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"...I have driven this route in 7 other automobiles and none of them needed to be downshifted..."

But what's wrong with downshifting? Other than that it takes a bit of getting used to, of course. I felt the same way for the first week or so :)

Maybe the problem is that other IC engines can't/aren't built to handle high rpms for more than occasional brief spurts, so people get used to driving along in a high gear with the engine not revving much.
 

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Final drive ratio on the Insight 5spd is 3.21 and gear ratios are 1.10, 0.86, 0.71 for 3rd, 4th, 5th gear respectively. Final drive ratio on the Civic sedans is 4.11 and gear ratios are 1.24, 0.97, 0.71 for 3rd, 4th, 5th. Combine the two and our 4th is a lot more like the 5th gear of the Civic, with our 5th gear being even more overdriven.

I have read many more reports of people reaching the top speed of the Insight 5spd in 3rd gear than I have in 4th or 5th.
 

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Hi,

Tim is right. Top speed is done in 3rd gear.

I raced the 1/4 mile on a real race track and you do the 1/4 mile with the first two gears and in 18 seconds. And the tires spins while going from 1st to 2nd gear. No power shifts was used.

If someone does not want to change gears, he could stay in 4th gear, never use the 5th gear and the engine would still rev less than most other car engines. And get better MPG that other cars.

For volks cars, I have raced with Jetta TDI and I have won. While the guy did two gear shifts, I did only one. While a tdi can get high mpg, I have had trips of more than 200 km at 125 mpg.
But I drive in a faster manner and I have a 48 mpg average. I have always done less that the EPA average for any car. If I had a volks I bet I would get below 30 mpg average.
(note that I raced with gas turbo and have lost but I already knew that there was no contest there, the 1/4 mile is at about 16 seconds. Willie and his turbo could be more in the range)
 
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