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It's funny how you take a trip in a car and it's, well, boring, take a trip in an Insight and it's an adventure. I've had to make a few trips to Palm Springs for work, about a 190 mile round trip, two this week and going back next week as well. There's a 30 mile stretch of I-10 from Beaumont to Palm Springs that is a slight decent the whole way heading eastbound with a strong tailwind to boot. It's where the famous Califonia windmill farms are. I was doing 80+ MPH in lean burn with an indicated 150 mpg. It took it easy on the trip and got 75 mpg. Going home however, I wanted to make time so I tried to drive 70-80 mph. On the 30 mile stretch, I depleted my battery in ten miles, ending up in the right lane barely maintaining 50 mph in 4th till the road leveled out. Mileage on the return trip was barely 50. The next day I drove 75-80 the whole way going and managed 65 mpg. This time on the way back, on that stretch of road, I tucked in behind a semi, cruised 55 mph in 4th, and the SOC never got below 3/4. Once I got back on level ground, I got back up to 80 and managed 61 mpg. Next week, I'm gonna try to see if I can coast on that 30 mile stretch and shoot for maximum MPG. This used to be a boring trip.
 

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Met-head,

I make the same trip to Palm Desert a few times a year. How I look forward to that 30-mile down hill from Beaumont!
The climb up from the L.A. basin pushes my CVT down to 55 mpg, my wife can practically hear my teeth grinding in frustration.

But oh, when the batteries are full and the CVT starts to freewheel with that sliding-on-ice feeling (especially now that the freeways are planed smooth) my Insight-grin returns. Last December I came close to my all time best, pulling into my in-laws driveway with 72 mpg. Small change for the manual transmission guys, but for a CVT it doesn't get much better.

Talk about adventures though. We just got back from a run to San Francisco. Good going up, 66 mpg (route 5). But horrible coming back (route 1). Heavy rain, high wind...80 miles of rain, followed by 80 miles of a 20 mph headwind. Mpg down in the forties, took every thing I could do to bring the 350 mile return back up to 60 mpg.

griller
 
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