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I find the range jumps up and down based on how responsibly I'm driving, which is normal. For example, if I speed up a hill it'll go down and when I take my foot off the pedal for the whole downhill trip, it'll even back out. That's fine.

But I've found that in the last 80-100 miles of the tank, the range deteriorates rapidly, dropping by 10s of miles at a time until when I think I would have enough gas to get back home, I end up having to stop to gas up 40 miles earlier than expected.

Is the range number just inaccurate? I was driving on the 5S last night back from SF, and I had about 70-80 miles right before reaching the Tejon Pass. It was confusing because in the last 5 miles before the pass, the range dropped precipitously until I was forced to fill up before hitting the pass.
 

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First, the MPG & therefore the miles to empty is just a toy and hardly dead accurate as you must know from filling the tank and doing manual calculations of MPG. It has been reported around here that it is about 1-3 MPG optimistic.

There other thing you might not be aware of, is that miles before you actually seem to be climbing up that pass you are already climbing. I know this because I’m old enough to have taken a Volkswagen bus over that pass a few times. Climbing at all in one of those things takes planning. That grade begins way back by the hwy 99 cut off.
 

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First, the MPG & therefore the miles to empty is just a toy and hardly dead accurate as you must know from filling the tank and doing manual calculations of MPG. It has been reported around here that it is about 1-3 MPG optimistic.

There other thing you might not be aware of, is that miles before you actually seem to be climbing up that pass you are already climbing. I know this because I’m old enough to have taken a Volkswagen bus over that pass a few times. Climbing at all in one of those things takes planning. That grade begins way back by the hwy 99 cut off.
Well that stinks doesn't it! I can usually get around 450-500 "range" after I fill up and drive cautiously but always seems to take a dive towards the end... or I guess it's leveling out to realistic levels towards the end.

Also, I didn't know the grade begins at the 99! Wow. I could've sworn it was level sailing the whole way.
 

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I regularly drive with it saying 0 on the range gauge.

The fuel gauge needle can go below the upper left corner of the E, and probably further, before the car actually runs out. I usually fill up when the needle is like pointing through the middle of the left side of the E. I go to 4 clicks with the pump which is usually between 10.2 and 10.5 gallons.

Because it is a 10 gallon tank, you can use the Trip A average economy to figure out how long you can drive, but I usually allot an extra 20 miles. For example if I've been doing like 47.2 or something then I know I can probably get to 450 and be fine.
 

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I noticed the range expands rapidly when I'm about 20 km (12 miles) from a cold start.
What I make from it is that it calculates range based on its consumption over the last 10 miles (16 km). Around 20 km the high consumption from the cold start falls outside its scope.

So what the range prediction shows is reasonably accurate, if you are to keep driving without stop under the same conditions. Of course, most of us will have to stop several times before the tank runs out so we won't match that range.

Regardless of conditions, once the tank warning light burns the range starts to drop away fast no matter how you drive. As a result, it will end up at zero while there may be a gallon left in the tank.
I have driven over 40 km with a zero range, not entirely without anxiety, but made it to the cheap pump of my choice anyway and only got 38 liter in.
The Insight does have a 40 liter tank (10.6 US gallon) so I might well have gone on another 50 km or so?

My old Nissan Almera had a 50 liter tank. I almost ran it down once, which became apparent when the pump clicked off at 51.something...

Never ran a car dry. We don't count motorbikes but I know a Pan European is a pig to push to the pump, even if just for half a mile...
 

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My fuel light came on once just as I was about to get gas and the car took 8 gallons. Range goes to zero but there is still 2 gallons plus.

Now I reset the trip when the light comes on knowing if I'm careful I can go a max of 100 miles if I can average about 50 mpg.
 

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After years of driving, I discovered the G2 Insight has this quirk with the estimated range left.

1) When gas is topped off, your estimated range is quite accurate.

2) After using half the tank, the estimated range becomes increasingly conservative and trends toward pessimistic.

3) The 'Fuel Low' light and message comes on when you have 2 gallons left. When the fuel light comes on, the estimated range will always calculate as having 1 gallon's worth of miles left, calculated based on the MPG for that ride session.

4) As you continue driving, when the estimated range hits '0', you actually have 1 gallon left. For me, I typically get 43mpg so I can push it another 20 miles confidently, and another 20 nervous miles after that.

In my experience, my dynamically calculated mpg is always 2mpg optimistic. So when my Insight says I'm getting 47mpg... I'm actually getting 45mpg.

This car holds 10.6 gallons. Every fill up I used to judiciously log and scrutinize mileage estimated vs miles ridden and gas used. It was always exciting to do the math for the first four years. Now I burn rubber from the stoplights and accelerate hard out of corners.
 

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I've had the Insight read zero miles left in the tank for about 23 miles in the middle of nowhere Upper Michigan. I drove like a grandma with the windows up and no AC on until I finally arrived at a gas station.

The car told me I had about 40 miles left when I got to my initial destination so I thought I was more than good. I didn't take into consideration that my destination was at the bottom of a mountain and I had to drive back up it to get gas.

I've learned not to trust it when it's near empty.
 

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Driving any vehicle with little fuel is foolish. On a steep incline all the fuel can end up in a puddle away from the fuel pump.
 

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I too have noticed how conservative the fuel warning/range display is.

As you continue driving, when the estimated range hits '0', you actually have 1 gallon left. For me, I typically get 43mpg so I can push it another 20 miles confidently, and another 20 nervous miles after that.
I was wondering if any of the fuel is 'unusable' due to the design of the tank and fuel uplift system in the tank. As you have managed to go 40 miles when the range reads '0', that would suggest very little fuel is 'unusable'.

It would be interesting to hear from anyone who actually ran out of fuel and then topped off the tank to see exactly how tight you can cut it.
 

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It would be interesting to hear from anyone who actually ran out of fuel and then topped off the tank to see exactly how tight you can cut it.
Yeah, that's the million dollar question (or however much your annual Triple A membership costs). Using the metric of gas left in the tank instead of mileage, the most I've ever filled up was ~10.36 gallons, so about 0.24 gallons left... I've never pushed it beyond that. Lots of coasting on flat roads when on the last gallon.

Driving any vehicle with little fuel is foolish. On a steep incline all the fuel can end up in a puddle away from the fuel pump.
This is a good point -- I didn't think of that.
 
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