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I just purchased a new 2019 Honda Insight.

I seem to be averaging 39-42 MPG.

1) Can I trust the guages.... Are the guages accurate and reflect accurate results?

2) What techniques improve MPG performance?
 

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I just purchased a new 2019 Honda Insight.

I seem to be averaging 39-42 MPG.

1) Can I trust the guages.... Are the guages accurate and reflect accurate results?

2) What techniques improve MPG performance?
My MPG gauge is within 0.5 miles of actual MPG. The best tips I can give:

1. Don't speed! 45mph seems to be the sweet spot for mpg. I drive country roads and have a 62mpg(ish) average.

2. Cruise control isn't as good as a person. We can account for hills ahead of time and manage the throttle better. On a flat highway, ACC works fine.

3. Winter - winter fuel affects mileage. There's not much you can do about that. There are other things related. The need to warm the engine and exhaust or heating the cabin before full-blown EV mode can be used is a factor. I use cabin heat sparingly, but the engine still must be warm to get best EV usage.

4. Longer trips. Short trips kill mpg due to the need to get the car up to operating temperature.

5. All the usual stuff. Anticipation of slowdowns/red lights, no jackrabbit starts or slamming the brakes, use of the re-gen paddles, etc. Common sense stuff you're probably already doing.

39-42mpg seems low. What model do you have (LX/EX/Touring)? What are your typical drive lengths and terrain? Average speeds and traffic (city/highway)? 50mpg is normally attainable unless you drive like a bat out of h**l. While sport mode is fun, it sucks mpg away.

Get yourself registered in fuelly.com and keep track of actual mileage. I went from a Civic to an Insight. I needed to learn to drive differently. Hybrids are "different." Not in a bad way, but driving one required a special type of awareness and commitment in order to get the best out of it.
 

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rjm:

I've not seen a G3 yet, but I imagine a few hypermiling techniques may still be useful.

Here's a link with a few ideas.

The tires likely don't apply to the G3. But airing up a bit, slowing down, etc will help. Check out the article by Wayne Gerdes, it's a long read but has lot's of good ideas.
 

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My MPG seems to be suffering a bit lately in the cooler/colder weather. It seems that is normal for a variety of reasons including slightly less energy in winter blend fuel (I read 2% less).

But one thing you can easily do is probably air up those tires as the pressure drops in cooler weather. At least bring it back up to manufacturer recommendations and maybe a little higher. I tried to go a little higher.

Also stick to lower cabin temps if you use the climate control system as the ICE engine is used for heating. Maybe also turn the AC system off if you don't need it (there's a button for that).
 

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Some cold weather tips for better mpg.
Get the engine warmed up as soon as possible. Best mpg is at normal (or perhaps higher) operating temperature. With my old gen 2 and currently with my Civic, I'll often put the CVT in "S" to increase low speed rpm,. I'll often leave it there until the cold light goes out. I've noticed doing so gets me to higher mpg operation earlier in my morning drive. How to get more rpm's on a cold gen 3 I can only guess at. The benefit of doing this seems greater on the coldest mornings.

I've not found much that works for maintaining summer mpg while using the heater. It appears though that the heater fan, over time, puts an energy drain on the battery. So what I've been doing is manually, frequently turning the heat on and off. I'll turn the heat off when I have high driving need for battery power, and turn heat on when low driving need, or downhill battery charging situations.

Another idea which doesn't seem to do much, has been to turn the heater temperature knob to its lowest setting when engine is cold. This will cut/reduce the amount of radiator fluid diverted from the cooling system to run over the engine toward the heater fan. The idea here is to prevent the cold/cool radiator fluid from slowing the engines' warming-up process. When doing this I'll turn the heater temperature knob to its highest setting once the engine cold light goes out

All this has given small but measurable mph improvements. But by far the biggest mpg improvement comes from extra air in the tires. Four to five pounds over the recommended pressure I've seen suggested. Two summers ago I spent an afternoon experimenting with different air pressures. I checked vehicle steering response at different speeds, and the vehicles' willingness to travel in a straight line at highway speeds. I found a sweet spot between too much air and my desire to get more air for highest mpg. I try to check and adjust tire pressures to my sweet spot once a month. I also avoid or drive slowly over bumps in the road, they get much harder with the extra air.

Together with uphill, downhill battery management, and traffic concerns, this turns driving into something more like piloting an airplane, or playing a video game, as my daughter puts it.
 

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I think I'm starting to get better battery management for better mileage now. Even though it's in the upper 30's here, I hit 56 MPG over a mostly flat (some small hills) mixed highway and city driving on a 57 mile drive.

My first efforts in Econ Mode didn't do well at all. Low 40's. Sometimes in the 30's. The engine had to work way too hard on hills. Didn't sound good. I tried Normal Mode, and results were not much better. It's when I discovered Sport Mode battery charging, and Regen Breaking at maximum...which holds the maximum regen setting in Sport Mode if you don't use Cruise Control. I wish it did hold in ACC, but using cruise control is not the best for conserving power anyway. It pushes you way into the power range on startup. I actually really like Sport Mode the best. Not only is the torque better for starts, hills and passing, but it recovers battery charge with the regen breaking held at maximum. It can really move fast in Sport Mode, and even racing around...not trying to conserve...MPG wasn't that bad. About the same as Econ Mode!

So what I attempted to do to charge the battery to full, which is almost impossible to do in any other mode, is run Sport mode trying to keep the charge going into the battery until full (usually charges when at the middle tic mark between CHARGE and POWER), then switch to Econ Mode and force EV Only by keeping it under the POWER line. You can go a long way on EV only mode, even at highway speeds by doing this. Plus the Econ Mode doesn't try to keep the cabin as warm, so you're not getting shut down for cabin heating. Once the battery reaches 20% you go back to Sport Mode and fully charge the battery again. That maximum Regen Breaking helps a lot in traffic to recover energy while slowing down without breaks. And if you do enter a city area, where you have stop and go traffic, as long as there is a charge I switch to Econ with EV Mode to quietly cruise around town. When back in Sport Mode, the car heats up again while charging the battery. This works for me.

So I think that is using the battery to better use with full charge/discharge cycles. I wish Honda could create an algorithm just like all that mode switching...especially the Regen Break (M) hold in all modes. I'm betting I will get much better mileage once the weather warms up some. I'll keep trying to top 56 MPG on the same course. It's fun to see how good you can get it (without holding up traffic). Oh, and once again BP gas, from one station on the lower tip of this test course, is getting me better numbers. Quality gas matters.

Phil
 

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vote 4 mawah
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better mileage with gen3 insight

Switching modes is a hypermilers way of life. If you want better mileage you have to experiment and think like you think the car is thinking about the way you are driving it (the car). At least that is the only way I found (without using mods) to understand how the car is working. And that takes a lot of time and learning.

in the HCH2 there is only the one drive mode. But having others makes the car more adjustable to current road and traffic conditions.

I use non-ethanol premium gas in my 2006 Civic Hybrid (HCH2), because I get it for less than local regular prices. ( some people think non-ethanol and/or premium gas is/are beneficial especially with smaller engines and some people think it makes little or no difference at all). It's a 100 mile round trip for gas, but it's helpful in my situation for a few reasons.
Longer trips, especially in colder weather (but also applies to warmer temps too for better mpgs), help the older weaker pack stay in balance or get a deeper charge up and top off of the high voltage battery.

I've found that 10 mile trips in winter weather especially, really hurt mileage, interior comfort level and battery pack health.

The HCH2 hardly warms up the interior after 10 miles, it gets more comfortable after 15 or 20. And compared to my 2002 civic EX non-hybrid both heat and A/C are reduced a lot both in max temperature reachable and speed of interior temperature change.
In the older Honda Hybrids the A/C is run from an electrical power supply in the IMA, using the high voltage IMA battery to power it, so that the A/C stays on when the gas engine (ICE or internal combustion engine) is not running. This hurts mileage a lot in the older hybrids. If the newer models use the same A/C power source, unless honda made big changes in the A/C's efficency, using A/C will hurt mileage as well. In the HCH when I turn on the heater in Auto mode the A/C is also ON and I have to switch it OFF manually, and I forget to do that a lot.

My best for a 55 mile trip is 69.9 mpg on the gauge. But that was at 35mph and 60 degrees F and no traffic. I agree it's fun to watch the gauge when it shows great mileage. I've also found that the mpg gauge I use for per tank mpg drops quickly after a hi mpg 55 mile trip right after fillup with the engine at running temperature and mpg gauge reset.
But after that the per tank gauge than seems to drop more quickly and shows reduced miles per tank typically. No where near the best 600 miles per tank I got once and the typical 500 miles per tank I can get in the summer heat with a healthy grid charged battery pack and without using A/C ever.

Head winds and uphills will reduce mileage too. If you pay close enough attention to the gauges it become apparent when the car is going uphill and when it is going downhill even when the road looks flat to your eyes.

It's hard to notice tailwinds because the car is usually going faster than the tailwind. But it is easy to notice headwinds if they are strong enough. So if you take a long trip and most of it is into the wind you will most likely see an mpg decrease, that is if you are watching for it.

Slower speed reduces wind resistance. The slower you drive the better mileage you should get due to both wind resistance and algorithm efficiency generally, especially with the best hybrids and EV's.

Higher tire pressure reduces rolling resistance. It's much more noticeable in a smaller lighter vehicle. But it also helps get better mileage in larger vehicles and will only be noticable if mpg is important to the driver. I usually inflate to between 40 and 45 pounds, depending on the tires max pressure rating. I'll go higher with good tires occassionally to experiement.

In short getting better mpg takes time and a desire to learn which driving habits can be adjusted in the traffic conditions the car is driven in.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
MPG Learning

Thank you for the good advice. I am slowly inching my MPG up to an average of 43 MPG.

Managing the power seems to get the best results

Costing downhill using regenerative breaking is worth 1 MPG

Left Paddle gets you to 2 and and 1 Right paddle gets you to 1 for a long glide

I find going on freeway behind a good wind break seems to improve mileage using the ACC.


I will experiment next with the Sport mode for accelerating.
 

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Thank you Phil and WillS for interesting posts.

I strongly agree "Switching modes is a hypermilers way of life," and "getting better mpg takes time and a desire to learn which driving habits can be adjusted in the traffic (and topographical) conditions the car is driven in." I find it fun to think about all this and experiment then create new driving habits. It ends up more like piloting then driving. :)

Here is a new tip. I've recently discovered how sunshine helps improve winter time mpg. It does it by helping the IMA system (in "Serenity" below) get warmed up to better/best operating temperature sooner. On normal (for here) cloudy wet rainy days it can take 6-12 miles before I can get electric motor only operation. By parking where the morning sun shines on the hood, I've been able to get electric only operation after only 3.0, 3.2, and 3.8 miles. (Over night and morning temperature about the same, cloud-free morning required.) Electric motor only operation is key to my mpg numbers. Driving without attention to it leads to tankfulls ranging from 38 to 44 mpg. Attention to this leads to summer tank fulls in the 53+ range.

This looks like potential for a big percentage mpg improvement for just choosing a different parking place! :)
 

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Thank you for the good advice. I am slowly inching my MPG up to an average of 43 MPG.

Managing the power seems to get the best results

Costing downhill using regenerative breaking is worth 1 MPG

Left Paddle gets you to 2 and and 1 Right paddle gets you to 1 for a long glide

I find going on freeway behind a good wind break seems to improve mileage using the ACC.


I will experiment next with the Sport mode for accelerating.
ENJOY !!! and have fun with it. Its lots of simple stuff piled up

The less you accelerate, using any mode, the higher your mpg will be.
"Bodies in motion tend to stay in motion."
 

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better mpg

Really, anything that heats any part of a car in winter will help mpg and also make it more comfortable for the driver faster than without that heat source.

The opposite is true when the temperature is too high, which will reduce milage and battery pack health. Anything that cools the car any closer to it's optimal running temps before starting the car should result in better mpg and comfort for the driver.

For winter, grille block is an easy mod that typically produces better mpg and faster engine warmup time.
It's recommended to monitor the engine coolant temp for the first year you
install a gille block so that you will see at which ambient (outside) temperature it needs to be removed. And if the car doesn't have an engine coolant temp gauge one of the easiest ways to get on is a Elm327 bluetooth ODB11 connector and get torque app for the phone at either iphone or google app stores.
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=elm327+adapter
https://www.thetorqueapp.com/
some have complained that pairing on the cheap connectors doesn't work for them, I've never had that issue with either of my two cheap mini or the larger models.

I'm a firm believer in keeping the pack as warm in winter as possible and I do it by heating the pack from the cabin which in turn heats the cabin as well. The result is that I don't have to use the climate control as often.

Tesla has an ingenious way of pre-trip cabin and pack charging temp conditioning. It has to be since it's EV with no waste heat from the ICE to tap like hybrids have.
 

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Sun is something that has been rare in this part of the country this year. Anything that can warm the car up is a plus, no doubt. Bad time of the year to buy a new hybrid trying to see how good MPG can be, but it will keep me improving my methods to maximum effect which should get much better in the spring and early summer.

That being said, I think I'm going to try something different on the next warmup. Let's try to start out lower on cabin temp and slowly creep it up as the car is in recharge state (engine running). Maybe start at 50 degrees. 68 is warm enough for me in the winter, but I could do with less with a jacket on. And I just thought about switching the cabin air to recirculate in the cabin instead of always using outside fresh air. That could really save on cabin heat. I'll have to try that.

But after watching some more videos on how to get good 2019 Insight MPG, I'm even more convinced you can do better by using the modes like I have been, and increasing the regen braking to maximize battery charge. For one, having a full battery can help a lot on longer uphill battles. It can give you more power to keep from slowing down on the highways. So, I still think that's going to do it for me.

WHAT WOULD BE AWESOME is if Honda gave us a "user programmable" memory mode that we could set up our own parameters on to automatically do what we manually do now to save gas. Mine would do everything possible to stay below the power range while still keeping up with the speed limit. And it would use ACC to set that speed. Maximum regen breaking all the time...unless overridden by the driver. So I would set ACC to the PSL, the car would run thrust up to just below the "power" range (you could push on the accelerator if you temporarily had to get it going faster) to avoid kicking the engine on. Once at speed, it would regulate thrust under the power range. And once the battery was depleted it would kick the engine on to power the drive, charge the battery to full, all while maintaining traffic speed and cabin temperature. The three main objectives would be running in EV mode as much as possible, charging the battery to full whenever it required a recharge (20% being the bottom), and using max regen to recover as much energy as possible during slowdowns...all while being in Adaptive Cruise Control. That would be my "custom" mode. I wonder if that would be possible for Honda to provide with a "System Update"??? ;)

Phil
 

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vote 4 mawah
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2019 insight mpg

WHAT WOULD BE AWESOME is if Honda gave us a "user programmable" memory mode that we could set up our own parameters on to automatically do what we manually do now to save gas. ;)
That looks strangely familiar to what at least one gen1 insight owners feelings where before buying the car. It made me chuckle a bit at how some things never seem to change with regards to cars.
 

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I wear a jacket and mittens in winter and forego cabin heat whenever I can. It makes a HUGE difference. It's a total bummer when you're descending a long grade and the cabin heat kicks the ICE on when you should really be getting boku MPG on the downhill. If I do use cabin heat, I try to turn it on during uphills when the ICE is running anyway.
 

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vote 4 mawah
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I wear a jacket and mittens in winter and forego cabin heat whenever I can. It makes a HUGE difference. It's a total bummer when you're descending a long grade and the cabin heat kicks the ICE on when you should really be getting boku MPG on the downhill. If I do use cabin heat, I try to turn it on during uphills when the ICE is running anyway.
True that bummer thing about how the IMA does things that appear to lower mpg due to the way honda setup the IMA system. And the way honda refuses to give owners nothing except regen paddles to control IMA behavior. This has been true since Gen1 insight (19 years) and is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.
One word of caution, if I may..
The pack uses cabin air temp to heat in winter and cool in summer the hi voltage lithium pack. So unless you use an external heating and/or cooling source for cabin and or pack temp normalization, it's a good idea to at least warm the pack some before exposing it to the IMAs high ampere charge/discharge at extreme ambiant temps, like southern summers and northern winters.
It's not visually noticeable with a healthy battery pack, but can both reduce the packs efficiency and lifecycle.

So, if like many american, the plan is to trade up in 2 to 4 years that is not something those people would care about anyway.

Weird how some car makers, dealers and car buyers these days, will make, sell and buy a hybrid to save on gas and tax while not caring about the the fundamental reasons for hybids and ev's in the first place.
 

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That being said, I think I'm going to try something different on the next warmup. Let's try to start out lower on cabin temp and slowly creep it up as the car is in recharge state (engine running). Maybe start at 50 degrees. 68 is warm enough for me in the winter, but I could do with less with a jacket on. And I just thought about switching the cabin air to recirculate in the cabin instead of always using outside fresh air. That could really save on cabin heat. I'll have to try that.
I'd like to offer something from the Gen1 world that might give you a big boost, particularly in NY. Gen1 guys used to install a block heater in one of the block core plugs. We had one which was removable with a 1/2 socket drive.

Warming up the coolant a couple of hours made a huge difference even here in VA winters, it should do wonders in NY.

If the block heater plug isn't an option, then there are coolant heaters which get installed in a coolant line. Those can be found by searching the internet. Such a heater on a early morning timer would do wonders:)

I love the Gen3 for the styling, but I have a 2013 Civic Hybrid (Lithium) which seems to perform just about equally, so will probably be able to convince myself to pass on buying;)
 

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One word of caution, if I may..
The pack uses cabin air temp to heat in winter and cool in summer the hi voltage lithium pack. So unless you use an external heating and/or cooling source for cabin and or pack temp normalization, it's a good idea to at least warm the pack some before exposing it to the IMAs high ampere charge/discharge at extreme ambiant temps, like southern summers and northern winters.
It's not visually noticeable with a healthy battery pack, but can both reduce the packs efficiency and lifecycle.
Good point Will. I had thought about that when winter approached. Fortunately, I'm able to garage my car in winter, so initial cabin temps rarely are below 40-50 degrees. In summer, I'm not stingy with the A/C! Thanks!
 

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Thanks for the heater suggestions. I will see what I can find that will help keep the car warm. I haven't taken the car apart yet. Looks really packed under the hood. Batteries under the rear seat I would think are more accessible.

I will admit the MPG challenge is fun, and maybe a bit obsessive at times, but I'm more interested is what the Insight can do, and what makes it work best, but normally I'm not worried about super high MPG. Honestly, the driving experience, along with fairly good mileage, is enough for me. That is another reason I like Sport Mode. It fits my driving style. Now if only we could get that regen breaking setting to stay where we set it while using ACC. I think ACC is the bomb. So are those auto-dimming headlights. ;)

Phil
 
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