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Discussion Starter #1
A couple days ago I test drove the 2004 Insight CTV.
I loved everything about the car - except - I was expecting something resembling at least 'sprightly' acceleration.

Could it have anything to do with sitting at the dealership for a long time ?
Was I driving it incorrectly ? Is it necessary to run the gears in the auto ?
Do I need to adjust my expectations ?

I have been reading things like 'blast to drive', and 'surprisingly quick', etc., but my experience fell a little short of those kind of superlatives.

Any thoughts ?
 
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Hi Rouxsterre:

___The Insight CVT is a 0 – 60, 11.5 – 12.5 second vehicle. The Manual most here talk about are 10.5 – 11.2 seconds to 60 vehicles. In other words, not quite comparable to the manual and much lower performance vs. other automobiles you might consider. Those other automobiles albeit faster to 30 and 60 do not get anywhere near the mileage of either the manual or CVT Insight … There are tradeoffs as you can well imagine.

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:2banpm6w][email protected][/email:2banpm6w]
 

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I own a 2000 5spd and I wondered the same thing when I first drove it.

I've never driven a CVT so that may have been the problem. From my experiences in my 5 spd I found you have to down shift if you want the "blast to drive" effect. I realize that you down shift in all cars for power, but I found this to be a much bigger deal in the insight. I don't know if it's because of the gear ratio or what. Most the time when I'm driving I'm playing the "MPG Game", but occasionally someone will run up on my bumper or I'll feel the urge and drop it in 3rd on the highway. That's how I get the "Blast to drive" ride.

How much charge did the battery have? It's amazing how much a low charge can make if you are going for the "blast to drive" ride.
 

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Did you notice the battery charge level. Was it empty.

When I tried my Insight, it had been in the dealer showroom for a few months and the battery was empty. So the IMA was not doing it's thing (assist) and only the gas engine was accelerating (electric motor was charging, not to help things). Not a very zippy test drive.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I would not be surprised if this vehicle was in a low-charge state. From its location on the dealership lot, I could assume it hadn't been driven in awhile. It was my first time in an Insight, and I am not familiar enough with the onboard display to have been able to discern the battery charge level.
The salesperson ( very cute blonde ) was busy when I got there, she told me quite honestly that she really doesn't know much about the vehicle, and just handed me the keys.
I loved the interior, the ergonomics, the eerily light feel of EVERYTHING. The turning radius was astonishing ( compared to my full-size Dodge Ram Diesel pickup ). However, it did NOT feel like an 11 sec 0-60.
I will go back and drive it again. Next time I will verify battery level, etc. Maybe even experiment with running the gears some. The manual trans is not an option for me, as I commute on the L.A. freeway system. . . . this acceleration thing is not going to be a show-stopper anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yves M. said:
So the IMA was not doing it's thing (assist) and only the gas engine was accelerating (electric motor was charging, not to help things). Not a very zippy test drive.
Interesting. What I noticed was that the ICE was providing ALL the propulsion during my drive. It did shut down when I was stopped, but kicked in again immediately upon forward movement. But I guess that is normal. How can I verify if the IMA is 'assisting', or if the ICE is doing ALL the work ? Essentially, it just felt like a very small 3-banger, working hard to get up to speed.
 

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rouxsterre said:
....
I loved the interior, the ergonomics, the eerily light feel of EVERYTHING.....
Did you lift the hood? That's what impressed me the most the first time I test drove one....(Hint: use one finger).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I went back and drove the vehicle again today. There were six bars on the battery gauge. I tried several different driving 'techniques'.
a. I drove it normally in 'D'.
b. I drove it running throught the gears. Although on second thought, with the CVT - what's the point.
c. With A.C.
d. Without A.C.
e. On the freeway

It did seem quicker, more fun, this time than last. Whether this is due to battery SOC, or the fact that my wife was NOT with me ( 130lbs ), I cannot say. A.C. made quite a difference. Running the gears made NO difference. Acceleration into fast freeway traffic was perfect. I could pass and maneuver with confidence in any lane.

Much better this time.
On the negative - I would like to raise the height of the seat. I am 5-9 and felt too low in the cabin.

HOLICOW - The hood was one of the things - along with the doors that struck me as being 'eerily light'.
 
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Hi Rouxsterre:

___Hopefully this will begin to explain what is available for display in our Insight’s.



********************************************************************



___The pic directly above is the Trip A or Trip B screen(s). It includes the Tank, Trip, or whatever distance you want to use it for and the fuel economy achieved over that distance. You can see the instantaneous mileage graph on the bottom as well as the speedometer, tach, battery State of Charge (SOC), fuel gauge, etc. The car is shut down in this pic taken 2 months ago or so.

********************************************************************



___The pic just above shows an Insight’s lifetime mpg (LMPG) screen and odometer which was also taken a few months ago as well.

********************************************************************



___This is one of my favorites as it is my personal best but this screen is what an Insighter knows as his or her segment display. This is like a Trip A or Trip B but can be toggled between any of the Trip A, Trip B, or LMPG/Odometer screens and back to this Segment screen with a single button on the far left side of the dash called the FCD or Fuel Consumption Display button.

********************************************************************



___And finally, this is what the game gauge looks like in action which all Insighter’s use for instantaneous fuel consumption feedback. It is used to hone fuel economy driving skills to the edge of the envelope if we so choose. I know Rick has probably glanced at this display more then possibly anyone on the planet ;)

********************************************************************

___6 bars of 20 on the Battery or SOC (State of Charge) Gauge sounds quite low and assist from that low a readout would be minimal. Pic #2 above shows 19 of 20 bars which for all intents and purposes is Full. If you were driving the CVT around with just 6 of 20 bars showing, the Insight’s ICE would be attempting to both charge the pack back up and accelerate the car which would cause even more of a drain on the Insight’s acceleration capability when doing so. Are you sure you were not looking at the coolant temperature?

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:qmk01iga][email protected][/email:qmk01iga]
 

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Discussion Starter #13
EXCEL - thanks for the information and the "insight".
The gauge I was observing ( six bars ) was, in fact, the IMA Battery Charge State ( from your diagram, top ). I was focusing on Battery, Assist, and Charge throughout my test drive today.
The 'Charge' bars were only lit intermittently, mostly during trailing-throttle deceleration.
If the system was simultaneously Charging and Assisting ( thereby diminishing the Assist effect ), would it be reflected in the gauge readouts ( bars ) ? . . .
 
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Hi Rouxsterre:

___IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) or the electric propulsion portion of the Honda Hybrid’s cannot charge and assist at the same time as there is only one Motor/Generator set. With that low of a charge (6 of 20 bars showing), assist was probably very limited and a forced charge should have been in effect with at least hidden and more then likely 4 bars of charging showing while just cruising down the road. This would cause a large drag on the smallish ICE and should be easily felt as rather slow acceleration. There is also hidden charging which I can feel as a drag on the car when I first start the 5-speed up in the morning even when I am at 18 of 20 bars. After a half mile or so of this, I am back at my usual 19 of 20 bars and no more charging occurs. The ICE loosens up at that point and the Insight’s mileage climbs skyward quite quickly afterwards. The mornings hidden charging is just the computer warming up the pack which is quite different then the computer seeing the batteries at too low of charge and force charging them back to 16 of 20 bars of charge at a minimum. I am speaking of my short time behind the wheel of a 5-speed and the CVT might act completely different.

___To force charge a CVT, just run the little beauty at > 3,000 RPM (drive on the highway and rev her fast in S mode or while in Neutral) and the SOC will climb right back up to 18 + bars in a matter of minutes. Once the pack is at 16 to 19 of 20 bars and the ICE is warmed up, then you will know what the Insight is capable of in terms of acceleration performance driving either a 5-speed or CVT.

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:1qplse1q][email protected][/email:1qplse1q]
 
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Hi Rouxsterre:

___Yes, I am not at all for a Hybrid or any vehicle w/ a single occupant to have access to a HOV lane. It doesn’t make sense to me for a higher polluting vehicle to occupy an HOV lane to lower pollution or a lower occupant vehicle to occupy an HOV lane to reduce congestion? Then again, I am about as far from an HOV lane as anyone in the entire US other then those in possibly upper Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan so hopefully it will never affect my commute ;)

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:jqpek8jq][email protected][/email:jqpek8jq]
 

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Mine was sluggish the day I bought it. My battery was low, and it seemed like every time I took my foot off the pedal, it would bog down. I drove it a few hours, worring I got shafted, and then it picked up.

Nick
 

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Does anyone use the Sport mode? I've made a habit of accelerating in that mode and changing back to regular at about 30mph.

I wonder if the acceleration ratings are tested in that mode as I see a significant improvement. Definately feels better than 11 sec 0-60.
 

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bjordan said:
From my experiences in my 5 spd I found you have to down shift if you want the "blast to drive" effect. I realize that you down shift in all cars for power, but I found this to be a much bigger deal in the insight. I don't know if it's because of the gear ratio or what.
he's a little 1.0l 3cyl. please cut him some slack! :p

for people accustomed to driving standard every day A->B cars, especially either domestics or people whose gears are transmitted automatically, it might be counter-intuitive to let the tach ride up to where the fun is. i've always appreciated the engines being engineered to be high revvers, rather than grunts at low end, for that can allow for varied styles of driving for varied conditions/scenarios in the same car.

i don't know about the CVT, but i guess theoretically it just keeps the engine at the peak torque or peak HP, so it might certainly not have the sensation of ripping through gears. i have found that 1st gear is rather unfun until i pour gas into the insight's belly up to 4K+ land - i find this attractive.
 

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My CVT was a bit slow on the test drive, but the IMA was half discharged.
The poor thing had been test driven so many times that at 230 miles it had a LMPG of 23 (now up to about 4000 miles and LMPG of 54.7) after a day of driving it was fine, and I love my LBC (little blue car) as my g/f has dubbed it. The S mode is very good for accellerating, but I have not run it for longer than it takes to pass. I am still jealous of my 5spd brethren with their 70 mpg averages!!! Ah well.
 
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