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Test drove a 2004 Insight CTV. . .

2295 Views 19 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Obadiah
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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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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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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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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