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1742 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Will M
Thanks to this website I have bought the Insight. Took it home Tuesday and brought my daughter to horseback lessons 100 mile round trip-64.8 mpg. It included a BFH(big hill) up to the soaring airport (average was 74 before hill). Then on Wendesday I went to MA 700 mile round trip- 56 mpg. but traveling 65-75 with air on most of the time. I just got back from WV 1000 mile round trip with super big hills and - 55.8 mpg. The car now has over 2400 miles and it's the best thing I ever drove. I'm going back to the dealer on Thursday to look at a 5 speed. I'm going to give the cvt to the kids for college. Much difference in the two? What to expect?
Thanks again. (I still haven't seen another one on the road)
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The CVT is an impressive little car. While I'm sure it is a lot of fun to drive, I'm also sure that the 5 speed is even more fun to drive, if you like the additional power and control a manual transmission gives you.

You asked about the difference between CVT and 5-speed in regards of running out of battery charge. The CVT has a more gradual shift, revving the gas engine up more for more power from it and less boost from the battery. The 5 speed basically lets you use all that is there and then rapidly shifts its boost down through its four or so stages until you have no electric boost whatsoever.

Your natural response is to downshift to rev up the engine. Go down two gears (sometimes 3). Downshifting one gear is never enough on a hill. The engine has plenty of power when it is revved up. It needs the electric boost for the lower RPMs, so when there is no boost, you can't drive lower RPMs.

Note that this only happens in the more extreme East-coast mountain climbs, or when you drive with excessive speed up long hills into the wind or just accellerate like a maniac at every opportunity, or if you always declutch before hitting the brake. Regenerative braking only works if the clutch is engaged.

West coast mountains are a whole different matter. The battery on the Insight seems almost perfectly tuned to the Appalachian mountain range. If you have that much or less climbing to do and you drive reasonably, you should not typically have to deal with hitting the bottom of the charge in a 5-speed Insight.
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