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Discussion Starter #1
I found MSN's review on the Insight. While the reviews were favorable, it was kind of like a review on the iMac by someone that never used Apple computers. They don't quite understand the typical Insight driver has a zeal for economy. This is the link:

http://autos.msn.com/vip/singleyear.aspx?modelid=10650

Page to the bottom of the link. Ann Job ( http://autos.msn.com/vip/job.aspx?modelid=10650&src=vip ) Thinks the seats should have better padding. That's a good point. She also notes the low-resistance tires do not grab the road that well, but this is a high-milage, not a performance car. She did note the performance was excellent for a fuel mizer.

Daniel Heraud's article ( http://autos.msn.com/vip/heraudover.asp ... 50&src=vip ) was not as positive. He was disappointed in the performance but was the Insight built for that? He seemed more clueless than Ann Job that the Insight is not a racing machine. He did point out that the resale value will be a question mark.


Are Instrument Gauges "A Guy Thing"?
Ann Job thought the instument panel was too complicated, but Daniel Heraud considered it a big plus. Could this be "a guy thing"?

Mr. Heraud does have a critical remark about the dashboard. It makes the Insight seem like it's accelerating faster than it really is. He fails to note this piece of social engineering is to encourage the driver to save fuel. All dashboards should be patterened after the Insight. He goes on to claim that diesel engines have better acceleration, a point I'm skeptical of.

Ann Job thought the asking price was very reasonable while Daniel Heraud thought it very pricey. Both agreed the Insight was very well built and on the cutting edge of technology.
 

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Insight Test Report

Guess this will become an endless thread. "TOO EACH HIS OWN" and I love my Insight, no matter what those "professional drivers?" say. I will definately take my yearly cross country trek in my Insight and enjoy the "HELL" out of it. Hope I meet one of them on the highway one of these days.
 

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Yeah those are typically clueless reviews. Note the comments by Heraud where he complains about "agonizingly slow" acceleration and later on remarks that he only got 48mpg. I wonder why?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Speaking of Heraud's review, he also said that the Insight's top speed is 99 mph, but one member here has recorded 112 mph. While 55.6 mph over the life of my 5-speed is a bit low, I'd have to have a lead foot to bring it down to 48 mpg. It's not a Porsche!!!

Ann Job's comments were more constructive about the seats as yes they could be more comfortable.

I'm going to generalize: Ann Job was giving a woman's perspective about the seats and the "cluttered gauges", while Denis Heraud seemed like the alpha male with a "need for speed".
 

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I think the "agonizingly slow" acceleration may be more a matter of learning how to drive it for best performance. Sure, if you just step on the gas a bit, it lags: but if you drop a gear or two and stomp on it hard enough to get full assist, you go!

Even without that, if I'm first at a light, when it turns I'm generally on the other side and down the road a piece before the car next to me has started rolling :)

I wonder, though, how a dashboard could make it seem to be accelerating faster - fake instrument readings, or what?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
james said:
I think the "agonizingly slow" acceleration may be more a matter of learning how to drive it for best performance....

I wonder, though, how a dashboard could make it seem to be accelerating faster - fake instrument readings, or what?
Mr Heraud got just 48 mpg with a top speed of 99 mph on his test - he did not know the car.

On the dashboard - he is refering to the speed readout is in a huge 96-point font or greater. The change in speed is much easier to notice than the analog needle and dial. The dashboard design was to improve the perception of fuel consumption, not performance.
 

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The dasboard is right!

Delta Flyer said:
Mr. Heraud does have a critical remark about the dashboard. It makes the Insight seem like it's accelerating faster than it really is.
What is he comparing the dashboard to? Seat-of-the-pants feeling or real acceleration measurement?

I think what he found is that the car "feels" slower than it is, because most drivers use all their senses to sense acceleration in a car, including sound. Simply because the Insight has all that electric low-rpm torque and doesn't rev up the engine as much as it accelerates, it "feels" slower to many people.
 

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I picked up a Popular Mechanics magazine because of a review of the Civic Hybrid. It was similarly clueless. They took a bunch of editors, let them drive across the country in a hybrid Civic and a normal Civic, noted that they didn't get the terrific gas mileage they expected (because they didn't use the dash to learn anything about how to drive better) and then compared the gas mileage between the two cars in this "fair" comparison. They then figured out how many miles you'd have to drive to break even on the cost of the hybrid option and concluded that it was not worth it.

Ignore emissions. Ignore learning to drive for better gas mileage. I'm also sure that their editorial opinion wasn't effected by all the SUV and muscle-car ads funding the magazine.
 

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They also ran out of battery power and stayed that way for a leg of the trip... you gotta be driving pretty bad to do that.

Re: Pop Mech. article
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Gee, these some of the writers that do these auto reviews must be some of the aggressive drivers on the freeway I put up with. :roll: The Popular Science folks that ran the battery dead on the hybird Civic - this is what I expect when people test drive a hybrid SUV like a rocket.

It seems a lot of people have this urge to blast by people in a monster vehicle. I don't think their time compels them to speed much of the time. What they drive probably has more room than they need. I really think they have an urge to validate themselves by being a beast - The Hulk. I would not be suprized if some of them fantasize being The Hulk or Hulk Hogan in say an H2, then tossing cars infront of them off the road.

On other forums, I have smarted hearing a few Europeans condemn everything about America, not just our leaders. One thing I will have to conceed - there are a lot of wasteful people in my country for no good reason at all.
 

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"They also ran out of battery power and stayed that way for a leg of the trip... you gotta be driving pretty bad to do that."

Must be a flatlander writing that :) It only takes 1500' or so of straight climb to drain my battery - and one road I often drive has about 4500' of elevation gain.

Maybe I am one of those "agressive" drivers - though not, I hope, to the point of rudeness. I drive my Insight much the same way as I drove my previous CRX. I want to get from A to B in a reasonable time, and have fun while I do it!

(And even though I drive like that, and despite what mountain roads do to mileage, I still manage over 70 mpg.)

I've always thought the "big vehicle" syndrome had a simple cause: a perceived inadequacy in the size of something else :)
 

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In my initial Blue Ridge Mountain commute, I normally ran my battery full cycle. Drain the battery almost to zero up one long, steep hill, then recharge completely going down the other side. Meanwhile, on a North Carolina trip with more persistently extreme elevation, I had to downshift to 3rd for a few miles when the boost stopped working. It's a dramatic effect, like someone just yanked about two cylinders out of the engine.

I've later discovered that a few mph difference in the top speed makes a big difference in how much climbing you can do before running out of battery charge. Meanwhile, this review was clearly biased with expectations ill-fitted to the technology.
 

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We have a different size of mountain over on this side of the Mississippi, you know :)

There are a couple of routes I drive frequently. One is about 2500' climb in 12 miles (but four lanes), the other about 4500' in about the same distance, and most of it winding two-lane.

So far I haven't noticed much difference in the battery use at different speeds - it's drained after around 1000-1500 feet. If I drop it into 3rd, though, I don't really notice much performance change, just lower instantaneous mpg when the assist cuts out.

Of course I get to go downhill too, which charges the battery pack, and does nice things for the mileage, as it's all in fuel cutoff mode.

Next time I have to go to Sacramento, I'll post my trip mpg from Donner Summit to there. It's about 7000' drop in roughly 100 miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
james said:
...I drive my Insight much the same way as I drove my previous CRX.
I was curious how you would compare the acceleration of your Insight vs. your CRX. My 2000 5-speed Insight has more get-up-and-go than my 1988 CRX HF.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'd call that progress for the 5-speed Insight to have better economy than the CRX HF, yet have the zip of the standard CRX (the one between the HF and the sporty SI)
 

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Per a tip from willie... drop the gears and get about 3/4k RPM and you'll get out of assist... this will help you from draining your battery on those long hills... it hurts MPG, but doesn't going uphill do that anyway? :)

And yes, I am a flatlander ;)

___It's pop. mech., not pop. sci.... the latter is a TIME subsidiary, the other is a dif. company_____
 

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What doesn't make sense to me about these reviews (and never will) is this:

1) The Insight has better or equal acceleration to most other "standard" cars (not sports cars). It certainly blows away my previous Ford Contour. And I'm not even going to talk about the Ford Taurus I had the misfortune to drive at one point in my life.

Just as a comparison, in that Ford Taurus I mentioned, I had to floor it to get up a particular hill at the speedlimit (50 MPH). Now, I tried doing the same thing in the Insight one time at 3 AM when no one was around and it not only hit 70 MPH, but it was still going up when I finally had to slow down (didn't want to blow through the traffic light at the top going 70+ mph). If junky Ford or GM cars are the benchmark the Insight wins hands down.

2) What makes it even worse is compared to most bulky SUVs, the Insight can go zero to sixty twice in the time it takes to get those bricks moving, despite having a 3 cylinder engine instead of an 8 cylinder engine. Oh, and it gets 4 times the gas mileage to boot.

The sad truth is these "professional drivers" just manipulate the auto market and brainwash people into getting a car with a gas guzzling engine with 200 more horse power than they need. I cringe every time I see an SUV being used to get 1 bag of groceries or a pickup truck with a bed that's obviously never been used (especially if it has a bumper sticker on it implying that the person thinks they're "cool" because they own a truck).

I hate to say it, but the bottomline is people are dumber than rocks. They'll just act how they're told to, and buy what they're told to, and never even think about it. Buying an SUV or pickup with no intention of ever using it for its intended purpose (hauling stuff or carrying more people) makes even less sense than spending a little extra on fuel economy.

Edit: If it took the guy 15 seconds to get 0-60 in his Insight, then he clearly doesn't know how to drive period!
 

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new school - old school

elitist, yes, but we are new school, looking at factors like environment & economics before acceleration, speed, and luxurious comfort which are old school. as in any change, expect to be in the minority for a long time, maybe forever. and who gives a ding-dong about what the old schoolers think? still i'm amazed at how many magazines cater to the old school. doesn't it get boring reading mag after mag after mag on souping up your porsche? i mean most school buses have more torque and horsepower than a porsche, why the continuing allure? the high mpg and low emmissions game is the new and interesting technology. i wonder when a popular magazine will come out dedicated to our new school of performance driving?
 

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I can understand why a reviewer would have more of a tendency to unfavorably compare the Insight to a Porche or a Miata instead of favorably comparing it to a Taurus or a Pathfinder. It's a 2-seater that steers, brakes and handles much more like a performance car than like a passenger car or an SUV, only it is not as powerful and the tires don't grip as well as a Porche or a Miata. In the reviewer's mind, why else drive a 2-seater if not for performance (defined as the ability to tape a $20 bill to the dash and from a standing start, dare anybody to try to take it before you hit 100mph)?

The reviewer is clueless to the idea that performance can also be defined by the letters "mpg" or "ulev". What other car could he compare it to? It's almost as much different from the Prius as it is from a Taurus. Add that the reviewer's employer gets a lot of advertising money from people making all the cars he can't compare the Insight to.

Oh, and yes, most people are as dumb as rocks, not that it helps anything to remind them of this. It's not like I WANT to be elitist. I'd rather have everybody wake up to the realization of the following:

1. We dominate the world because our military kicks butt.

2. We don't make a lot of friends dominating the world.

3. The military kicks butt specifically because of our ability to move people and weapons around really fast.

4. We use up a lot of fuel moving people and weapons around really fast; a lot more fuel than anybody really wants to think about. If the fuel stopped flowing, we couldn't move people and weapons around really fast, and all those people who don't like us much because we've been the bully on the block for as long as they can remember likely won't be very nice to us. We'll be like the Romans after the Roman Empire fell.

5. All those SUVs are burning the same fuel that moves people and weapons around really fast. Even if we ever start using hydrogen in our cars, an F16 won't fly on hydrogen. If we run out of fuel, the rest of the world is gonna kick our butts.

6. It's only a matter of time before we run out of fuel. Scientists estimage the world's gas tank is now about half full, and we haven't been using petrolium all that long. Likely, we've got less than 100 years supply left. At current rates, it would be amazing if we make 50 years. That sounds like a long time until you look at your kid and think that he's probably going to have kids.

So, basically, people who drive SUVs are shortening the time between now and the time the marauding masses make life extremely difficult for our progeny. Oh, and there's that little detail about growing and distributing food or heating homes. They are as dumb as rocks.
 
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