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Old 08-28-2009, 09:44 PM   #51 (permalink)
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Strange that you got better mileage with the Fit. Go take the insight for a test drive again

If you still get better mileage, just go with the fit, I say!

Is there any chance that with this new vehicle you could ditch teggy and pick up something stick shift that would get great mileage for your 3rd vehicle?

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Old 08-28-2009, 10:12 PM   #52 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVOboy View Post
Strange that you got better mileage with the Fit. Go take the insight for a test drive again

If you still get better mileage, just go with the fit, I say!

Is there any chance that with this new vehicle you could ditch teggy and pick up something stick shift that would get great mileage for your 3rd vehicle?
Ditch Teggy! I hope she didn't hear that

That's a good thought. A project car with a standard would be perfect. I assume Teggy would still be valuable: 145K miles, 1-owner (technically), pile of service records, good condition, FUEL MISER! Only $2999/obo (according to KBB). That would buy a decent project car with maybe some repair/upgrade money left over.

All of that could be sorted out after the purchase, however.

Good plan to do the test drives over again. I'd like a longer route this time, and cruise at 70 for enough time to get a feel for highway mileage. For reference, I have to try the Prius. It may be the benchmark, but the I'm not really a "Toyota Guy". Who knows, it could be the exception...

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Old 09-08-2009, 09:58 PM   #53 (permalink)
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I found myself at another Honda dealer in town, and had the chance to drive the Insight this weekend.

This time, the vehicle was left to idle by the salesman, while he went to get a plate. SOC was at 50% or less, which was a concern, but the engine was warm. With more stop-and-go driving and a longer highway circuit, the FE was 41.2 MPG (which is still less than the Fit).

On a side note, the first gen Insight 5-speed I drove a while ago, pulled-off nearly 60 MPG on my first run...

This test was in the LX version, which is what I'm looking for. I'm curious to find out how soon an acceptable plug-in recharge system would be available, or how necessary it would be. Apologies for reducing the technology to a simple comparison, but it really just moved around like my old Civic DX that had 106 hp and averaged 40 mpg, but instead with an automatic, A/C, and 5-door hatch capability.

I really need a DAY with the car, but that's not going to happen. Aside from the pre-determined test drive circuit, I assume FE is generally increased when you get into the groove of learning the car, and taking-on a longer trip. I want to say that 50 is attainable with minimal technique. I like the driving position, seat comfort and ergonomics of most controls.

I've decided not to drive/consider the Prius. I have a concern with Toyota's reliability lately -- plus, I don't think it's my style. I've driven too many Toyotas lately that have some fit/finish issues and general funkiness. Granted, FE would be easy, but how cool is that?

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Old 09-08-2009, 10:06 PM   #54 (permalink)
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Sounds like the Fit might be your best go of it :/
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Old 09-09-2009, 01:12 PM   #55 (permalink)
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You might want to check your local rental lots. Hertz, for instance, has a "green collection" of cars. They may have a new Insight that you could rent for a day or two and try it out in your normal routine. (I got a Prius from them a few months ago for $20/day more than the compact.)
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Old 09-09-2009, 07:30 PM   #56 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clev View Post
You might want to check your local rental lots. Hertz, for instance, has a "green collection" of cars. They may have a new Insight that you could rent for a day or two and try it out in your normal routine. (I got a Prius from them a few months ago for $20/day more than the compact.)
Funny you should mention -- I rent from a Hertz Local agency every other week. Vehicles in their "Green Collection" include 30+ MPG vehicles like the Ford Fusion 4-cyl among the Prius. The airport location has a much better selection. Today I rented (yet another) Camry SE 4-cyl, which gets around 30 MPG (need to get back and turn it in for the final FE tally). The stiffer suspension makes it a proper ride (the funky ground effects, maybe not).

Not too long ago, my Hertz local edition had a Prius on a one-way drop, and I requested it for my trip the next week. I stopped by to pick it up and it "went to the shop with problems". I never saw it again. Yes, I was rather bummed and really didn't buy the story. I think they traded it to another location for one better suited for local rentals.

I've rented 3 Priuses from National Car Rental: 2 times from Portland, Oregon (PDX) and once in LA. Hondas are very uncommon in rental fleets. I came across one last month for a family trip to Chicago. The Accord LX managed 32 MPG with 4 people and luggage (plus crazy Chi-town driving). I had the chance to drive an '06 Accord in Sioux Falls, SD, and a Civic LX last year to Wichita. That's pretty much it out of the 100's of rentals. The vast majority are Domestics, followed by Kia/Hyundais, Nissans, Mitsubishis and a smattering of others.

The airport National/Alamo has Gen-II Priuses at an expensive rate, but I've driven those before. I would be surprised to see a new Prius or Insight somewhere. It would definitely be worth the extra expense to see if either were the real deal. Maybe some dealers rent them?

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Old 09-18-2009, 04:46 PM   #57 (permalink)
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If you can hold off for a while, test drive the Honda CR-Z. It just looks awesome.
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Old 09-19-2009, 08:46 PM   #58 (permalink)
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New Developments

In the ongoing, internal struggle of an EcoDriver choosing their next vehicle, new developments in the saga have been revealed.

Manual Transmission Approved!

I don't know if her Dad had some influence, but independently, my Wife said today...

Quote:
"You know, since we're keeping Teggy, you could probably get a stick-shift if you really want."


This is not a misprint or a cruel joke of sorts. The two of us test drove some cars today!

My goal was to show how much space there is inside the Fit and Insight (plus the ride comfort). Essentially, it was a great experience with the cars and dealer both.

We hopped in the Fit (only an Automatic available) and discussed the proposed route. The salesman said,

Quote:
"It's a slow day, drive anywhere you want. take the first exit, the 3rd exit, I've got the time -- get to know the car. I'm having fun getting out of the office..."
This is getting better and better. We took the Fit and Insight on a good sampling of city and high-speed, freeway driving. A/C on. Wind, calm.

My suspicion was confirmed that the Fit was really taching at higher speeds. It was tough to maintain 65 mph without digging into the sub-30 MPG range. On the good side, it was a lot for the money, spacious, comfortable, simple, sporty, and efficient.

Fit Total -- 36.4 MPG (a complete switch from the first comparison test).

As with the Fit, the Insight was allowed to warm-up for a couple minutes. The big bonus: full SOC. Perfect. Trip-A was reset, and off we went.

At about 3 mph, it bucked a little like a manual starting out (likely the IMA kicking-in, with the CVT sorting and absorbing the power). Points were given for more comfortable seating. I was really having some fun keeping the feedback meters in check. Having the Auto-Stop and not having to fool with the gear selector to downshift: big points from the Wife.

Insight Total: 40.1 MPG Now we're talking. Getting to know the car really helped with FE. 50 has to be within reach.

We then looked at the Civic's trunk space as a comparison. Of course it had to be the Si Sedan -- very tempting. A part of me started rationalizing that I could get 40 if I really tried -- then came back to reality.

We had a baby car seat to test. All vehicles passed with plenty of legroom and angle position for front passengers. Loading up kiddo gear will be the final test, likely on purchase day. Measurements were taken for the stroller, etc.

No pressure to buy today. Even the Sales Manager encouraged us to take some time to decide. So far...

In the lead:

1st: The Insight -- it seems to do it all.
2nd (tie): Civic DX-VP 5-speed vs. Fit Base 5-speed.

Why, why, WHY does 5th gear + the final-drive ratio have to be shorter in these 5-speed automatics??? With the stick, why not throw-in a shorter final and an overall taller 5th? Anyway, the added flexibility and lack of TC makes up for it, I guess.

More news as it develops...

RH77
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Old 09-20-2009, 12:22 PM   #59 (permalink)
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Nice review.

Kind of surprised that the Insight didn't do a little better than 40...you were already beating EPA average highway for the Fit, but that's EPA City for the Insight. (Unless you did different roads/different traffic for each test drive.)

(Not that I'm saying don't buy the Insight - it will be nice to have the extra room, I'm sure, and the fuel economy is still better.)

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