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Old 06-27-2010, 12:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hello, new Honda Insight II owner here

Hello, everyone, I wish to introduce myself in this forum where I hope to learn a lot, and have some fun as well. I bought a 2010 silver/grey Insight EX three weeks ago and have already put nearly 3,000 miles on it. I put about 3,000 miles each month on my daily-driven car, and I thought it was about time to get a fuel-efficient automobile, what with the state of the economy of the world (and my own economic situation), the oil disaster in the Gulf, the thought that there will always be another war in the Middle East, etc. etc. I'm pretty fuel-efficient in my own home and have usually managed to get better than the EPA estimates in all my previous daily-driver cars, going back a few decades, but I know next to nothing about hypermiling and other serious techniques to improve fuel economy. I still have fast, modified cars that I hardly get the chance to drive these days, a 1993 Lexus SC300 with a Toyota Turbo Supra engine (425 wheel hp) and a supercharged 2001 Toyota Tacoma pickup (250 wheel hp), so I guess I do know something about making automobiles more efficient, if only to waste more gas.

Back to the Insight, so far I've been very happy with it. It's my first Honda, but most people in my family drive Honda products, and I am familiar with the quality and long-term reliability of the cars. With the Insight, I have no complaints about the design, fit or finish; everything works as it should, the car feels tight, there are absolutely no rattles. I've read some reviews that criticized its ride for being too harsh; I think the ride, traction and handling are just right for something that isn't a sports car. I don't know, maybe people are just used to thinking that a hard ride is anything doesn't feel like a 1970 Cadillac land yacht. Compared to the Mazda3 and non-hybrid Civic that I rented recently, the Insight feels sportier, corners faster, doesn't lean as much and has more precise steering. I'm also satisfied about the fuel economy. I'm usually in Drive, with the Eco button on, and I try to drive fairly smartly, anticipating stops, coasting when I can, but nothing extreme. I have appointments to keep throughout the day, and I go from 1 or 2 to 10 mph over the speed limit. I also live in a congested area, the DC-Baltimore corridor. Not counting the first tankful, because I'm sure the dealership shorted me on what was supposed to be a full tank, I've put five tankfuls through the tailpipe, and my lowest calculated mpg is 48.9, with every other one between 50.2 and 50.6. The only change I've made is to pump the tires up to the max, 44 psi. I'm already thinking about easy ways to make the car more efficient. Now the Insight's stock wheels are 15x5.5 inch alloys weighing 16 pounds each. They have a peculiar 4-lug pattern, so it will be difficult to find really good, light wheels for it. I've got a set of Subaru-fitment SSR Comp wheels in my basement, 16x7 inches and only 11 pounds per wheel. I would think that a similar wheel for my Insight, in a 15x6 size, might weigh less than 10 pounds. As I said, I have a lot to learn.....

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Old 06-27-2010, 01:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome to EcoModder!

Anyway, just making a quick note, in general, the aerodynamics of your wheels is going to be a bit more important than the weight, so before you consider dumping a lot of money into wheels, take a look at the wheels than come on the old insight and civic hybrid. They're decently light AL plus they're aero. And the tires are incredibly light.
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Old 06-27-2010, 01:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If you're spending most of your time at cruising velocity, don't worry so much about the weight of the wheels. The added inertia doesn't hurt you much. If you're doing a lot of stop-and-go or spend a lot of time in the almost mythically potholed DC and NoVA roads, then lighter wheels will make for a more economical, smoother ride.

I grew up in DC, I know the roads can be a disaster.

Add smoothie wheel covers, or make some fender skirts for the rear wheel wells (how do they pitch it as an economy car and leave those big air buckets open like that?) for better air flow control.


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