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bikeracer 11-27-2009 07:13 PM

Hypermiling the 2010 honda insight
I had the chance to drive a 2010 Insight. I have techniques that work well for a 5 speed non-hybrid and the insight was frustrating to drive knowing mostly those techniques. It does not pulse well because the engine rpms spike too high. The hybrid system just seems to suck power the way I'm driving it. I refuse to just hold'er steady because I've seen so much evidence against doing so in my own car. I'm confident that that's not the most efficient way considering the drag of the engine down hills and loss of momentum/distance on an idling engine.

I read about a throttle setting that works under very low load conditions where the car runs only on the electric engine and closes the valves (stop using gas), but i was only able to get that to happen twice on a 15 mile drive. The rest of the time, I just used neutral and consequently didn't let the car charge itself back up.

The cvt and hybrid system seem like they're made both so that the average uninterested joe can sit down and make 45mpg and also made to defeat any attempts at non-hybrid hypermiling.

Do you know or have you heard any good tricks for the car? I'll get to drive it a few more times this weekend.

MetroMPG 11-27-2009 07:33 PM

Contrary to common wisdom, the best hypermilers generally avoid "EV mode" to get maximum mileage. Many new hybrid owners tend to over-use it.

First thing I'd do is figure out how to get the engine to stop running when in motion and it's not needed, then maximize the amount of time it's off. I'm not familiar with the Insight 2, but the Prius' engine stops running when you release the accelerator under most conditions (once warmed up).

The 1st gen Insight's engine only stopped when the car was nearly stopped (coming to a stop). Not sure if the Civic hybrid worked the same way.

Are you familiar with pulse & glide? You can often modify that technique for sub/urban driving and get great results without appearing to be doing anything "weird" to other drivers or your passengers. It's actually OK to get relatively crappy instantaneous mileage while accelerating, provided you average it out with infinite mileage in a glide that's long enough to make the math work.


SVOboy 11-27-2009 07:36 PM

Sage advice, mr darin.

Patrick, what kind of numbers were you posting?

bikeracer 11-27-2009 08:53 PM

53 mpg on something that I was getting 60+ in my civic EK.

SVOboy 11-27-2009 09:20 PM

That's not too bad, the new insight kinda sucks, to be blunt. Have you done the same route in the same temps with the ek?

RobertSmalls 11-28-2009 11:19 PM

Hmm, I guess it does kind of suck. It can't do lean burn, there's no MT option, and the Civic Hybrid actually gets better gas mileage on the EPA cycle.

The Prius will automatically shut off the engine below, what, 35mph? That would allow for some nice P&G. The 2010 Insight won't do auto stop above ~10mph, so forget about EOC in an unmodified Insight.

My advice, given that it has a CVT and throttle-by-wire: Hold 'er steady. Hopefully, the Honda ECU is smart enough to seek out low RPMs and wide throttle angles for you. You could confirm that with a scangauge.

It took me a few weeks to learn to drive my 2000 Insight efficiently. You'll get better at driving the 2010 Insight the more time you spend with it.

discovery 12-07-2009 07:38 PM

I think the new insight is not what it supposes to be a car from Honda. In Europe Honda advertise all over how affordable the new hybrid is, but in comparison with Toyota is little behind. I think Honda decided to find a way how to sell more car than just building some small numbers. If Honda would continue to build and improve the 1 Gen insights I believe that more people would follow. Just check out the slick Honda IMAS in 2003

orange4boy 12-08-2009 05:11 AM

I also got a chance to test drive the Insight and the Civic hybrid Yeah, Insight is crappy, noisy. Highway merging power was lame compared to the Prius. It's really too bad. I was hoping for better. The salesman kept telling us to get the Civic hybrid which had more power and better mileage. I did prefer the Civic.


The Prius will automatically shut off the engine below, what, 35mph?
Actually you can get the engine off at any speed but it has to keep spinning above 42mph to protect MG1 from over spinning. It's called "warp stealth" where the engine spins, injectors off, at highway speed and you can coast down very slowly with electric assist. The ICE engine really is a low friction unit so it doesn't take much to keep it going. When I had my tranny out, I gave it a spin and it was amazingly easy. It could glide much better with the right aero mods so you could WS much longer.

I hope they make some big changes to the new Insight. Would be a shame if it became a dud for Honda.

user removed 12-08-2009 07:28 AM

Do mini pulses, that's what works in my CVT Insight. Very gradual acceleration, less than 1 MPH in 2 seconds, get about a 7 MPH increase, then let it very slowly decelerate while keeping the instantaneous mileage as high as possible. Try to keep the pulse to glide ratio above 1 to 2 (10 sec pulse-20 sec glide, etc). This would be so gradual a change most passengers wouldn't notice.

Speed variations will be very insignificant and total difference less than 5 to 7 MPH.

If you are going to go over 55 look for a drafting partner.

Never driven the new one but using those techniques I have averaged 65 MPG in my 02 CVT. Best highway was just over 70 averaging 57 MPH.

One time I reset after warm up and managed 81.7 at 60 MPH for 22 miles, in heavy traffic with some drafting (3 stripes separation) help.


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