My Driving Since Getting the Insight

Discussion in 'The Daily Grind' started by Chuck, May 25, 2006.

  1. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    Going back even before my Insight:
    • 1972 AMC Gremlin (1st car, Silver, 6-cylinder) - 15mpg. It was essentially an AMC Hornet sedan without a trunk. :( My commutes were often under five miles, so that accounted for the low mpg somewhat Was also a car restored from a wreck.
    • 1974 Opel Manta (Maroon) - It could get 20mpg in short city driving - 30mph on the highway
    • 1974 Honda Civic (Silver) - I think it got 50mpg, but it was in fragile condition. A bad reair job caused it to rev until the pistons locked up. :(
    • 1972 Datsun B110 (White, like the one pictured) - It got 50mpg if taking it easy. Just found out I was hypermiling! (12mpg over the EPA estimate!) It was parked in front of a cousins house and a high school boy hit it playing "chicken" to impress two girls in his car. He cried his way out of a ticket - hope the girls dropped him. :mad: Technically the car was totalled, but repaired it anyway as I needed it. It was never the same and it was a very good car up to that point
    • 1986 CRX HF (Navy Blue) - First new car. Got 50mpg easily - can't recall if it ever got 60mpg. A drunk running a red light rear-ended it. Repaired it, but decided to trade it in.
    • 1988 CRX HF (White) - Lasted 12 years and nearly 250,000 miles. Ran the last four years of it's life from a near-meltdown resulting from an incompetent tune up that robbed 33% of it's power and FE. Did some abusive driving too, getting up to 95mph once. An early hypermiling run from Dallas to Wichta Falls at 50mph got as high as 76mpg. Allowing for error, it could have been as poor as 65mpg. Before the tune up that nearly killed it, 50mpg was effortless, 60mpg could be done with an honest effort. After that tune up, mid 30s was my mpg. Faster driving was also a factor in the bad fuel economy

    The 2000 5-speed Insight

    Ironically, the superior acceleration is the reason I bought the Insight. It is so much better than the CRX HF. I would use if generously the first 2-3 years. I would not be hypermiling, but going at least close to the speed limit in traffic. Espically in the evenings, someone would whiz past me and I'd slam the accelerator and pass them. :( Needless to say (1) it craters the trip mpg, (2) it is why I've blasted aggressive/rude drivers so much on forums.

    When the dealer gave me the keys, it had 100 miles and a LMPG of 46-48. While it's up to 58.0 LMPG at 99,500 miles, I estimate that it could have been more like 65 if I'd hypermiled back then. You can go into numerious techinques to improve FE, but it was really an act of the will. I just could not restrain myself when people flew past me pretending they were at the Texas Motor Speedway.

    One thing I learned since then was to stay in the right most freeway lane as much as possible to reduce this, and to drive around rush hour. Things I noticed when I raced is occasional recals, which had to shorten the life of my hybrid battery pack. The acceleration was jerky when I floored it. The Insight was designed to run at a low rpm, and just not built for hard accelerations.

    While the other guy always got the ticket, I was in four collisions the first two years:
    1. 2001 - Sleepy neighbor parked on wrong side pulls in front of me when I passed at 35mph (speed limit 25 :eek: )
    2. 2001 - Elderly couple rearends me on freeway at dawn. Having a silver car does not make it stand out
    3. 2002 - Guy crossing the highway around the mall misjudged the time to cross
    4. 2002 - Rear ended while stopped at an intersection. Only collision I honestly could not have avoided.
    Accidents #1 & #3 could have been easily avoided. There was a chance #2 might have been. Not only have I avoided a collision since early 2002, but I have avoided at least two traffic tickets by driving slower.

    As you see, I've been on both "The Dark Side" and "The Good Side".
    Last edited: May 25, 2006
  2. tigerhonaker

    tigerhonaker Platinum Contributor


    Now that is a Story if I have ever read one. :D
  3. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Chuck:

    ___Excellent story! I was driving an 89 Nissan P/U w/ the 2.4 when you were driving your CRX and then your Insight for the first time … I can easily tell you that you were receiving far better FE then the lousy 30 highway I was in that junk of a P/U truck … I doubt the CRX or Insight had a chance to pull a landscape trailer however ;)

    ___Good Luck


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