I'm a Toyota hybrid owner, but I can provide some light.
Yes, they can actually give 60 mpg or more. What you should be prepared for
is that the efficiency edge that allows such numbers is easily compromised.
Short trips and cold weather - especially in combination - really take their
toll (maybe less in the Honda IMA system as opposed to the Toyota THS or SHS
system) and can knock the numbers down 30%. In the same way, higher freeway
speeds will cost you.
The good news is that 30% less than 60 mpg is a very respectable 40+ mpg. My
Toyota normally delivers 46 - 50 mpg around town in good weather, but now
that the temperatures are below freezing and the engine isn't warming up
until I get to work 3 miles away it is not giving quite 40 mpg. When I
consider any other car suffers the same sort of degradation and that very
few could even offer 40 mpg real-world in such service it doesn't bother me.
Most important is that I no longer pay much attention to gas cost; it just
isn't an important part of my budget. I'm spending about a third what I was
when I was driving the Volvo.
At 300 miles per day you should reasonably expect 50 mpg or better. Pay
close attention to tire inflation, though.
More specific to the Insight: Insight drivers have written it is responsive
and fun to drive, but at least one mentioned he parks as far from the crowd
as possible to be merciful to the aluminum body.
That describes the 60 mile round trip from here to Sedona and back - 2500 ft
elevation change, winding highway. The worst I've done on that is just under
50 mpg (four passengers), and the best was just over 60 mpg. If I got only
35 I would be looking to see what was so messed up... maybe parking brake
dragging. What is really impressive is the in-town mileage, where I do most
of my driving. Have you ever been anywhere near 50 mpg in-town - mostly 3
mile trips - over a full tank?
Get an older Corolla or Civic. Or CRX if you can find it.
The Insight, like any hybrid, is designed for stop and go city driving.
That's where the fuel efficiency comes in. Not on the road.
Unless you're driving 300 miles/day in stop and go traffic?
The fuel efficiency on the highway comes from downsizing the engine
(efficiency in an internal combustion engine improves with increasing
manifold pressure). The Insight uses a 1 liter engine augmented by electrics
for responsiveness. That improves highway efficiency to give the EPA rated
65 mpg on the highway. The numbers are for comparison only, but that
compares with the 2005 Civic 1.7L at 38 mpg. That can cut fuel costs 35%,
and that is significant with that many miles per day.
That's what I'm figuring. With what I would save in fuel cost, I could
almost make the car payment. Had at one time considered the VW diesel, but
with the difference in cost between diesel and gas, almost 50 cents a gallon
around here, I thought a hybrid might be something to think about. There's
somebody that passes me in the morning on I44 with an Insight and that's
what has gotten me to thinking about one of them and of course the fuel
mileage too:) I'm a contract courier so all auto cost are on my
responsibility, including gas. There's no way around it. I'm in the market
for a new, well to me, vehicle. the one I had been driving was getting about
30mpg and I could live with that since I didn't have a payment on it, but
the trannie went out and the car just isn't worth putting a 1000 bucks in
it. Besides the trannie, it was going to need some other odds and ends too.
I've got my moneys worth out of the car, but I'm ready for something
different anyway. Been driving my S10 pickup temporarily, but the fuel costs
is killing me!!!!! I do appreciate all the input and info, thanks!!!!
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