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Discussion Starter #1
Why do I call this an "abnormal trip"?

Because it was.

Picking up my son from college to come and visit back home.

1133 miles round trip. 3 adults up, 4 adults back.
Trunk partially full of luggage on way up and trunk completely full of luggage as well as a Thule cargo rack on top filled with two cargo boxes and 2 other boxes for approximately 150 lbs. of roof storage on the way back. Yes, I loaded this little car up! (Forgot to take pictures but we looked like the Joads).


MPG on trip from So Cal to SF average 30.5 mpg. Primarily Hwy 101 the entire way.

MPG on trip form SF to So Cal 30.5 mpg. Primarily I-5.

Average speed on hwy 65 mpg.
I was working every angle trying to get the best MPG that I could along the way.
At some points I was a little nervous as my estimated range was dropping faster than I had ever seen it.

MPG coming up the grapevine, was a whopping 15 mpg! With the engine screaming like a fighter plane preparing for war as I was just driving at 60 mpg.


I drove this car vs. any of our others because I thought I would at least get in the mid 40's for mpg as I normally average 50+.
Last year, the same exact trip with my VW GTI averaging um, a much, much, much higher speed on hwy 5 was 35 mpg. Yes, true, 100% honest.


While I know I did push this to the extremes and pretty much had a sail on top of the car coming home, I was hoping for a little bit more than this.


This points to how aerodynamic this vehicle is as-is. Any modification, even just the empty cargo rack drastically impacts mpg.


I will try this again in 2 weeks when I take him back and will have none of the extra luggage in the trunk nor the top. I will follow up then. I am hoping for much better.
:surprise:
 

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Will be interested in your return trip recap of same drive without the extra cargo or drag. I'm also wondering if Sport mode might help your trip in the hilly parts of the drive (though technically that would change 2 variables simultaneously and not be a pure read...)

FYI - @J0j0yum mentioned 46 mpg from Bay Area to Orange County using Sport mode on hills, which is similar to the mid-40s expectation you had for the drive.
 

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I had a similar experience going from Pennsylvania to Florida and back. Just my wife and I plus luggage in the car. The worse MPG the car has ever gotten. This car just sucks on the highway with even a moderate amount of weight in it. My wife and I plus luggage total up to less than 500 pounds. The MPG was less than 40 on the trip. I was getting 47-48 at the same time of the year driving back and forth to work in PA. I think there needs to be some serious looking into the Highway MPG rating for this car.
 

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Why do I call this an "abnormal trip"?

Because it was.

Picking up my son from college to come and visit back home.

1133 miles round trip. 3 adults up, 4 adults back.
Trunk partially full of luggage on way up and trunk completely full of luggage as well as a Thule cargo rack on top filled with two cargo boxes and 2 other boxes for approximately 150 lbs. of roof storage on the way back. Yes, I loaded this little car up! (Forgot to take pictures but we looked like the Joads).


MPG on trip from So Cal to SF average 30.5 mpg. Primarily Hwy 101 the entire way.

MPG on trip form SF to So Cal 30.5 mpg. Primarily I-5.

Average speed on hwy 65 mpg.
I was working every angle trying to get the best MPG that I could along the way.
At some points I was a little nervous as my estimated range was dropping faster than I had ever seen it.

MPG coming up the grapevine, was a whopping 15 mpg! With the engine screaming like a fighter plane preparing for war as I was just driving at 60 mpg.


I drove this car vs. any of our others because I thought I would at least get in the mid 40's for mpg as I normally average 50+.
Last year, the same exact trip with my VW GTI averaging um, a much, much, much higher speed on hwy 5 was 35 mpg. Yes, true, 100% honest.


While I know I did push this to the extremes and pretty much had a sail on top of the car coming home, I was hoping for a little bit more than this.


This points to how aerodynamic this vehicle is as-is. Any modification, even just the empty cargo rack drastically impacts mpg.


I will try this again in 2 weeks when I take him back and will have none of the extra luggage in the trunk nor the top. I will follow up then. I am hoping for much better.
:surprise:

808_Insight, I'm glad you took the trip as I wondered how the car would perform going up the grapevine. What you described was my exact thought - it would scream like she's in labor. I was thinking of taking a trip down to Anaheim or up to Portland, OR in the summer, but I think the annoying road noise would drive me crazy. I mean, just driving down 101 from SF to San Mateo is annoying enough unless Hwy 5 is better. Anxious to hear what your MPG going back is. I may have to re-think which car to take. Don't get me wrong gents, I LOVE the Insight, but IMO I think it's BEST left for city driving and some short freeway jaunts - at least for here in the SF Bay Area.

 

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Discussion Starter #5
I did the return trip this weekend. Left Saturday and back Sunday, 1065 miles RT.
This time I took the 101 both ways, up and back as there are less dramatic elevation gains vs. grapevine.

No cargo on top this time, thank God!
So, not exactly the same trip as last time.
41.9 mpg RT. 70 mph avg.

Sport Mode on most large hills seemed to help. Good call @J0j0yum.
The gawdawful traffic coming back into LA tonight boosted the mpg.



I'll tell you one thing..... I LOVE ACC. I think I may have had my foot on a pedal a total of 5 minutes for the whole trip.
I wish LKAS would stay on longer than 20 seconds. I am ready for Tesla auto-drive mode. ;-)
 

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I did the return trip this weekend. Left Saturday and back Sunday, 1065 miles RT.
This time I took the 101 both ways, up and back as there are less dramatic elevation gains vs. grapevine.

No cargo on top this time, thank God!
So, not exactly the same trip as last time.
41.9 mpg RT. 70 mph avg.

Sport Mode on most large hills seemed to help. Good call @J0j0yum.
The gawdawful traffic coming back into LA tonight boosted the mpg.



I'll tell you one thing..... I LOVE ACC. I think I may have had my foot on a pedal a total of 5 minutes for the whole trip.
I wish LKAS would stay on longer than 20 seconds. I am ready for Tesla auto-drive mode. ;-)

Thanks for the update 808_Insight. I may be making the trip from SF to Anaheim next month so glad the numbers went up, but kind of disappointing it's so low. I can't agree more regarding the ACC - I've been using it a lot myself and am finding that LKAS actually requires more attention than not using it at all.
 

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I did the return trip this weekend. Left Saturday and back Sunday, 1065 miles RT.
This time I took the 101 both ways, up and back as there are less dramatic elevation gains vs. grapevine.

No cargo on top this time, thank God!
So, not exactly the same trip as last time.
41.9 mpg RT. 70 mph avg.

Sport Mode on most large hills seemed to help. Good call @J0j0yum.
The gawdawful traffic coming back into LA tonight boosted the mpg.



I'll tell you one thing..... I LOVE ACC. I think I may have had my foot on a pedal a total of 5 minutes for the whole trip.
I wish LKAS would stay on longer than 20 seconds. I am ready for Tesla auto-drive mode. ;-)

Thanks for the update 808_Insight. I may be making the trip from SF to Anaheim next month so glad the numbers went up, but disappointed it's so low. I can't agree more regarding the ACC - I've been using it a lot myself and am finding that LKAS actually requires more attention than not using it at all.
 

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Interesting trip report, thank you. It really does point out how much of the Insight's efficiency is due to the aerodynamics. Without it, it's got the efficiency of a normal car from a few years ago. Even rain in my experience seems to reduce MPG by a surprising amount. Love this car but I'm just not used to the MPGs varying with any slight change in the environment or car. Still it's more efficient on its worst day than my last car was on its best day.


Wonder if the GTI doing better on the same trip was due to that cars more powerful turbocharged engine just having to work less against the drag and hills.
 

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Here's something of interest to note. I have my daily commute of 50 miles each way going to work and home. Here in Florida it's been pretty darn hot. What I have noticed is that your AC settings can have a huge impact on MPG. I like to get fresh air in through the vents so I turn off recirculate quite often. I have noticed when I do this, running at 70mph my MPG will drop to around 44mpg. When I leave it in auto and recirculation is enabled it shoots up to 48 - 50. Food for thought. Makes sense to me.
 

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Here's something of interest to note. I have my daily commute of 50 miles each way going to work and home. Here in Florida it's been pretty darn hot. What I have noticed is that your AC settings can have a huge impact on MPG. I like to get fresh air in through the vents so I turn off recirculate quite often. I have noticed when I do this, running at 70mph my MPG will drop to around 44mpg. When I leave it in auto and recirculation is enabled it shoots up to 48 - 50. Food for thought. Makes sense to me.
I've been pondering posts like this over the past week, I'm going to go out on a limb and say the reason why eco mode prefers re-circulate has something to do thermal dynamics.

I find it interesting that the insight doesn't have active grill shutters (I assumed it did). So instead of an aerodynamic change that I had assumed, I now believe it prefers re-circulation because it's easier to cool already cooled air, than fresh warm, and potentially humid air.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I will say that running the A/C on this 2019 has far less effect on mpg than it did on my 2010 Insight.
It does appear to deplete your batterie's charge quickly if the ICE isn't running (in Traffic, etc) but much improved over the older model. On this SF trip, I did run the A/C set at 74.
 

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I have noticed that everyone seems to have AC temp set at different ranges (mine is at 60 or lo). Does the colder ranges impact fuel economy more and also does AC temp matter if you have AC recirculating the same cold air?
 

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I have noticed that everyone seems to have AC temp set at different ranges (mine is at 60 or lo). Does the colder ranges impact fuel economy more and also does AC temp matter if you have AC recirculating the same cold air?
While it may not be an apples-to-apples comparison from an absolute energy measure, I think of managing car temperature like home temperature.
  • For homes, the 'professional' reco is to run the thermostat low in winter and high in summer to minimize energy use. Home energy services quote 2-5% extra cost in winter (or savings in summer) electric bill for every degree of temperature raised on thermostat. It's harder to quantify the actual energy used by the Insight's electric motor to supply A/C, but I think the directional energy principle is similar.
  • Another conceptual rule-of-thumb from home heating/cooling thermodynamics is that A/C is more efficient and uses the least net energy when run for a short time at full blast, rather than running constantly at a low setting. The rate of cooling output from the A/C is constant, so the system has to run longer (use more energy) to get to and maintain a lower temperature setpoint of 60F vs 74F.
A/C energy use relates to the difference in current temperature to target temperature (thermal gradient). Even after the car is cooled to 60F and has recirculation running, there was 'extra' A/C energy used to get the car to 60F vs 74F, plus more A/C energy used to maintain the 60F (assuming the outside temperature is >60F). How much more actual energy is used between these temperature scenarios might best be quantified by someone with an OBD meter, maybe measuring/monitoring battery charge -?
 

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I couldn't have said it better than Insightfully, and I'd also add that a/c is traditionally more efficient than driving with the windows down. I'm sure this is more true with our platform, especially at 45+mph.

My general approach is setting the a/c at 68, or within 2-3 degrees of ambient temperature. For example this morning was a very humid 60*, so the a/c was set to 63. The major benefit is that a/c (and heat) removes excess humidity from the air.
 

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While it may not be an apples-to-apples comparison from an absolute energy measure, I think of managing car temperature like home temperature.
  • For homes, the 'professional' reco is to run the thermostat low in winter and high in summer to minimize energy use. Home energy services quote 2-5% extra cost in winter (or savings in summer) electric bill for every degree of temperature raised on thermostat. It's harder to quantify the actual energy used by the Insight's electric motor to supply A/C, but I think the directional energy principle is similar.
  • Another conceptual rule-of-thumb from home heating/cooling thermodynamics is that A/C is more efficient and uses the least net energy when run for a short time at full blast, rather than running constantly at a low setting. The rate of cooling output from the A/C is constant, so the system has to run longer (use more energy) to get to and maintain a lower temperature setpoint of 60F vs 74F.
A/C energy use relates to the difference in current temperature to target temperature (thermal gradient). Even after the car is cooled to 60F and has recirculation running, there was 'extra' A/C energy used to get the car to 60F vs 74F, plus more A/C energy used to maintain the 60F (assuming the outside temperature is >60F). How much more actual energy is used between these temperature scenarios might best be quantified by someone with an OBD meter, maybe measuring/monitoring battery charge -?
I was leaning towards the same idea that having the AC temperature range being at the low end will use more energy. The information you have provided does make sense for what I'm seeing with my Insight. I had the AC temp range higher during May(fuel economy impact not noticeable) but now in June I have it lower where I do notice a decrease of around 3MPGs.



I couldn't have said it better than Insightfully, and I'd also add that a/c is traditionally more efficient than driving with the windows down. I'm sure this is more true with our platform, especially at 45+mph.


My general approach is setting the a/c at 68, or within 2-3 degrees of ambient temperature. For example this morning was a very humid 60*, so the a/c was set to 63. The major benefit is that a/c (and heat) removes excess humidity from the air.
I have been driving with windows up, to keep the bugs, and dust out of the cabin. Had a spider crawled in through my driver side window while I was driving a few weeks ago. Thanks for the tip on setting the AC temperature range. It should help with energy efficiency while getting rid of the humidity(I don't mind the heat most of the time just the humidity:grin:).
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The longer the compressor is running to create a colder climate, the harder the engine is working.
In ICE mode, the engine is running and therefore creating energy.
When in EV mode, you are sucking straight off the battery and it will deplete fast.
It was 108 today where I live. I set the A/C to 74 and was happy :)
I had a 59.9 mpg round trip home from work.


I also left work with a 47 mile range with a 46 mile trip.
I figured wtf and went for it. I got home with 26 miles left on my range!
ACC set at 60 mph on all highway miles (which is about half) and then feathered the throttle quite gingerly and manually put the car into EV mode at every chance I could get.
 

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Zero is not the end of the world! You can get WAY more to the "left of the slash!" The Insight still has about a gallon left!

 

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I also left work with a 47 mile range with a 46 mile trip.
I figured wtf and went for it. I got home with 26 miles left on my range!
ACC set at 60 mph on all highway miles (which is about half) and then feathered the throttle quite gingerly and manually put the car into EV mode at every chance I could get.
I've had this happen too, where my "average fuel efficiency" increases during the drive, which in turn makes the calculated range stay flat/unchanged or even increase. It's kind of like 'groundhog day' but in a good way, for mpg...
 

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I have 148 miles left on my Insight's range. I have a 104 mile r/t to work tomorrow and an 80 mile r/t to my daughter's dance class. I'm going to try to do both with what's left in the tank. Worst case, I can fill up after I drop my daughter off at 144 miles. I've gone 22 miles below zero (last week) and only took a hair over nine gallons. Since range goes up when the tank gets low, I'll likely push it tomorrow and be well into the 600s for this tank. I'm pulling a 70+ so far, so it shouldn't be an issue. If I get really unhinged, I'll drive another 30 miles to a station on the way to work on Friday. #staytuned #iworkfromhomeonthursdays
 
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