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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, my name is Paul, and I'm a new Insight owner.

This is the first new car I've purchased. My daily driver until three weeks ago was a 1993 SAAB 900 Turbo, but after two interstate strandings in two weeks I surrendered. Prior to the SAAB, I dailied a naturally aspirated Merc 240D for a few years, and drove a 1995 Range Rover County Classic for about fifteen years before that. Wrenching on the weekends was a way of life with rolling British and European projects.

Still getting used to the new-found free time, as well as averaging 50mpg with mixed driving and fill-ups for less than $20. The SAAB got about 23mpg and I had to run 93 octane due to the tuning. The Rover got about 13mpg on a good day, again with 93.

Overall, I'm impressed with this car. It even elicited a "wow, that's a Honda?!" at the local Dunk's drive through. The tech inside made me feel at first like a Gen X time traveler who was at a loss how to make the car "go." It's nice to drive a modern car with fresh suspension bushings, though it took me some time to understand how to drive it. Sometimes it feels like the engine-generator-traction motor setup has a mind of its own. The hybrid powertrain is obviously a much different animal from '80s and '90s fuel injection. Don't get me started on the ancient but bullet-proof mechanical diesel injection system on that old Merc. That motor ran even as the body disintegrated around me.

Anyway, glad to be here and soak up the knowledge. Thanks for letting me share.
 

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Welcome to the forum, Paul! And congrats on the newfound free time... you can use the extra time to join our forum discussions. ;)

Did you pick up a 2019 or 2020 model, and what trim did you opt for?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the warm welcome! I got a 2020 EX.

As much as I loved the SAAB, I knew I was on borrowed time, and needed something for commuting and road trips. Nothing is currently produced that matches for me the old 900's sportiness, size, and utility. We have a fleet Prius plug-in at work and I got the notion that it would be cool to join the 21st century with a reliable and fuel efficient car like that, even if it was a bit funky and anemic during high speed merges.

I flirted briefly with the idea of an EV. A couple of buddies at work drive BMW i3s which they bought certified pre-owned, but the pricing for similar i3s with the range extender was pretty high. I also figured that BMW would kill me on servicing. For some time I was set on a Ford Fusion Hybrid, but test driving the Insight won me over. I thought the cargo capacity, interior, and handling of the Insight were superior. Another friend at work has driven Hondas for years - when she had a choice between a Volvo, Subaru, and Accord, still settled on the Honda given the reliability and service costs. I also was a bit frustrated with the dealer pricing and incentive structure for the Ford. The Honda dealership came down quite a lot right off the bat, and I was on the road in the 2020 Insight EX for about $5,000 less than a 2019 Fusion Hybrid SE.

Really, the only minor complaint I have after about 1200 miles of driving the Insight is a weird low-frequency feedback at certain power levels and battery state of charge. It seems to come from the rear speakers. It's not so much a vibration caused by the engine itself revving, but sounds like someone cranked up the bass for a second. Poking around here I wonder if it has to do with the ANC/ASC system trying to cancel the engine noise.... I guess I'm already spoiled driving this thing!
 

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Really, the only minor complaint I have after about 1200 miles of driving the Insight is a weird low-frequency feedback at certain power levels and battery state of charge. It seems to come from the rear speakers. It's not so much a vibration caused by the engine itself revving, but sounds like someone cranked up the bass for a second. Poking around here I wonder if it has to do with the ANC/ASC system trying to cancel the engine noise.... I guess I'm already spoiled driving this thing!
What driving mode (Econ, Normal, Sport, EV) are you in when you hear the noise? Sport mode alters the 'Active Sound Control (ASC) provides a more dynamic engine sounds profile' with engine notes from the speakers, but the other modes shouldn't have this 'feature.' When the HV battery is <3-4 bars, the gas engine works harder to both recharge the battery and power the car/wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The sound occurs when I'm in Normal mode going up a grade or under some other moderate load, and the battery charge is 3 or fewer bars. You're also correct that power is going both to the front wheels and to charge the battery. This is all happening at speeds above 35 to 40 mph.
 

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The sound occurs when I'm in Normal mode going up a grade or under some other moderate load, and the battery charge is 3 or fewer bars. You're also correct that power is going both to the front wheels and to charge the battery. This is all happening at speeds above 35 to 40 mph.
From your description, it sounds like you're hearing the gas engine labor.

When the Power Flow shows the engine powering the wheels, the gas engine is doing double duty to both recharge the HV battery and and drive the wheels... and is the 'weakest link' power-wise:
GAS ENGINE ONLY = In-Line 4-Cylinder = 107 HP @6000 RPM -- 99 lb-ft torque @5000 RPM
ELECTRIC MOTOR ONLY = AC Synch Magnet = 129 HP @4000-8000 RPM -- 197 lb-ft torque @0-3000 RPM
COMBINED HYBRID = peak concurrent output = 151 HP @6000 RPM -- 197 lb-ft torque @0-3000 RPM​

Once you're <3-4 bars of battery level, any acceleration (with or without hill) will get the gas engine revving because it's both propelling the car and recharging the HV battery. The revving/noise should only last until the gas engine recharges the HV battery to 4 bars or higher.

When I know hills are coming up, I try to build battery charge in advance. One way to do this is to engage Sport mode (which prioritizes keeping the HV battery charged). However keep in mind that Sport mode also engages a 'new' sound of a piped-in engine note thru the speakers so it's a bit of a trade-off (and don't be alarmed by the different noise).

I've also seen the engine direct-drive the wheels at low speeds (25-30 mph) if my HV battery level is too low.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Insightfully - this is very helpful in understanding the nuances of this car. This is only a minor complaint, along with the lack of a glovebox lamp that I just noticed. Like I said, I'm spoiled!

Overall I've been impressed with the performance of the Insight. It can move when I've had to punch it to merge - it blows the doors off the fleet Prius plug-in I've driven for work. :)
 

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Thanks Insightfully - this is very helpful in understanding the nuances of this car. This is only a minor complaint, along with the lack of a glovebox lamp that I just noticed. Like I said, I'm spoiled!

Overall I've been impressed with the performance of the Insight. It can move when I've had to punch it to merge - it blows the doors off the fleet Prius plug-in I've driven for work. :)
Ah, the missing glovebox light... it seems Honda figured out that people want one, because they finally added it standard on the 2019 Civic (GenX Civic refresh, same platform as Insight - part #34254-SWA-003). It's not an 'easy' install but would be OEM-ish. This thread also offers alternate suggestions for lighting - https://www.gen3insight.com/forum/321-interior/2052-no-light-glovebox.html
 
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