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Discussion Starter #1
This car is not meant for climbing hills! The gas engine can rev very high and the noise is terrible. On an occasional drive from Santa Cruz (coastal California) to Silicon Valley, I have to pass over 1800 foot mountain; in places the engine really winds up. Then this past week we drove from coastal California to the Kirkwood ski area at 7000 feet. The engine noise was intolerable!

I am sorely tempted to sell this car after that experience. I know that seems extreme, but I really think the engineers made a serious mistake in this design.

Does the Accord Hybrid have the same awful drive train?
 

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Same Drive train

To answer your question, both the Insight and the Accord hybrid are advertised to have the Gen 3 hybrid system. So, I suspect that even though the Accord has a 2L engine, with the additional weight of the Accord, you would likely find it also gets noisy during steep climbs up a mountain.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So, climbing that elevation, can you tell me what kind of mpg you are getting?
Not precisely, because I didn't reset trip odometer when we began climbing. Using the "Current Drive" number from the power flow screen, I think the lowest value I saw was around 28 MPG. We stopped in Stockton and then continued to Kirkwood; it looks like the first 25% would be mostly flat and then it's all uphill. I can't complain about the MPG over such a long uphill. Of course coming back down I got around 120 MPG! And then we stopped for lunch and continued on for about 8 miles to another town and got 199.9.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
To answer your question, both the Insight and the Accord hybrid are advertised to have the Gen 3 hybrid system. So, I suspect that even though the Accord has a 2L engine, with the additional weight of the Accord, you would likely find it also gets noisy during steep climbs up a mountain.
I have seen it stated in various articles that the Insight has CVT transmission, but this is wrong. Car and Driver has a nice article explaining the 2018 Accord Hybrid drive train and I'm pretty sure it is the same as Insight (except Insight components are smaller, less powerful). I think that explains why the engine gets so loud - with no transmission, the gas engine has to rev to very high RPM.
 

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I had the same experience going uphill this past weekend. The noise was so unbearable I had to crank up the stereo to drown out the noise! I also had to go below the speed limit since it was reving so badly, I was nearing the gray area of the power gauge.
 

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I agree about the horrible engine roar. That being said, when I travel up big hills (Route 287 from Parsippany to Mahwah, NJ) I have had some luck putting the car in SPORT mode with maximum regen with these hills. ECON just doesn't get it done on hills/ mountains and it takes so long to go up hills that you are losing time. "NORMAL" is not quite as strong as SPORT. The idea is to get up the hills as soon as possible so as to minimize - if possible - the loss of mpg. I have found that maximum regen very slowly can eventually give me additional battery charge even going up consecutive hills (with some flats). The idea that I have more battery charge to play with and get up the hills sooner with SPORT makes that my favored choice. Please note that SPORT and ECON at hard acceleration both seem to have similar mpg penalties on a second-by-second basis (as per the horizontal mpg line in the dashboard graphic). Thus, why NOT take the slight penalty of SPORT to finish the hills ASAP?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
That's very interesting to hear about using Sport mode. But of course that enhances the noise INSIDE the cabin, thanks to ANTI-noise cancelling special effects.
I will try sport mode on commute, where I have a 3/4 mile climb of about 400 feet.
I don't think it would help when going to Silicon Valley, where the climb is around 1200 feet over 6 miles (some parts are very steep).
It certainly wouldn't help driving into the Sierras with 7000 foot climb.
 

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Hoboken Made a Great Suggestion

The suggestion of using Sport mode on steep hills makes sense. In simple terms, a hybrid is an electric car with a gasoline powered generator. The engine is really there to keep the battery charged, and when necessary, provide supplemental mechanical power to the wheels. So, when the battery drops below the minimum charge level, the engine has to work hard to play catch-up recharging the battery while also taking over more of the work turning those wheels. That requires high engine rpm. Unfortunately, it is an unavoidable consequence of the vehicle design. The longer you can keep the battery charge level above the minimum, the less time the engine has to speed up to make up for lost battery power. One obvious solution would be a bigger engine, but that would add weight and cut down the mpg. So, I guess it comes down to an engineering trade-off. If you live in a mountainous area, a hybrid may not be the best choice. Too bad nobody explains that before people make a vehicle purchase. I appreciate Hoboken's suggestion. It is at least a partial workaround. We all need to learn how to best utilize hybrid technology.
 

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Last week I drove from Bay Area to Orange County. On the hills I kicked it into sports mode and barely had to touch the gas. In regular I was stepping at least twice as hard and the car was having a hard time. Sport was still loud through the Grapevine stretch but power was good.

Overall I got about 46 mpg both ways.

I mostly drive it in the city and in traffic. But when I’m on the freeway there are hills. I found that sacrificing a few mpg for the stretch didn’t hurt my overall numbers and it felt a lot less straining on the car.
 

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I’m used to leaving my car in Econ mode all the time during my normal commute but learned this mode wasn't going to work for me going uphill in mountainous terrain. I did eventually set it to sport mode going up and down the hills but the noise is still so LOUD, so glad this isn't my commute ride.
 

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This car is not meant for climbing hills! The gas engine can rev very high and the noise is terrible. On an occasional drive from Santa Cruz (coastal California) to Silicon Valley, I have to pass over 1800 foot mountain; in places the engine really winds up. Then this past week we drove from coastal California to the Kirkwood ski area at 7000 feet. The engine noise was intolerable!

I am sorely tempted to sell this car after that experience. I know that seems extreme, but I really think the engineers made a serious mistake in this design.

Does the Accord Hybrid have the same awful drive train?
Is the noise same or worst then the Prius?
 

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I have a 2004 Prius and I'd say it's very similar, but I find the Honda a little worse since the Prius sounds like 40 hamsters trying their damnest to get you there and the Honda just mostly drones at the same frequency and can really get annoying. Lucky for me I have few large hills and I play my music LOUD. 😁
 

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There is no horrible roar. Only in sharp hills it could be heard. I always drive in eco mode and use cruise control. Does the job okay. The hill does not necessarily drop the mpg. The major effect on mpg is high speed, traffic, and weather. The sweet spot for best mpg of this car is around 45 mph.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Did/are younkeeping your car? I hope so, because the depreciation rate right now would be downright painful to think about. Just drive in sport uphills and turn the audio louder. 😁
I'll keep the car and do my best to avoid big hills :sad:
But I can't see how sport mode would help once you've driven uphill far enough to bring the battery down to 2 to 4 bars - at that point the engine has to both power the axles and charge the battery.
 

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I have the same issue in northern new Jersey but anyone tried to put cold air intake in one off these cars!! So I did open the air intake filter box and stick the clips under the filter and I really feel the difference in power even going up hills I feel it has more power and torque and the engine doesn't have to push more but the engine nose get louder when you step on it hard but with more power I know maybe its bad for the engine but Iv been driving it like that for over a month sometimes I close it when heavy rain and I'm really happy with it lol
 

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The secret here is to get to the hill with significant battery. When I know there is a big hill coming, I'll put it in sport mode well ahead of time. Sport mode likes to keep battery in reserve, so that will help in building ahead of time. The squirrels only start screaming when the battery gets to 3 bars or below, or if you really push it going uphill.
 

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What follows is from the Honda Press Kit: 2019 Honda Insight Press Kit - Honda News

Active Noise Control (ANC) and Active Sound Control (ASC)
Key contributors to Insight's quiet, refined interior are Active Noise Control (ANC) and Active Sound Control (ASC). The two systems are comprised of dual overhead microphones, an ANC/ASC electronic processor, and the audio system's speakers. ASC/ANC operates whenever Insight is running, even if the audio system is turned off.

ANC is designed to reduce low frequency sound in the cabin caused mainly by the roughness of the road surface. The overhead microphones pick up sound waves and send them to the ANC/ASC processor, which then creates and sends a precisely timed "reverse phase" audio signal to a special amplifier. In turn, the amplifier drives the speakers to cancel the original noise signal.

ASC is a related technology designed to improve the engine sound quality by making the sound pressure level more linear as the engine revs increase. Typically, engine noise doesn't increase in a linear way with rising revs; instead there can be many resonances that create peaks and valleys in the sound pressure level and an uneven sound. From idle to redline, ASC helps smooth out the engine sound by reforming the sound signal as needed and sending it to the speakers. In SPORT mode, ASC provides Insight with a more dynamic engine sound profile.
 
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