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Mini Mini Review after Driving Insight Couple Miles

Discussion in 'Honda Hybrids and EVs' started by cycledrum, Feb 24, 2011.

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  1. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    My dealer was kind enough to have a new owner's workshop. After it, I saw my salesguy and asked for a test drive of the 2011 Insight, so he handed me the key for a solo spin. How cool is that? I told him I had no intention to buy, only to compare to Prius. He said, you won't like this car, and that he hates his wife's Prius. Anyrate, whateva.

    Insight uses a standard key in ignition, turn it, start the engine. Gear shift lever is mechanical like a Civic. Seats were pretty good and good headroom. The dash displays and gages are very colorful and attractive.

    I didn't notice the A/C system was running, but it was on a bit. First thing I noticed is there is a little bit of jerkiness in the driveline when I first got going in the parking lot. It's very subtle, but you can feel it. I went a half to 3/4 miles down the road, came to stop light and the engine kept running constantly. I figured it was warmig up, but A/C was on and that may have kept ICE going.

    When making the turn, I noticed it felt pretty good like a pretty well built car. I pulled into a lot and the engine was still running, probably had it fired up for 4 minutes total. I hit the A/C button and gage said A/C off.

    Making a right turn from a stop, it seemed like the pickup was pretty good. I sensed that it had a little more peppiness than my 09 Prius and the 3rd Gen also. But, there is still that slight bit of jerkiness as you let off the brake and get going. It doesn't buck, it's just a very slight jerkiness, not the super smooth acceleration of Prius.

    As I stopped at the light at dealership, voila, the engine stopped which was very nice. Soon as you let foot off gas, engine comes on again. In the lot at 5 mph, I took my foot off gas, the engine sound stopped and it continued to roll forward. I had to back in, so soon as I put it in reverse, the engine came on again. So, it seems like you would get the engine cycling on and off a lot more in situations where you only need to creep forward or back.

    So, the Prius full hybrid system seems quite a bit more elegant since it can propel at low speeds on battery alone.

    But, the Insight is not so bad from my limited experience. I think one could enjoy it and certainly enjoy the 43 MPG. But, is it nearly as robust as a 3rd gen Prius? Not even close.

    ----------------------
    Just thought I'd sneak a little something in here -

    http://hondajet.honda.com/news/landing.aspx?0
    1 person likes this.
  2. macmaster05

    macmaster05 Senor Member

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    Yeah but could your legs fit??? :D

    Nice review, pretty accurate. Lots of newbs come here saying the Prius is the best car they've ever driven. Whether or not that's true I think the Insight doesn't stand a chance.
  3. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    Much better than in the 2nd Gen Prius :p
  4. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    It's just semantics, but correct me if I'm wrong, and I could easily be so, but my understanding of IMA is that the engine never stops turning...there is a fuel cut off, where the engine is not firing..but the engine keeps turning...

    So the engine is never really "stopped" it's just a matter of whether it's firing under fueled power, or turning under electric power and momentum.

    This would be unlike HSD where when the engine is off, it's really off...

    Pre-Excuse me if I'm wrong about this.
  5. MSantos

    MSantos EcoAccelerometry

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    Depending on the situation (like an auto-stop condition at less than 7 MPH) the gasoline engine will power down and not turn at all.

    When at speeds higher than 15 MPH the gasoline engine can enter a cylinder idle mode that still causes it to spin (1000-1500 rpm) with no fuel being used. This spinning is made almost frictionless via low friction engineering treatments and the closure of the cylinder valves.
    This technically enables the vehicle to glide without any energy use (gasoline or electricity)... or ev-glide where only the electric motor is powering the wheels which is often used to extend a glide condition or maintain speed in level ground driving.

    cheers
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  6. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    Hobbit has written that engine spin in the Prius without fuel burn takes 2 kw. Anybody know how much power this state consumes in an insight ?
  7. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    Hobbit has written that engine spin in the Prius without fuel burn takes 2 kw. Anybody know how much power this state consumes in an insight ?
  8. MSantos

    MSantos EcoAccelerometry

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    Approximately 800 W/h for the HCH-II. Please note that this is not an average and the CVT/vehicle speed remains the wild card here.

    I do not have any numbers for the Insight II, but since the ICE is a bit less sophisticated and less expensive to produce the actual numbers may be different? Besides, it also lacks a wide enough glide dead zone so measuring this can be a bit tricky.

    So far, and among other things this last point also helps confirm our observations in terms of maximum FE potential for each of the two family oriented Honda platforms, and the initial Insight II's have offered a lower max FE even though an average driver is likely to achieve a better average FE that what he/she would get on an HCH-II.
    Just for giggles, on this last "tuning & operational governance" part it almost resembles what Toyota did with the 3G Prius vs 2G. The max FE potential for the 2G Prius remains higher than the 3G Prius and expert drivers have no problem showing off great numbers whereas the average driver will likely get better avg FE on the 3G.


    Lastly, comparing ICE drag on a HSD to the ICE drag on a late gen IMA platform is far more tricky and not at all trivial, since the the HSD architecture is not saddled by the variable friction losses of mechanical CVT's and other belted components like the ones found on the IMA platforms. Despite the high amounts of low friction engineering found on the ICE of IMA platforms (plateau honing, cylinder deactivation, hydraulic valve control, etc), the HSD architecture still incurs much lower energy losses and that consistently shows at the hands of average drivers.

    Cheers;


    MSantos
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  9. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney EditProfOptInfoCustomUser Title

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    On my test drive of the 2010 Insight EX I found it more natural to drive than the Prius (but I haven't driven others Toyotas so I can't say whether it's a Honda v Toyota thing) and I felt a noticeable delay pulling away from a stop. One it got going it was easy to drive. I also found the CC dropped a couple of mph in Eco going up a hill. Prius can go wild on steep rolls, but not so much on a simple steep uphill. Really, it was just the lack of space, rear headroom in particular, that killed the possible purchase of the Insight. Well, that combined with expected inferior fuel economy and the forced upgrade to EX to get CC that pushed the price closer to the Prius.
  10. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    I'm not very familiar with the Honda system but I think you mean all valves, or at the very least the exhaust valves, are opened not closed. If they all remained closed, it would cause compression on every stroke.
  11. MSantos

    MSantos EcoAccelerometry

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    Yes, it is a normal and rather common misconception.

    But in a nutshell...

    To minimize additional mechanical losses due to a spinning ICE all valves MUST be closed, not opened. If they were left open as it happens with just about every other ICE on the market today, then constantly pulling and pushing air in and out of the cylinders would represent the bulk of the resistive forces accounting for ICE drag. When the valves are closed you basically have a spring effect: Yes, you need energy to compress the spring but the spring also returns almost 100% of the stored energy when you let it go... so in the end spinning an already low friction engineered IMA ICE is made super easy hence the lower energy numbers needed to spin the ICE.

    Cheers;
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  12. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    I remember being in the lot at 5 mph, slowing, foot off brake and the engine sound went off. I don't recall an EV motive force as I hit the brake soon after. But I do remember rolling forward with no engine sound.
  13. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    I'm guessing this bothered other potential buyers too. From Honda Insight gets much cheaper base model, new features for 2011 — Autoblog Green, Honda has remedied the forced upsell to the EX to get CC for the 2011 model year.
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