Honda’s 60-MPG Surprise

When Honda announced that the new 2010 Honda Insight would “only” average about 41 or 42 mpg, some hybrid fans wondered what went wrong. Forget that Honda’s goal with the new five-door model is affordability, not maximum mileage. The major ding against hybrids has been extra cost, and Honda was aiming once and for all to prove that gas-electric technology could come with a modest price tag—in this case about $19,000. (No official exact price yet.)

Nonetheless the company’s revival of the “Insight” badge set an expectation that Honda would regain the mpg crown from the Toyota Prius. The first-generation Honda Insight—retired in 2006—was rated by the Environmental Protection Agency at 70 mpg on the highway (which translates to about 65 mpg in the EPA’s updated system). That’s a far cry from the Insight’s expected highway mileage around 43 mpg.

Just when expectations for the Honda Insight were being recalibrated… Surprise! The first set of real-world road tests of the 2010 Honda Insight are arriving, and they are consistently higher than 60 mpg. Auto journalists using a smidgen of care—a light foot on the accelerator, staying at legal speeds, and coasting when possible—are getting these remarkable results, with some help from the “econ” mode and the dashboard’s interactive color-coded feedback system.

The EPA will soon release the results of its lab tests; official numbers on the window sticker may very well be around 40 mpg. But based on the experiences of the following journalists, just about any driver who wants to get 60+ on the highway in the 2010 Honda Insight will be able to.

Excerpts from Road Tests

Edward Loh, Motor Trend – 63.7 MPG

“The A/C is off, and I’ve got the windows sealed tight to maximize my aerodynamic efficiency. I don’t think the radio reduces the output of my Honda Insight’s IMA system, but I have it off just in case. All I can hear is the quiet hum of the tires as I try to keep my speedo green and the gas engine from firing up…I pull in, soaked and elated: My instantaneous average looks to be 63.7 mpg through this mostly city course. That’s over 20 mpg higher than the 43 mpg those ninnies at the EPA got on the highway.”

Sam Abuelsamid, Autobloggreen – 63.4 MPG

“The [test drive] loop consisted of mostly stop and go driving over varied terrain (up and down hills) with speed limits ranging from 25-55 mph in and around Carefree, Arizona. I stuck to the speed limits and kept a light foot on the throttle and brake pedals. With the speedometer up above the steering wheel, the colored background [providing efficiency feedback] was easily visible in my peripheral vision. Glancing down to the main efficiency indicator graph helped to optimize my driving style. With all the feedback I was able to achieve 62.2 mpg over the 16-mile loop. A second attempt later in the afternoon yielded an even better 63.4 mpg.”

Jerry Garrett, New York Times – 65 mpg

“After failing to get exceptional mileage at the press introduction of the new Honda Insight, I was eager for a retrial. A few weeks later, I drove an Insight for another 1,000 miles with better results. My drive was broken into segments of 40 to 80 miles. Mileage on the early sections was similarly unimpressive. But one of the later segments, of 82 miles, yielded 65 mpg at an average speed of 65 mph.”


  • PatrickPunch

    It is good to find three journalist that seek fuel economy when assessing a car. They are very different from those that produce such negative criticism when it is not a muscle car.

    This article also shows that with a good driving strategy one can save additional fuel in a hybrid. When going for a hybrid it makes sense to invest in driver training.

  • prius owner

    60 mpg is easy to do in the Prius too. The new mpg ratings do not reflect some simple changes that a driver can make to optimize mileage.

  • John H

    It’s not the gas mileage that is most important. It’s the grams CO2/kilometer (Euro system) that is the best metric. At some point, American auto buffs and the general public will “get it”. While we are at it, how about including the lifecycle CO2 “cost”, including production and eventual removal from service.

  • Insightman

    I don’t believe ANY journalists testing the new Insight–regardless of their driving style–have reported mileage as low as 40 mpg. Before the EPA updated their fudge factors in 2008, car owners were unhappy because it was very difficult to achieve the mileage numbers on the sticker (BTW, the easily attainable updated EPA ratings for the original Insight are 49/61). By making price rather than EPA mileage the most attractive feature of the Insight, Honda has turned it around so that there will be more owners and those owners can all feel really good about how easily they can surpass the EPA mileage ratings.

  • Boom Boom

    When is this car supposed to hit our shores!!! I’m eager to try one out. Hopefully this will give Toyota some needed competition. We’ll see if consumers are able to look beyond the massive branding effort that Toyota has done to successfully equate hybrid with Prius (despite Honda being the first to sell a hybrid in the US).

    My favorite website for a fair and real-world assessment is http://www.greenhybrid.com/compare/mileage/. There you can see what real drivers in real conditions are getting averaged over a large sample size to take out all the extremes. As it stands, the Prius get just two MPG better than the the Civic hybrid. We’ll see where the new Prius and Insight land.

  • crut100

    John,

    You are both correct and incorrect. Correct in that that grams CO2/Kilometer is the best for measuring environmental impact but incorrect in that I don’t purchase my fuel that way. At the end of the day, most people will vote with their wallets and a car that emitted zero grams CO2/KM but got 18MPG would sit on a car dealer’s lot where one that got 60+ MPG and still had decently small carbon footprint would sell much better. Besides, with the MPG this high, the car’s consumption rate almost guarantees a respectable carbon/KM result.

  • Aggieland

    I’m assuming that the 40ish EPA number is with the A/C on, but is the “Econ” button on or off? Does anyone know? Thanks.

  • Charles

    John;

    If the fuel is the same then CO2/Kilometer or MPG work just as well. The numbers are inverted (ie. higher MPG is lower CO2/KM, but the relationship is linear). Where CO2/KM works so much better is when you start talking about diesel, E85 or some other fuel.

  • Tony

    First, it depends on what you’re trying to measure. If you are most interested in CO2 release, then perhaps you’re right. If on the other hand you are like most people, concerned more about how much each mile you drive costs, then MPG, or some inverse metric such as gallons per hundred miles or something, is more appropriate.

    The two are going to correlate pretty well to each other anyway, because the amount of CO2 released is directly proportional to the mass of gasoline you burn. Although there is some variation on the relationship of mass to volume depending on environmental conditions.

    But the important thing is that you have a universal comparative measure to use. EPA rates all vehicles on MPG for highway and city driving conditions, and thus it is a useful way to compare one vehicle to another.

  • Tony

    It should be noted that EPA fuel economy numbers are meant to be used as a comparative data point, not necessarily an indication of what kind of individual performance you can get.

    In other words, yes, someone using appropriate driving techniques can get over 60MPG out of the new Insight. But it’s also true that someone using the same kind of driving techiques can probably get, say, 45MPG out of a vehicle with an EPA rating of only 30MPG. EPA gets it’s numbers by running all vehicles through the same rigorously defined test so that the resulting numbers can be used for comparison. That’s really the best that they can do, since factors exclusively under the driver’s control such as driving style and usage type have such a large impact on fuel efficiency.

    Put another way, in order to product accurate efficiency numbers, EPA would have to publish them as a range, based on many more tests performed under many more different sets of conditions including driving style. And since the effect of driving style is so large, the resulting ranges would necessarily be so wide as to be almost useless.

    For example, with the Insight, EPA reports forty-something, and some people have managed to get sixty-something. But I bet that there are ways you could drive an Insight (jackrabbit starts, screeching halts, windows open AND AC operating full blast, hundreds of pounds of cargo in the trunk) that would result in it getting even as low as the low 30s. So what’s a consumer supposed to do with an EPA rating of “Between 32 and 63 MPG”?

  • Civic Hybrid Owner

    >Where CO2/KM works so much better is when you start talking about diesel, E85 or some other fuel.

    So that’s the angle. The Germans want to make their cars look better.

    As I said before not all people buy fuel efficient cars because of global warming. Sending less money to the middle east (and other) dictators is also a goal as is shipping less oil in tankers to reduce oil spills, etc. Diesel does neither of those, because it takes more oil to produce a gallon of diesel than it does to produce a gallon of gasoline.

  • Boom Boom

    That is why the hybrid database is so useful. It gives you the averages of what people are getting 600-1000 car sample sizes. Then you can ignore the outliers/hypermilers. The EPA has started a similar database on their site but it isn’t as robust.

  • Luc

    Talking about Europe, one German review complained they only got 40mpg and then said the main problem of the Insight is that most drivers would have to adjust the way they drive. And in that case they may as well buy a Golf Diesel which will not be as much dependent on the driver (equivalent MPG highway and faster acceleration).
    However that comparison is a bit flawed. First in the city the diesel is rated 50% less efficient and will emit much more CO2. Second if you are willing to adjust your driving to get max mpg you will be able to beat the diesel easily. Sure not everyone is willing to do that.

    See http://babelfish.yahoo.com/translate_url?doit=done&tt=url&intl=1&fr=bf-res&trurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.focus.de%2Fauto%2Ffahrberichte%2Ftid-13183%2Fhonda-insight-fazit_aid_364544.html&lp=de_en&btnTrUrl=Translate

  • Lost Prius to wife

    One further note, Boom Boom. I am also interested in examining the new Insight, especially as a possible second car or a “drive to work” car. It will provide more competition in the hybrid market. Due to its size, the Insight is destined for the sub compact / compact market rather than the compact / small sedan market that the Honda Civic and Toyota Prius are in. But there will be some crossover in sales due to the Insight’s lower price. Since the Insight will carry four people and groceries in the trunk just like the Honda Civic, Toyota Prius, and others, the competiton will come down to price, room (volume and body fit), and features (both basic and upgrades) and probably in that order. The first Honda Insight, with seating for only two adults and groceries (or one small child instead of groceries), could not compete with the first two generation Prius, even with its having a much better mpg, strictly because of its inability to carry four adults. Hence, the name “Prius” became almost totally synonymous with the word “hybrid” instead of the Honda Insight. I agree that this is unfair, but that is how life sometimes goes.

  • Lost Prius to wife

    Luc, your observations about most drivers having to adjust they’re driving habits, and the possibility that most are not willing to do that, are actuate. But we all could still save resources if everyone would make their next car purchase one that increased their gas mileage by 10 to 50 percent more than their last car.

  • Dom

    Gotta clear up some more diesel mis-conceptions:

    Luc said “First in the city the diesel is rated 50% less efficient and will emit much more CO2. Second if you are willing to adjust your driving to get max mpg you will be able to beat the diesel easily. Sure not everyone is willing to do that.”
    First, diesels emit LESS CO2 than most gasoline cars, not more. The only emission diesels are usually worse on is NOx. I’m not sure where your 50% less efficient rating is coming from, as most of the comparable VW TDIs (Golf, Jetta) have a rating of high 30s to low 40s mpg in the city.
    The german review complaining about having to modify driving style to get good millage from the new Insight is probably true. Having read this forum and VW diesel forums and read many arguments on diesels vs hybrids, I’ve gotten the impression that to get great mileage from a hybrid the driver really has to pay attention and more or less “baby” the car, whereas a diesel usually isn’t as sensitive to driving style, and can still achive fairly good mpg while being driven hard. Now if you apply some of the same driving techniques from the hybrid to driving the diesel, you should achieve similar results.

  • Luc

    The diesel city number comes from the German Golf diesel spec. If I take the US Jetta then you still end up with 30 compared to the conservative 40mpg for the Insight (+33%).
    The mileage and CO2 is clearly lower in city where most Hybrids can run more on electricity (and the German article agrees with that although they indicate this will come really into play with plug-in hybrids).

    I agree with your diesel statement but I think the Hybrid has a better (cleaner) future interim especially if we do get better Li-on batteries plus plug-in capability. The Insight shows that Hybrid cost is not such a big issue anymore as German manufacturers like to point out comparing diesel with Hybrid development. A Jetta wagon TDI starts at $24K….

    Ironically in a German study in the 90′s they found diesel rust particles to cause cancer which prompted the requirement of particle filters. But diesels still don’t eliminate all of this and at least with Hybrids this is less of a concern.

  • Boom Boom

    Lost Prius,
    I’m not saying that it is unfair that the Prius is synonymous with Hybrid in the US. I’m just saying that it is a result of the Toyota’s successful marketing (and Honda critical marketing mistakes). Folks who go on and on about how inherently superior than all other cars the Prius is are fundamentally silly, to me, but the hard fact is that the majority of hybrids sold in the US are Prius’s and that is because Toyota made and marketed a better car than the competition.

    I’m not sure I agree on the size issue. I’ll be interested to see how the Insight compares to the Prius in the various interior dimensions. (BTW, thanks for not calling the Prius a mid-size car like the Toyota propaganda blogs like to go on about. It is a compact comprable to civic or a matrix. It has identical interior room to a matrix.)

  • Samie

    Good comments by Luc and RKRB for Luc’s comment I was unaware of the problems w/ rust particles on diesel vehicles guess that could be the same situation w/ electrical generation in Hybrids or EV’s causing cancer, lets hope there is no probability for human health risks in either case….

    One more comment about diesel in my opinion hybrids are more consistent w/ highway and city ranges & represent the possibility of gaining more technological advances then diesel in the near future. But on the flip side I see the TDI types being a great way to boast fuel economy in performance class cars for the luxury crowd. As all know and discussed months ago, the Jetta TDI will get 236 lb.-ft. of torque making it and other TDI types fun to drive.

    I don’t see many excited about the new Insight but to me if priced @ 19K that could be a game changer in the market where Toyota and its fan club casts a shadow on everything. Wonder if Ford could follow Honda’s business model in developing say a Focus Hybrid around 18-22K???

  • MPG is broken and useless.

    It’s energy efficiency that increasingly matters.

    MPG is obsolete. If it’s energy efficiency you are looking to measure, here’s the official DOE/EPA metric:

    * Energy efficiency (allows direct comparison between ALL vehicle types)

    Average number of kilowatt hours per 100 miles (# kWh / 100 miles) for a complete vehicle cycle (everything full to everything needing to be refilled/recharged for one cycle of the vehicle’s maximum range) with US-06 EPA vehicle use.

    That allows for direct comparison between any types of vehicles (full gasser, non-plug in hybrid, plug-in hybrid, full electric) for their FULL energy use, which MPG does not.

    This article reports what is possible when hypermiling, not what is typical using the US-06 EPA cycle, so the reults are completely useless for context or comparison. I can get infinite miles per gallon from a Hummer simply by pushing it one inch with the engine off. So what?

    * Energy COST efficiency

    If you are looking for a measure of energy cost efficiency, it’s more complex, but hardly rocket science. Simply look at your state’s current average prices for electricity and gasoline on a kWh basis (36.6 kWh per gallon of gasoline) and the relative use of electricity and gasoline in your vehicle (the current new Insight is 100% gasoline as it can’t plug in) to come up with a weighted cost per kWh for your particular vehicle. Realize that the energy cost efficiency varies both from state to state and at different times, even with the same vehicle, so that energy cost efficiency comparisons between different vehicles in different states or at different times (or both) is not a simple, direct, ranked comparison.

    The author needs to completely redo this article using meaningful efficiency metrics so we can directly compare the new weak hybrid Insight to forthcoming plug in electric drive vehicle specs. The author could help in this effort by reporting kWh / 100 miles for existing high efficicncy pure gassers, hybrid, electric cars in productions and based on the manufacturer specs/claims for forthcoming plug in hybrids. As is, the article is completely backwards looking, which doesn’t help us plan or make good vehicle decisions in the future.

    Also, the Honda Insight is still a weak hybrid, as the gas engine never shuts off. Still, with a low cost and a dedicated model (no non-hybrid version to compare cost with) it’s likely to be a pretty good seller.

  • RKRB

    Here are some points:

    1. The testers base the numbers on the car’s mileage gauge, but real-world numbers may differ (they do on our hybrid);

    2. Before selecting (or criticizing) one hybrid based on mileage, run through a calculator. Cars with mileage in the 40′s have little difference in fuel use. A car with 48 mpg (realistic average for a Prius) burns 250 gallons in 12,000 miles, while one with 43 mpg (realistic for the Insight) uses just 29 gallons more. A car with around 40 (realistic for a Focus hybrid or VW diesel) uses about 300 gallons per year. Even a 60 mpg hypermiler with traffic backed up for a mile behind it uses 200 gallons. These differences appear pretty small to me — I guess the differences are relevant if you are a perfectionist, and it’s nice to go for the gold, but sometimes you just have to say “good enough is good enough.”

    3. I assume the same is true for carbon emissions as well — low numbers may be low enough to help the environment, and no car will get a perfect score.

    IMHO, anyone with mileage in the 40′s is doing well. Should you feel guilty because one is not driving the ultimate high-mileage car? I think not. Anything getting over 40 mpg will lessen our dependency on politically-costly oil and help the environment until the next step comes along.

  • Dave – Phoenix

    This article once again shows the benefits of hybrid technology in general:

    1. Hybrids get ‘signifcantly” better city mileage
    2. Drivers who try to conserve fuel by adjusting their driving habits can save “significantly” more fuel if driving a hybrid.

  • WompaStompa

    Excited to see this actually hit the streets. I might be in line to replace my 07 Civic Hybrid.

    I do think the CHRG/ASST meter is a step down. What’s with the needle??

  • Ed Minneapolis

    I believe Honda did their homework in every way but one. People who are partially color blind normally cannot differentiate between green and blue; it is usually the first sign of partial color blindness.

    These individuals may not be able to tell the difference in good verses bad fuel economy on the Insight. Hoepfully Honda has addressed this with an alternate solution since there are many people out there with this condition.

  • Lost Prius to wife

    Luc, all I can say is “Wow!” Not only was the 1997 German study enlightening, so was the blurb on the 2000 Swedish study conducted for CSE and done after the German diesel/cancer study (http://www.cseindia.org/html/au/au4_20000504.htm).

    Boom Boom I still say that it is unfair and misleading that the Prius should even be close to synonymous with the word “hybrid”. The Chevy Volt is a serial hybrid and the Honda Insight is a true parallel hybrid. Why shouldn’t they be just as synonymous with the word “hybrid”? This is coming from a person who has a preference for Toyota products due to his driving experiences with Toyota, Ford, Chevy, Honda, and other car manufactures. The Prius represents only one of the three main hybrid systems available to today’s buyers. As good as the Prius is, it is not a truck, a sports car, or a SUV. It cannot and will not meet those needs along with every single driver’s needs in this world. Not even I will delude myself like that; I am a satisfied Prius owner only because it meets my needs, not everyone else’s needs. You say that it is due to Toyota’s marketing. I say that it is only because of the Prius’s practicality (meeting needs) and numbers. If the 1st generation Honda Insight had been able to seat four and carry groceries (practical), the name “Honda Insight” would have been unfairly synonymous with the word “hybrid” and the Toyota Prius would have been in second place no matter what the marketing. Unfortunately, it would take a time machine and some way of influencing Honda’s decision making to prove which one of us is right (along with the possibility that we are both partially right). Once again, when the new generations of Volt, Insight, Prius, and other hybrids are available for sale, I will buy the car that meets my needs. And in spite of my preference for Toyota products, it may not be a Prius.

    If you pull up the specs that are available for the Insight, Matrix, Civic Hybrid, 09 Prius, and 10 Prius, you will find that the Insight and Matrix are close in dimensions except in interior/exterior height and passenger volume (Matrix is larger). Also, the Insight and Matrix are smaller than the others. The Civic Hybrid and 09 Prius are close dimensionally except for rear leg room and passenger volume (all others run 33.5/36.2 to the 09 Prius’s 38.6; and 09 Prius’s passenger volume runs 96.2 to the Insight’s 85.0, the Civic’s 90.9, and the Matrix’s 94). And 10 Prius has slightly larger exterior dimensions than the Civic and 09 Prius and supposedly a slightly larger interior than the 09 Prius. Whether or not the new Prius is labeled a large compact or small sedan, whoever is calling the Prius a “mid size” needs to have their heads examined; we own one and it very definitely is not a “mid size”.

  • ex-EV1 driver

    RKRB,
    You said that “no car will get a perfect score”.
    Actually, this is incorrect. My new car actually does emit zero CO2 (I’ll try to take a picture of the emissions sticker and get Brad to post it on this site) or any other emissions for that matter.
    Even with upstream emissions taken into account (which area actually a little less than for an ICE vehicle of any type), its emissions are pretty low and can be even lower if the electricity is generate from clean sources such as solar or wind.
    I agree that no one should feel guilty because you’re not driving a high mileage car but I do think you should feel guilty if you buy a new car that doesn’t get high mileage, even more so if your current vehicle is running just fine.
    The next step is here today but is definitely too expensive for everyone today.
    I call on everyone to save up their money so they’ll be able to afford it when it actually gets to a price they can afford.

  • Lost Prius to wife

    RKRB, you are right in saying that a test driver’s or an individual’s mpg will vary from a really world average. And it will even vary from DOT/EPA estimates no matter how good or realistic their testing becomes. It is inherent to the fact that we will be driving in the real world, not a test lab. That still does not invalidate the data found on these real world sites or DOT/EPA site. It just means one has to be careful to compare “apples to apples” and “oranges to oranges”.

    You state that, “Cars with mileage in the 40′s have little difference in fuel use.” How can you think that? A car that produces 40 mpg uses 22.5% more fuel than a car at 49 mpg. That is not a “close” percentage by any standard for mpg. Even your example with the 43 mpg Insight and the 48 mpg Prius is an 11.6% increase in fuel usage. This is the same as saying that gas at $2.00 per gallon is really not that much different than gas priced at $2.23 or $2.45 per gallon. Do you really think that other people reading this site will agree with you that $2.00 per gallon is close to $2.23 or $2.45 per gallon? DOT/EPA indicates that the average American still travels approximately 15,000 miles per year. Using only $2.00 per gallon, that is “only” $72.67 more per year for the Insight and $125 more per year for the 40 mpg car. Now, times only 100,000 cars is $7.267 million and $12.5 million. And this money is going to what oilman or Arab country? The American average for mpg is less than 30 mpg. We could do this whole exercise again using 30 mpg instead of 40 mpg and see what happens at $2.50 and $3.00 per gallon, but I can guarantee you that the results are not pretty. These differences per year may appear pretty small to you, but I for one will keep the $72.67 or $125 in my pocket rather than give it away.

    Although I will concede there is a point of diminishing return, that point is not set in stone and will and does change with ones needs and financial condition. Eventually our 29 mpg 1994 Celica will need replacing (probably in two or three more years at 250,000 / 270,000+ miles). Hopefully by then there will be cars available at “fuel” costs of only $350 to $450 per year and an overall new car cost of $15K to $30K. Eventually the fuel savings will supersede the up front cost. And if I choose properly, that car should last for another 15 or 20 years like our other cars, saving us money over what we could have retained or bought.

    I agree with you that one should not feel guilty just because one is driving something less than “the ultimate high-mileage car”. I was told that I was wrong for suggesting that a person buy BMW 335d instead of a 335i – because it was not a high-mileage car. This person did not consider the needs, or even wants, of the other person buying that BMW. They also did not realize that the person buying the 335d over the 335i was using 31% less fuel.

    I disagree with your statement, “good enough is good enough.” This is what Detroit told Demming and Juran as they pushed them off to Japan. What did that do for Japan and what did that do for us? “Good enough is good enough” just means that we will be playing costly catch up later on. Everyone should choose to demand for better, and choose it over past standards when it comes to exist. Settling for a 30 mpg car when one can buy a 40 or 50 mpg car for basically the same price and features does no good for them or their country.

  • Anonymous

    Honda has always been the Hybrid top dog. Toyota is similar to Microsoft. Spend a billion or two on advertising telling people their product is the best and sooner or later, people believe it.

  • kevin hypermiles along

    “Cars with mileage in the 40′s have little difference in fuel use.”
    How can he say that?
    See http://news.duke.edu/2008/06/gpmfuqua.html about why 40 mpg to 50 mpg is not nearly as meaningful as 20 mpg to 30 mpg

  • Elan

    Baloney. When two vehicles burn a gallon of gasoline cleanly and completely they are going to produce the same amount of CO2. And they have to do so to pass air pollution regulations. There is no difference between measuring MPG and grams CO2/km.

  • Lost Prius to wife

    “Posting a vehicle’s fuel efficiency in “gallons per mile” rather than “miles per gallon” would help consumers make better decisions about car purchases and environmental impact, researchers from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business report in the June 20 issue of Science magazine.” And they have a very good point. And I do not necessarily disagree with how they would like to look at a car’s efficiency. There is more that one way to look at the efficiencies of cars. And again, no matter which way one chooses to measure a car’s efficiency, to quote myself, ‘It just means one has to be careful to compare “apples to apples” and “oranges to oranges”.’

    kevin hypermiles, how many people would get upset if gas went from $2.00 to $2.23 per gallon. Yet that is the same difference between the 43 mpg Insight and the 48 mpg Prius. And if you would remember, I stated;

    “I agree with you (RKRB) that one should not feel guilty just because one is driving something less than “the ultimate high-mileage car”. I was told that I was wrong for suggesting that a person buy BMW 335d instead of a 335i – because it was not a high-mileage car. This person did not consider the needs, or even the wants, of the other person buying that BMW. They also did not realize that the person buying the 335d over the 335i was using 31% less fuel.”

    That 31% stems from the BMW 335d estimated mileage of 29 mpg and the BMW 335i mileage of 20mpg. The difference in price is only $3,625 more. Now we include a tax credit of $900. Now, which BMW should one buy if one wanted a BMW and hold on to it for five years? Especially if one wanted to save money, gas, and help lessen their country’s oil dependency.

    I do not consider 29 mpg as “ultimate high-mileage”, whether diesel or gas. And not every one will want to buy “the ultimate high-mileage car”. But I do consider 31% less fuel as a very significant difference. This is the point that both the Duke article and I are trying to make. “Going from 34 to 50 mpg saves 94 gallons; but from 18 to 28 mpg saves 198 gallons.” The percentages in this case are 47% (34 to 50 mpg) and 55% (18 to 28 mpg). The main difference between Duke’s way and my way is “gallons per mile” and examination of percentages. Both ways found the car that made the largest difference.

  • Leon Richard

    Useless to me. Can’t move wood, ATV, coal, or building materials in it. I drive around a half dozen or more of them anytime it snows, when they dare leave the yard. Perfectly and utterly useless on the road when it’s iced over. Christmas Eve, I drove past quite a few of them that were getting worse milage than my truck. They were getting ZERO miles to a gallon, as they sat there in the road, spinning those little tires for all they were worth, and going nowhere.

    It’s an impractical vehicle that might work for people to run down to the grocery store and pick up a couple bags of food, and home. About the same as a motorcycle. And nearly as safe and roadworthy.

  • Lost Prius to wife

    Leon Richard, what is useless to you? A Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid? A GMC Sierra Hybrid? A Dodge Durango Hybrid? These hybrid trucks “can’t move wood, ATV, coal, or building materials in it”? “Quite a few of them” trucks were spinning their tires in the road? And you equate these trucks to a motorcycle in safety and roadworthness?

  • Lost Prius to wife

    Leon Richard, just in case you are comparing cars to trucks, you should not be so smug. We have plenty of ice and snow out here in Colorado. The last time I went to work in our Prius during the ice and snow out here in Colorado, I too went by vehicles that were in the ditch. Some of them were jeeps. Some were trucks. Some were cars. I can remember one of the trucks passing me and a little while later I pasted the truck – which was in the ditch upside down. Although I have be able to get the Prius to skid, it wasn’t that easy. Your comments may be more of a direct reflection of the drivers, not the car or truck.

  • Lost Prius to wife

    I agree with crut100. Most people will vote with their wallets rather that CO2 footprint. And like crut100 points out, the more MPG for a car translates directly into a smaller CO2 footprint.

    Boom Boom, thank you for pointing out another source for comparing MPG in the real world. I still need to look at how they are developing their data, but it looks like these are very realistic figures. As I have cited before on this site, my wife who does not care about how to “pulse and glide” in our Prius, she gets 48.5 on the average. This is right in line with the 48 mpg information given at the GREENhybrid.com site. Other prius owners are capable of getting 60 mpg out of the second generation Prius. And there are other Prius owners that cannot get even 40 mpg (severe lead foot disease).

    I also agree with Edward Loh’s comment, “That’s over 20 mpg higher than the 43 mpg those ninnies at the EPA got on the highway.” But in those EPA ninnies’ defense, they are obligated to provide reasonable estimates of car mileage without any bias from a driver’s habits or other influencing factors (wind, weather, terrain, time of day, etc.). For example, from this article’s small amount of information, it sounds like Edward Loh’s and Sam Abuelsamid’s deliberate “eco habit” driving attempts resulted with high mileage. But it sounds like Jerry Garrett may have driven the Insight like most of us would and was unimpressed except for a segment “of 82 miles, yielded 65 mpg at an average speed of 65 mph.”

    Since my wife “stole” the Prius from me, I have been driving her former 1994 Celica. Based on EPA information, I can only get 25.8 mpg (my driving percentages are 20/80, not EPA’s 45/55). Yet by “babying” the acceleration and trying to drive at the speed limit most of the time, I am able to achieve 29+ mpg, a 12%+ increase in mileage based on three years of driving information.

    Aggieland, the new Prius comes with three buttons; EV, ECO Mode, and PWR Mode. In the Toyota 3rd generation Prius, the EV mode run the Prius like an electric car (no engine) until the battery is depleted to the point of absolutely needing to be recharged. In the ECO Mode, reduced gas pedal sensitivity is used to increase fuel economy. And the PWR Mode increases gas pedal sensitivity for a more responsive acceleration. The Insight supposedly has these same buttons. What is the actual mileage for each of these buttons? Outside of Honda and Toyota, I do not think anyone really knows. I have heard that Honda claims that the Insight is capable of “85 mpg” under the “right conditions”. What those conditions are, I do not know; but I do believe the Insight could be capable of the 85 mpg. Just do not expect 85 mpg from Honda and Toyota on a regular basis quite yet.

    Also, since the Honda Insight is supposedly going to be EPA rated at 43 mpg, and capable of at least 60 mpg with some “ECO” driving skills, will the supposedly 50 mpg EPA rated Toyota Prius be able to produce 70 mpg using those same skills? And will the Prius be able to produce 85+ mpg by combining “pulse and glide” along with those same “ECO” skills? Aggieland, it is anybody’s guess at this time. But after the final products have been delivered, we all will definitely find out.

  • RKRB

    OK, so the Insight gets lower EPA numbers than the Prius. The most significant factor in reducing fuel use is lower total fuel consumption (no kidding), and there are many more ways to do this than buying a car only because it might go a little farther on a gallon of fuel (over the last two years, we have decreased our total fuel use more by lowering our miles driven than we have by buying our hybrid).

    Note to Lost Prius to Wife: Congrats on selecting a Prius. Nevertheless, how much presumed extra fuel mileage is “significant” is a matter of interpretation. Given the cost of a new car, given all the other controllable factors that determine our total carbon footprint, given that zero fuel consumption is ideal, given all the variables in individual driver technique, given the acceptable uncertainty in the EPA estimates, etc., 50 or even 100 additional gallons per year simply does not seem terribly significant to me (at $3/gallon, it’s less than 1% of the total purchase/tax price for a typical hybrid vehicle per year). It’s a hypothetical number, because how much fuel is used in a year also depends on variables such as the number of miles one decides to drive. You have to draw the line somewhere, unless you make predicted fuel economy the sole determining factor in car ownership (in which case one must consider a purely electric car or cart, public transit, a bicycle, or living like Henry David Thoreau did for a while). I would suggest that after a certain acceptable mileage, other factors (such as purchase price, presumed safety features, roominess, subjective driver feel, etc.) may be valid considerations for the purchaser. 40 mpg now seems good enough for me, and it’s a good defensible number — if 40mpg was standard, energy “independence” would be within reach and our environment would be much cleaner. If you want to go for 60mpg, why not try for an even more perfect score by selling the cars and walking or taking the bus? (BTW I agree with your comments about the Prius and ice/snow. I rented one in New England and it managed a sleet storm very well.)

    Note to EV-1 driver: Yep, an electric car may get a zero-CO2 emissions sticker from the state, but it will not have a perfect score, because downstream emissions must indeed be factored in, as you suggested (including such things as mining all the materials needed to make the batteries). A “green car” is an oxymoron. Mucho congratulations if your car does produce zero CO2, though. That’s great.

    In a previous post, I asserted that once you hit a respectably low fuel consumption, a car like the Insight is not to be laughed at just because it may get a few EPA-rated miles per gallon less than its competitors. I stand by that assertion.

  • Lost Prius to wife

    RKRB you have stated,

    “and there are many more ways to do this than buying a car only because it might go a little farther on a gallon of fuel”,

    “Nevertheless, how much presumed extra fuel mileage is “significant” is a matter of interpretation. “,

    “If 40mpg was standard, energy “independence” would be within reach and our environment would be much cleaner.”, and

    “In a previous post, I asserted that once you hit a respectably low fuel consumption, a car like the Insight is not to be laughed at just because it may get a few EPA-rated miles per gallon less than its competitors. I stand by that assertion.”

    And I agree with you on each of these statements plus your last full comments overall.

    Unfortunately, walking, busing, bicycling, and carpooling to work from where I live, for various reasons, is not practical, not possible, and/or downright dangerous. Moving closer to work is not possible due to the economy. Even though we have paid off more than a quarter of our mortgage, we would have to sell our house for less than we owe due to the many foreclosures in the area (this is happening across the country, not just in our area). This means that I have only driving habits and/or buying a new (or used) higher mpg car to help save gas and money. I buy the cheapest gas for my car which is midgrade (by mileage performance, premium is just slightly more expensive and regular is much more expensive). EPA indicates that I should only be able to average 25.8 mpg (20% city / 80% highway for my driving, not EPA’s 45% / 55%), yet I get 29.3 mpg. This is a 13.6% increase in mileage due only to driving habits over what EPA considers average driving habits. This amounts to ~74 gallons and ~$148 dollars per year (at today’s gas prices) for me. That is more that $12 per month that I can spend on some other bill other than gasoline. Think how much more I will have changing from 29.3 mpg to 40 or 50 mpg.

    And you are absolutely right that what is “significant” is a matter of interpretation. To me, 10% or greater in the case of gas mileage, and most things in general, is a significant number. And sometimes even 5% can be a significant number to me. It is just that I hear a lot of people complaining when gas goes up a nickel or a dime (~2.5% or 5% at today’s gas prices). Yet the next time they buy a car, they are not willing to buy the more fuel effeicent car, that will save them four to ten or more times that in gas money savings, for approximately the same buying cost of the less fuel effeicent car. That does not make sense to me. Yes, there are people that want a BMW (or some other special brand car). But even at the BMW level of buying, there are choices that will save money and CO2. And that saving, in this BMW case, would be at a higher percentage difference than the difference between the Insight and the Prius.

    Because of our average MPG for the country being close to 30 mpg, your positive statement about 40 mpg, energy “independence”, and our environment being much cleaner is all too true.

    And whether or not someone laughs at the Insight owners’ for what they did or didn’t buy, those owners will hardly feel the “hurt” as they keep more of their money in their pockets and put more miles between gas stations than most of those laughing.

  • Anonymous

    You really could save a good amount over most non-Hybrids. Example from fueleconomy.gov:

    Matrix: $1364
    Civic: $1034
    Civic Hybrid: $714

    Difference between 2 Civics is $320 each year at 15K miles and at $2 gallon. Comparing the Insight to the Matrix is even bigger at around $650 a year. If prices go up again to $4 it would be $640 and $1300 obviously.

    Now you could argue that that is still not enough to recoup extra cost Hybrid. However that’s where the Insight comes in. It’s MSRP is much lower plus in many states you get sales tax exemption. In WA state the difference would be only about 1K to a Civic. Plus the Insight has much more cargo room than the Civic (and even many midsize sedans like a Camry).

    You could argue that Hybrids are not cost effective but the Insight shows at least a trend that Hybrids will get closer in price to non-Hybrids and that will make it more appealing to not just people who are interested in environmentally friendly cars.

  • Lost Prius to wife

    Anonymous, the best way to save money with a hybrid is to hang on to it past the cost crossover point. Each hybrid has a different crossover point compared the same or similar non-hybrid model. Some models like the Prius, Civic, and Camry crossover in only a year or two. Some can take as long as six or seven years. And some take even more years. See Consumers Report’s car issue for this year to view some of the crossover points (just remember I believe them to be conservative in their estimates on crossover points). My wife and I preferred the shorter crossover time and it has occurred. Now we are spending less money per year than if we had bought a Corolla, which has always been considered, and really is, an economical car.

    You are right that the initial cost has tended to keep people away from some hybrids. Even with credits / incentives, sometimes the initial cost can still be beyond some peoples’ budgets. I am sure that with the lower front end costs of the Insight, along with credits / incentives, many more people will be buying the Insight hybrid and saving themselves money in the longer run.

  • Lost Prius to wife

    Boom Boom, I have noticed that Honda is advertising the Civic hybrid as being the best in its class in mpg. This means that Honda agrees that the Toyota’s Prius is bigger and in a different class. And the 3rd generation Prius will be even slightly bigger. Besides, why would Honda’s marketing want to advertise the Civic hybrid as being “second place” in any way “behind” the Prius, when they can advertise the Civic hybrid as being at the top of its class. Even though the Prius is good, the Honda Civic hybrid is a “class act” also.

  • James Galbraith

    gujut

  • yoga DVD dude

    Has anyone seen any really nice, artsy videos for this or any other new green car? I need some examples for my upcomming project.

    Steve

  • Bruce Morrow

    I am on my second Prius, which I dearly love. I am a very careful driver, having a 35,000 mi fuel efficiency average of 52 mpg, and I have to disagree with the writer. It is NOT easy to get 60 mpg for any real world driving, and impossible at 65 mph. Period. The new Insight looks very interesting, even to an extremely loyal Prius owner!

  • Alvin

    You would expect the insight to get greater than the 43 mpg which it was estimated to get by EPA ratings. I easily get 40 to 45 mpg in my heavier, larger mid-size Camry Hybrid. – Alvin from CA

  • charles in the north

    I have not read too much on how the electric hybrids would do in cold climates.
    In Alaska I would like to see how these vehicles would do as well as how the regular hybrids heat up.

    Would anyone like to enlighten the world on how these cars perform in cold climates?
    Thanks

  • sirclip

    Isn’t is great that now we have such choice in the high-mpg vehicle market- these are real world cars that should finally convince new buyers to consider. Lets not forget that the “Oil Problem” has not gone away – but just awaiting a flourishing return – there still is less of it out there and a gradual economic recovery in future will bring it all back. Lets all get Hybrid!

  • moj

    why not revive EV ( this is for GM)… why dont they build thier own Electic Vehicle (this is for Honda& Toyota)… it runs 0 gallons per mile…..

  • squash

    Exactly how did these journalists measure their fuel economy in the Insight? If their “achievements” are based on the car’s own fuel-economy readout, they haven’t proved anything. Why does everybody assume these economy gauges are accurate?

    I’ve been testing cars professionally for 35 years and I can assure you a) that those gauges are rarely accurate, and b) Honda’s are among the most inaccurate. Coincidentally, the errror always seems to err on the side of flattery …

    Nothing against the Insight, and I’m all for fuel economy, but let’s get real!

  • Robert Groves

    I purchased a 2008 Toyota Corolla and got a combination milage of 41.78 mpg over the first 30,000 miles. It is only rated at 38 hwy. but my driving habits, lubricants, and about 70% hwy miles took it up, way up. Give me one of them Hondas and I’ll see what it really does. The long run (1,000 of miles) is the only real way to tell.

  • Ben

    Pathetic!!!
    A car for California “girlie men” as Schwarzy Arny says.
    I have a 1999 Jetta MK IV TDI diesel which gets better millage than that(40city/ 50-55 hwy; and that is standard 1990 diesel technology, nothing of the super fancy stuff on new diesel tech.
    The new Golf diesel Hybrid gets 70mpg city or highway;Euro Ford Focus ecoDiesel does over 60mpg with no hybrid tech. BMW 116d does even better.
    http://www.greenwheelsblog.com/bmw-116d-vs-hybrid/
    If that limp 1.3l gasser engine on the Insight would be replaced with a 1.2l clean turbo diesel , would easily get 70-80mpg with much better torque and pull.The cost would be US$2000 more , so still lower priced than Prius only much better in MPG and driving. VW Polo gets that kind of mpg even without hybrid drive. In fact the new Accord Type S 2.2l diesel gets better mpg than Insight. Even with the shameless fraud on new emissions rules and price gouging they do on diesel fuel to discourage diesel cars buying,diesel is still a much better engine than any gasser with or without hybrid tech.

  • DJVale

    There are hundreds parked at the Honda import facility in Portland, Oregon. I sat in, and photographed a gray EX and it is a nice, yet a little blah. (Toyota is just around the corner and there are lots of Prius’ but still no 2010s-stay tuned). I own a loaded Camry hybrid and am looking for a second car for my spouse so this may be the one.

  • netshooper@cox.net

    Come on guy GET REAL turn on the AC and set it at 73F then what is the MPG

  • PSmith

    Exactly, squash. It looked like a rubbish report. “My car’s computer said I was doing 200 mpg when I took my foot off the gas pedal”. To which the answer is a big “So what”.

    The only reporter to provide details said “Mpg was crap except for one 80 mile run which said (or measured by refilling the tank?) 65mpg”.

  • Doc Holliday

    The Ford Focus Hybrid hits my local dealerships showroom in 2 weeks.

    I was told by the salesman today that the price would be $31,500 minus the $3,500 Federal Tax Credit.

  • Anonymous

    Dear Lost Prius to Wife:

    I am enjoying your comments and am wondering if you have taken courses in “Choice Theory” or have read about Dr. Glasser’s work. Your use of terms such as “needs” and knowledge of Deming and Juran being the ones to teach the Japanese “how to manage for quality” fits right in with Glasser’s work.

    I too own a Prius (05) and my wife isn’t about to part with her 03 with 137,000 miles. I also appreciate your analysis of the many comments about mileage, cost, etc. I,myself am waiting for the Plug-in Version of the Prius before upgrading. Toyota isn’t telling us when this will happen. Might it be 09? Any ideas?

    From: A William Glasser Institute Senior Faculty Member/Prius lover.

  • Anonymous

    I have a fully loaded 2009 camry hybrid bought 2008 summer at the gas price peak. It is very comfortable and have everything available. I can achieve 38mpg average per tank. Sometime, like driving from lake tahoe to sacremento downhill, that 60 miles, it showed 99.9mpg!

    I still love to have a insight or prius because those smaller cars are nimble in local driving, sometime totally relying on
    electric motor. With some attentions, easily achieve 60mpg!

    The only thing made me to choose the camry hybrid is its 5 star safety rating while those smaller hybrids only 4 star.

  • Anonymous

    Why isn’t cruise control standard? It costs $1500.

  • David

    I just purchased my 2010 Insight and average 60 – 67 mpg for city or highway. Awesome car, I am blown away, it is my first Honda and love thus far.

  • Uncle B

    Now that GM and Chrysler are almost in the history books, precious “Volt” included, how do the new entries from China stack up? We need previews so we know what to expect in the near term car market. The Chinese volt for example,SEE:
    “The astounding Chinese have epoched the great GM, of U.S.A. in producing an Electric/gas/plug-in car! They are driving them in the streets of China as we speak, they will be retailed in the U.S.A. by 2011, they will cost half the price of a “Volt” and they are “On Order” for Israel! GM, take a deep breath, your naughty parts have just been cut off by a Chinese high-tech competitor, and the “Volt” is still “Vapor-ware”!” See:http://www.cleantech.com/news/3983/chinas-byd-sells-first-mass-produced-plug-cars
    And, when will we hear reviews of the other Chinese models coming soon to our shores, SEE:
    http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/04/chinas_new_hybrid_electric_cars.php
    My big concern is plunking down large sums of hard earned cash, then having and equal, or even superior Chinese clone, or even an original Chinese model come on market for half the price, ruining my purchase price, and my resale price! We know they are for real, they have some in Mexico now, When will they get here, and what will they do to Honda and Toyota Prius resale values? All specs and comparisons aside, if the damn things run at all, at half price it is hard to go wrong!

  • Donman

    I just got the new 2010 Insight (LX).
    Not too hard to reach 50mpg round-trip averages. Driving normal American style mid-40′s. Being very careful/slow can definitely get into mid-50′s. Driving extremely annoyingly can definitely get 60. Haven’t gotten to test out any long empty highway trips (I assume can go 60+ there). Noticed that mileage for very short trips less than a couple miles is often pretty low, especially when it’s cold out, not that that matters much since the longer trips are obviously heavier weighted.
    I’m definitely pleased with it!

  • littlejohn

    How in the world can CO2 emissions not be directly linked to mpg? You have to burn X amount of carbon to produce Y amount of CO2. There is no way around this. Catalytic converters work on nitrogen oxides and unburned hydrocarbons. Higher MPG corresponds almost exactly with reduced tailpipe CO2.
    However, when it comes to hybrids, I do worry about the environmental impact of all those big battery packs. What does it cost, environmentally, to produce, ship, and eventually dispose of, those batteries with their toxic metals?

  • Carrie

    just wondering,… with everything aside, which is the better car for the money? my hubby and i are giving our car to my neice in a couple of years and would like to get something newer with better gas mileage at an affordable price. neither of us really care if it has anything special like a navigational tool or something that hooks up to an ipod (whatever!) we just want the better gas mileage and a car that runs good.

    no technical jargon for input or answers,… just prius or insight. which one?

  • GT

    Colore Blindness ,,,, this is too funny reading this blog , but , there is as well on the Info Button where you can see the Pedal and the Break ,,, this might help as well to identify the fuel economy .

  • GT

    Just made this week 65 Miles per GAL. Takes some training but can be done !

  • Latibb

    I just got my 2010 Honda insight 3 weeks ago. I have been on 2 road trips both giving me about 55mpg. In hwy traffic. Around town I can get about 60 mpg if I am lightfooted. Love the car. Its got spunk, handles nicely and is roomy. Totally recommend this car.

  • JWF

    I consistently get 44 mpg on a freeway/city cycle. I’v never seen anything close to 40 or 60. That’s doing it the right way, by filling with gas and dividing into miles traveled since last fillup, not the fictitious dashboard mpg indication. How are you people getting these crazy numbers?

  • Jim Costa

    I am getting very near in buying the Honda Insight, 2010 EX model. I commute 55 miles one way on interstate highways and would like to know at speed of 70 miles per hour, what can I expect for MPG? And is that true about experiencing exceptional road noise?

  • ericbecky

    Jim,
    I encourage you to take one out for a test drive and that should give you an idea of how you might do for mpgs. In fact you may want to ask to take one home for a day just so you can see. Be sure that the car is fully warmed up, and that the tires are inflated (at minimum) to the recommended air pressure. I tend to put mine somewhere between the recommended and the max sidewall listed on the tire. Tires can be a major factor in road noise, so if for some reason you don’t like the factory tires, you can make a change. This would cost additional money, and it may change your gas mileage as well.

    For your current vehicle, how close to the EPA estimated mpg do you get? (percentage wise.)

    Remember that the EPA Estimates are not taken at speeds as fast as 70 miles per hour, and not for such a long period with no stops, so I’m guessing your mpg may be below the EPA estimates.


    Eric Powers
    HybridCars.com Moderator
    Green Drive Expo Organizer (See you there!)

  • Anonymous

    Eric, everything i am reading, people are getting exceptional mileage even at 70 miles per hours. I drive a 2008 EX Honda Civic and I am getting 36 MPG. I keep all my tires on my cars at 36 psi.

  • jim c

    david, what speeds are you driving at on the super highways to achieve such excellent mileage.

  • Steve Bergman

    FWIW, my 1988 Chevy Sprint Metro blows away the Insight, Prius, and TDI for green. Original EPA rating was 54/58mpg, and the revised for 2008 numbers are 44/51. (The 1986 model did 55/60 and 44/53!) The 3rd gen Prius can match the combined score. But the resources necessary to build a Prius are substantial. If I replaced my trusty and beloved Sprint for a Prius, I’d never break even on overall eco impact. Especially with 90% of my driving being highway, where Sprint beats the Prius.

    At any rate, the sentimental value of 340,000 of the best miles of my life means you’d have to pry my little Sprint from my cold dead hands to make me give it up.

  • Jason

    I have a 2010 Insight EX. I keep it at or 5mph over limit on freeways and I get 54ish mpg with the A/C on and in Econ mode. Tonight I drove 12 miles in normal city stop and go, with the A/C off, again in Econ mode and got 63mpg at the end.

    Some complaints I’ve heard of this car is the limited view out of the back window, I don’t think it’s a big deal. Sure, there’s a horizontal beam in the middle of your view, but it’s not a big deal. I can see fine out of the back. Other’s complain about road noise but it sounds fine. No excessive noise. I drive with a light foot to get these numbers. With this kind of car, your actual mpg is going to vary MASSIVELY depending on your drive style. I keep that meter in the green always. I don’t accelerate hard, I keep it at or just barely above speed limit, and I coast or brake gently at the lights.

    So 54mpg on the freeways so far with A/C on. I’m curious how high I can get it with no A/C going on a steady freeway drive. I’m shooting for 65. On the drive I took tonight, like I said about 12 miles round trip, after about 3-4 miles of steady 35mph down the streets…….I stopped at one of the lights and it said I had reached 80.4mpg. Now that trip ended at 63mpg but that wasn’t even the most efficient I could have gotten it. There were a couple situations on that trip that caused me to burn a little more than usual. I know I can get 65+ with no A/C on a long freeway drive.

  • JamesDaMan

    Yes what you say is true, but with the insight, because they have the ECO button which significantly increases fuel economy but is a button, the EPA tests do not include the use of the ECO button in the EPA estimate. This is slightly different than for a regular car. However you are correct. For example, a car that gets around 25 MPG EPA Highway, can if they drive slow and follow good driving habits get in the low 30s.. However a jump from 40 to 65 is due to the ECO button not being factored into the fuel economy estimates in this specific vehicle.

  • Beer

    You guys are either crazy or you are all Honda car salesman. I have a 2010 insight and I always have it in eco mode. My light is green 90 percent of the time and I almost never use AC and my insight is getting 38 MPG !!! I think all this 60 MPG talk is just flat out lies !!!

  • sfmarc

    i have a 2002 honda insite. i have all receipts and documentation. i get an AVERAGE of 68mpg—-(this is what the dash gauge reads…average mpg—city/highway—–but the reality is: i’m getting +750 miles per tank and that is with a gallon or so left in the tank. (tank size is 10.56 gal.) i keep it tuned, i speed every now and then—down hill……i get offers on the car all the time.
    peace…

  • Gil Aguirre

    I have an insite 2010 and I get better fuel mileage when the econo button is off. I can average 42mpg and 40mpg with the econo on. The only thing I notice is the air conditioner turns off at a stop light with the econo on. Other than that, the econo button is useless. Driving styles will give you better MPG’s. I’m not sure what speed you have to drive to get 60mpg, but I can tell you, its is to slow for me at best.

  • Rich Sheidler

    Like to know
    How some of thes people get 60 miles a gal on there insight
    E I only can get the best about 48 and I drive very careful the meter reads more but when I check the mileage I don’t get the true reading. Rich

  • Rich sheidler

    I drive to mich 2 times in the last year and I have 30000 miles on it I get 46 to 48 all the time not 60 like some these guys that’s down hill 2010 insight

  • stefani88

    Thank you so much for your post.
    __________________
    Watch Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance Online for Free

  • sam3d

    Obviously thats your biased opinion.
    But the majority of hybris drivers, decide to buy a hybrid to save in gas, and to them, mpg is all that matters.

  • tapra1

    taying at legal speeds, and coasting when possible—are getting these remarkable results, with some help from the “econ” mode and the dashboard’s interactive color-coded feedback system.Tech Info

  • VicTor J

    The Eco mode only works in the city, it will turn the engine off when you stop on a light or stop sign, you still running the fan but the a/c compressor wil be off,if you are in summer on hot Florida you end up leaving the Eco button off, 1 -2 minutes with out ac is not a pretty picture on a 94 degree day, you will get best mileage driving with the cruise control in the city, I do it most of the time and get 34-38 in the city, on the highway I can get easy 40-45 with the cruise control on, some times 50+

  • ted johnson

    Watch the model year on these Insights. The 2000-2006 5 speed will easily give 70 mpg, and lmpgs of 60 or so. The 2010 – 2012 is a different beast , lots more room . bigger engine and 1,000 pounds heavier. 50 mpg on that car is pretty good. For a hyper miler its about 12 mpg shy of the 2010 Prius mpg’s, based on my comparison testing.