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Old 12-06-2009, 11:08 AM
Jhdearing Jhdearing is offline
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Default Honda Insight

Just did some window tinting on a new Honda Insight and was asking the guy whate he thought about it. The one thing he HATED was the fact that the car shut completely down at traffic lights sometimes, and killing his air conditioner, which seems to be a problem...Anyone else hear the same thing?
This is a deal killer for me...
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  #2  
Old 12-06-2009, 11:42 AM
JRitt JRitt is offline
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Default Re: Honda Insight

Check out this thread to see how you can keep the engine running at a stop light. It will cost you some MPG but not much. The Prius on the other hand has an electric AC compressor so it will run when the engine is stopped
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Old 01-31-2011, 01:02 AM
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KiwiEV KiwiEV is offline
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Default Re: Honda Insight

I had the pleasure(?) of driving a new Insight for the morning last week.

To be honest I was a bit disappointed that the engine would run as soon as your foot is off the brake. I got my hopes up when getting behind the wheel but had them dashed.

What I mean, is that's there's no way (without hacking the car's computer somehow) to drive in electric-only mode. As soon as you pull up to the lights and stop, the engine cuts out. This is good. This I'm used to.
However, as soon as your foot comes off the brake the engine bursts into life again, even if you're accelerating very gently.
While it was still fairly enjoyable to drive, I find the Prius gives a better "all-electric experience" at very low speed.
Ultimately I'd prefer a car that doesn't use the engine in city driving at all - as I'm sure most of us on this board would.
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Old 02-05-2011, 09:21 PM
nliwilson nliwilson is offline
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Default Re: Honda Insight

It astonishes me just how few people get the point of hybrids as a product. When you put a small engine in a useful sized car, contrary to uneducated assumption & manufacturer's BS, it usually results (out in the real world) in increased not decreased fuel consumption because small engines lack torque and as a result you have to work the engine very hard, stepping on the throttle pedal (accelerator) hard more of the time. Electric motors on the other hand produce huge torque but lack power, so by combining both you get a small, frugal engine that can be given a big boost in torque when needed, that's why Honda refer to their hybrid system as "IMA" "Integrated Motor Assist."

The Prius' manual "EV Mode" (Electric Vehicle, electric power only mode) button allows you to drive at a maximum of 31 mph for a maximum of 1.2 miles, you can't drive across town on electric only because you need approximately another half ton of batteries. BTW; That's not an exaggeration, I literally mean half a ton minimum.

Honda didn't bother with a manual electric option because only switching to "electric only" mode when the computer knows it'll do the job properly means it can switch to electric only more often because it's not continually trying to build battery charge back up from minimum because the problem between seat and steering-wheel keeps pressing the bloody EV button!

Hybrids are not electric cars and they're not meant to be electric cars! They're petrol cars that can significantly reduce fuel consumption and therefor emissions. The biggest problem with achieving that economy is, again, the problem component between seat and steering-wheel because most people don't know how to drive economically. The current Insight however uses some very clever instrumentation to help drivers understand how to drive economically and even makes it in to a game that you win by driving economically!

Not only does the Prius lack the clever psychology but if you buy the current model you're a guinea pig for the development of first gen Atkinson cycle engine technology and as anyone who owned a series 1 Mazda RX7, Toyota MR2 or a Honda with a first gen Variable Valve Timing engine can tell you, first gen engine technologies are always clever but deeply flawed.

@KiwiEV; the closest thing I can think of for the ultimate ideal you described for now would be any Mitsubishi with a Japanese market MIVEC V6 engine, which allows you to turn 2 cylinders off for town driving, not a hybrid.

Last edited by nliwilson; 02-08-2011 at 04:33 AM. Reason: Don't post when you're half asleep! :)
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Old 12-12-2011, 02:02 PM
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Default Re: Honda Insight

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jhdearing View Post
Just did some window tinting on a new Honda Insight and was asking the guy whate he thought about it. The one thing he HATED was the fact that the car shut completely down at traffic lights sometimes, and killing his air conditioner, which seems to be a problem...Anyone else hear the same thing?
This is a deal killer for me...
Yep, that's what it's supposed to do.

It's not got a electric AC compressor (the Civic hybrid does) but it does vary the amount of time stopped depending on a whole range of things - including the cabin temperature and humidity, so on cold dry days it stops the engine (and hence the AC) for longer than on hot humid days. That's in the ECO mode. If you switch ECO mode off then it runs the engine more. If you switch to sport mode on the transmission it also runs the engine more.

I was just disappointed that it starts the engine too soon / often when waiting at lights and it also starts the engine if the transmission is in neutral and you take your foot off the brake. In neutral it should stay off - say while waiting at a very long light or a railway crossing.

Of course, I can always kill the ignition at long lights but starting up causes a power cut to the iPod

It would be interesting in the future to try and convert it to lithium and get more regen / boost (duration, not power). Some 20Ah cells would be enough - 4 times bigger than the NiMh cells would give it much better hill climbing stamina. The motor only needs 100A of current so no sweat for some Winston or A123 cells. The poor NiMH cells are run at a punishing 20C rate. 20Ah cells would be run at a more sedate 5C rate.
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