My car sips gas. Your car sucks.
I bought a silver 2000 Honda Insight, the 70mpg hybrid gasoline-electric vehicle that sets a whole new standard for fuel efficiency. It's VIN #JHMZE1355YT004320 which means it's only the 4320th Insight to be built. I bought it used with 7800 miles on it from a Honda dealer near Boston, Mass.
On November 1, 2001 I met the dealer in Philadephia to pick the car up. My 221 mile ride home to Lock Haven, PA yielded 65.0 mpg. What a sweet ride!
It had 56.8 lifetime mpg when I picked it up on 11/1/01 with 8100 miles on it.
Lifetime MGP Data:
I regularly get between 62 and 68 mpg depending on where I'm going. Cold weather in the winter months really holds the efficiency down. If I'm careful and the weather cooperates I can get 72 mpg on a round trip commute to work (49.8 miles). During a warm spell in the beginning of December, 2001 I drove from Bellefonte, PA to Lock Haven, PA (about 28 miles) at 82 mpg. I was going with the flow of traffic at about 50 mph. On cold winter days (teens or 20s) it only gets about 58 mpg on my daily 50 mile round trip commute. Warm weather in May 2002 let me get 71.2 mpg for a tank of gas (612 miles).
Since I got my "Sips Gas" licence plate more people have noticed the car and its unusual technology. I get more nods on the highway too. People always point and ask questions. The number one question - "Where do you plug it in?" Uh... you don't. That's the magic of regenerative braking at work.
I parked my car in the summer of 2002 while I was on the DiscoveryRide. It fared pretty well even though the car cover I bought for it disintegrated in the sun. The battery held a charge but I faced a high frequency of battery recals afterward. Within a few months the recals subsided.
Have you seen those SUV terrorism ads on television? Now see them online
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I saw this Insight when I was in Seattle, Washington in August 2002. The downtown Honda dealer there sells all their hybrids with this sticker on them. I inquired how to get one and the salesman was rude and didn't want to help me at all even though I offered to pay for one. You can see another Insight in the background of the picture.
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How does it perform?
From the Insight Owner's newsgroup on Yahoo!
SUVs (none of them) don't even come close to handling better or turning better than an Insight. The type of driving that the poster was seemingly referring to in regard to aggressive driving by many SUVers, can be effectively measured in handling ability by doing a test that is done by 'Popular Science' magazine. They call it the 'double-lane change test'. They tested the Insight back in March, 2001, and wrote: "the ultra-light, low-slung Insight slithered through our double-lane-change course quicker than even Honda's perfectly balanced S2000 sports roadster-65.1 mph for the Insight versus 62.4 for the S2000." Thus it's not only mpg where the Insight leads the Honda lineup. Moreover, in other measures of handling, SUV's can't match up to cars, including the Insight, in a slalom course. Virtually all can't match-up to an Insight in lateral acceleration. An Insight owner is successfully racing his car in H-stock class auto-crossing, which uses race courses that mostly test the handling and turning ability. An SUV would be a good roll-over candidate at an autocross.
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