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View Full Version : 2009 Honda Insight Hybrid (70 mpg). The Prius for the rest of us.


Prof.
Dec 21, 2008, 03:45 PM
Check it out HERE (http://automobiles.honda.com/insight-hybrid/). If you ask me, it looks just like the Toyota Prius. It will be available in the US this coming spring. (2009)

Did I mention it gets almost 70mpg's?

PlaceofDis
Dec 21, 2008, 03:49 PM
yes it looks like a Prius.

i'd much prefer a slightly redesigned effort of the previous Insight, or them to have continued it seeing that it gets even better mpg than the Prius:

http://pumpngo.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/honda_insight.jpg

mkrishnan
Dec 21, 2008, 03:54 PM
Good for Honda... it will be good to have some direct Prius competition on the market.

Dont Hurt Me
Dec 21, 2008, 04:13 PM
Were do you come up with 70 mpg? Meanwhile the big 3 U.S. automakers have nothing to compete in this segment. But it must be said here in South carolina gas is going for $1.45 - $1.55 a gallon! Yeah baby Yeah! My next car will be a Challenger with 25 mpg.:)

kainjow
Dec 21, 2008, 04:17 PM
I've been checking this car out recently. Too bad it doesn't look as good as the concept version. The production model is going to be announced and displayed in Michigan in January.

I'm tempted to buy it but I have less than 1.5 years left to pay off my current car...

iJohnHenry
Dec 21, 2008, 04:28 PM
Only 2 doors, and virtually no back seat.

Not practical for me, and a lot of others, I would warrant.

mkrishnan
Dec 21, 2008, 04:30 PM
Only 2 doors, and virtually no back seat.

Not practical for me, and a lot of others, I would warrant.

The previous Insight was a two door, two seater. The new Insight has five doors and five seats, per the link....

robanga
Dec 21, 2008, 04:30 PM
ummm look at the link, the new one has 4 doors

PlaceofDis
Dec 21, 2008, 04:30 PM
Only 2 doors, and virtually no back seat.

Not practical for me, and a lot of others, I would warrant.

the old version? yes, it was a 2 door. amazing little vehicle capable of easily making its estimated 70mpg. the new one is almost exactly like a prius. so i suppose better implemented for more people. although the past two cars i've owned are both 2 doors.

iJohnHenry
Dec 21, 2008, 04:32 PM
Whoops, and whoops. :o

I was looking at the posted picture.

dmr727
Dec 21, 2008, 05:05 PM
I think it's better looking than the Prius. But it's still a weird back end. I'm not sure what it is about high MPG vehicles that make them all like that.

Prof.
Dec 21, 2008, 05:09 PM
Were do you come up with 70 mpg? Meanwhile the big 3 U.S. automakers have nothing to compete in this segment. But it must be said here in South carolina gas is going for $1.45 - $1.55 a gallon! Yeah baby Yeah! My next car will be a Challenger with 25 mpg.:)
Don't get too comfy with the gas prices. They're expected to go back to $3.50 by summer of '09.

As for where i got the 70MPG figure... I read it in a news article. I'll try to find it. Hold on.

EDIT: HERE (http://www.allautoreviews.com/auto_reviews/honda/honda-insight.htm) it is. It says it gets 68mpg highway. :) However, Honda said it gets 70mpg. :confused:

dmr727
Dec 21, 2008, 05:16 PM
It's interesting that the city MPG is lower than the highway. Isn't it usually the reverse on hybrids?

OllyW
Dec 21, 2008, 05:17 PM
I think it's better looking than the Prius. But it's still a weird back end. I'm not sure what it is about high MPG vehicles that make them all like that.

Aerodynamics?

Prof.
Dec 21, 2008, 05:18 PM
HAHAHAHAHA it has a 73HP engine. Awww

It's interesting that the city MPG is lower than the highway. Isn't is usually the reverse on hybrids?
maybe cuz when you're in the city, you accelerate/decelerate more. When you're on the highway, you're maintaining a certain speed. :confused:

PlaceofDis
Dec 21, 2008, 05:20 PM
HAHAHAHAHA it has a 73HP engine. Awww


maybe cuz when you're in the city, you accelerate/decelerate more. When you're on the highway, you're maintaining a certain speed. :confused:

that is true for non hybrids. hybrids should be better for the stop and go traffic since they're designed (from what i know) to run off of the battery at lower speeds rather than relying on gasoline.

dmr727
Dec 21, 2008, 05:21 PM
Aerodynamics?

But it's not just the shape - it's the way the glass is used, and so on. I just can't believe it's *all* aerodynamically related. Perhaps it is, though.

Prof.
Dec 21, 2008, 05:22 PM
that is true for non hybrids. hybrids should be better for the stop and go traffic since they're designed (from what i know) to run off of the battery at lower speeds rather than relying on gasoline.
That's how the prius works. When you are driving below 25 (or 15... i forgot which) you run on battery and not gas.

PlaceofDis
Dec 21, 2008, 05:25 PM
But it's not just the shape - it's the way the glass is used, and so on. I just can't believe it's *all* aerodynamically related. Perhaps it is, though.

i can't believe it is solely aerodynamics, if that was the case a LOT more cars would have a similar shape and style. no?

might be for recognition/association.

That's how the prius works. When you are driving below 25 (or 15... i forgot which) you run on battery and not gas.

yes. so why would honda not do the same??

Prof.
Dec 21, 2008, 05:32 PM
yes. so why would honda not do the same??Maybe Honda came up with a better system? Maybe that's why it gets significantly better MPG than the Prius.

Prius MPG:
48 miles per US gallon (4.9 L/100 km/58 mpg-imp) for city driving
45 miles per US gallon (5.2 L/100 km/54 mpg-imp) for highway driving
46 miles per US gallon (5.1 L/100 km/55 mpg-imp) combined

Sun Baked
Dec 21, 2008, 05:32 PM
I thought the article said the original insight approached 70mpg on a smaller platform than the new Insight.

Prof.
Dec 21, 2008, 05:36 PM
I thought the article said the original insight approached 70mpg on a smaller platform than the new Insight.
Yes.

Itís important to remember that the first Insight was designed with a simple but revolutionary goal in mind: push the mpg limits of a subcompact 2-seater as far as possible, and it did. To this day, itís the most fuel-efficient mass-produced hybrid ever. This was accomplished with fundamentally similar technology to the new Insight, but with a smaller platform. Almost universally speaking, smaller cars are lighter, and less weight equates to better fuel efficiency.

PlaceofDis
Dec 21, 2008, 05:36 PM
I thought the article said the original insight approached 70mpg on a smaller platform than the new Insight.

yes it did. the figures for the new one remain in question imo, as the second article linked later in the thread seems to be more about the older platform than the new one.

i find it unlikely that a car of that size will be able to achieve those levels without a hyper-miler driving it.

mkrishnan
Dec 21, 2008, 05:43 PM
yes. so why would honda not do the same??

IIRC the Insight and most of the early, at least, Hondas did not work this way. I don't know if they do now. The original Honda hybrid drivetrain ran on motor only or motor + electric boost. The fuel economy at stoplights, IIRC, was because it could also shut down the gasoline engine and restart it very quickly.

Dont Hurt Me
Dec 21, 2008, 06:42 PM
The new 010 Prius has improved styling for sure over the 08, Gas though is still crashing and seems we went through the same thing once before. Gas had been way overpriced and everyone knows it. Still this is the future and the more of us who are economical with gas the less control the Opec nations have over the western world. :)

kainjow
Dec 21, 2008, 06:50 PM
HAHAHAHAHA it has a 73HP engine. Awww

Wow and I thought my 140 was weak...

Abstract
Dec 21, 2008, 08:35 PM
I like the FCX Clarity more. It looks cooler. I wish you could just choose either Hydrogen powered or hybrid engine versions with these bodies. Give them the same engine, but make them interchangeable with the car bodies.

PlaceofDis
Dec 21, 2008, 09:32 PM
I like the FCX Clarity more. It looks cooler. I wish you could just choose either Hydrogen powered or hybrid engine versions with these bodies. Give them the same engine, but make them interchangeable with the car bodies.

some years back there was talk of modular cars. wonder whatever happened to that. basically the shell was replaceable. so was the engine i believe, or a choice, while the frame was basically standard. etc. was a pretty cool idea.

william sire
Dec 21, 2008, 09:55 PM
I'm glad to see somebody is finally moving forward on new innovative fuel sources. I could care less about all that environmental stuff. But what ever works is fine with me. I just wish it was the big three in the US leading instead of following.

Cheffy Dave
Dec 22, 2008, 03:41 AM
Were do you come up with 70 mpg? Meanwhile the big 3 U.S. automakers have nothing to compete in this segment. But it must be said here in South carolina gas is going for $1.45 - $1.55 a gallon! Yeah baby Yeah! My next car will be a Challenger with 25 mpg.:)

Challenger? Chrysler?? Yeah, if they are in business:rolleyes:

Cheffy Dave
Dec 22, 2008, 03:44 AM
Only 2 doors, and virtually no back seat.

Not practical for me, and a lot of others, I would warrant.

You are looking at the OLD picture, see the first post and click the link, looks like 4 doors to me:rolleyes:

djellison
Dec 22, 2008, 04:19 AM
It's interesting that the city MPG is lower than the highway. Isn't it usually the reverse on hybrids?

No - the City MPG will ALWAYS be lower than highway driving. HOWEVER, the hybrid will always drop fewer MPG in the city than a conventionally engined car.

Incidentally, every time an American moans about fuel prices - I just laugh. Stop drinking it like it's going out of fashion. Stop building cars for which 25mpg is considered good. Seriously - it's pathetic.

WildCowboy
Dec 22, 2008, 05:09 AM
No - the City MPG will ALWAYS be lower than highway driving. HOWEVER, the hybrid will always drop fewer MPG in the city than a conventionally engined car.

Not true. See the Prius (http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/compx2008f.jsp?year=2008&make=Toyota&model=Prius&hiddenField=Findacar)...48 city/45 highway. Or the Highlander Hybrid (http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/compx2008f.jsp?year=2008&make=Toyota&model=Highlander%20Hybrid%204WD&hiddenField=Findacar)...27 city/25 highway. Or the Escape Hybrid (http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/compx2008f.jsp?year=2008&make=Ford&model=Escape%20Hybrid%20FWD&hiddenField=Findacar)...34 city/30 highway. Full hybrids like these do get better mileage in city driving because they can switch off the gasoline engine when not needed.

Mild hybrids like the Civic or VUE Green Line must keep the gasoline engine running at all times, and their MPG numbers consequently are like traditional cars...highway better than city.

Abstract
Dec 22, 2008, 07:48 AM
some years back there was talk of modular cars. wonder whatever happened to that. basically the shell was replaceable. so was the engine i believe, or a choice, while the frame was basically standard. etc. was a pretty cool idea.

Hmmm......wonder if the guy who created RED (http://www.red.com/) (and Oakley sunglasses) is interested in changing the car industry for us. :o

Roy Hobbs
Dec 22, 2008, 10:25 AM
Were do you come up with 70 mpg? Meanwhile the big 3 U.S. automakers have nothing to compete in this segment. But it must be said here in South carolina gas is going for $1.45 - $1.55 a gallon! Yeah baby Yeah! My next car will be a Challenger with 25 mpg.:)

Challenger with 25mpg??? Must not be a HEMI and if thats the case why bother.

liquidh2o
Dec 22, 2008, 10:29 AM
definitely like the redesign, even if it now looks like the prius. The interior seems tasteful, though they might have overdid it with the emphasis on blue. It will be interesting to see what real world gas mileage turns out to be. Has a price been set on the new insight?

slothrob
Dec 22, 2008, 12:22 PM
I just wish it was the big three in the US leading instead of following.
Now that would be something new.

kzg
Dec 22, 2008, 12:49 PM
Mild hybrids like the Civic or VUE Green Line must keep the gasoline engine running at all times, and their MPG numbers consequently are like traditional cars...highway better than city.

The Civic Hybrid is a full hybrid, it can run up to certain speeds and accelleration rates without the gas engine running. If you are light on the pedal when starting after coming to a complete stop you can keep the engine off for a bit, even a few kilometres.

The Saturn VUE Green Line on the other hand is a real mild hybrid. It cannot move at all without the gas engine running, the electric motor is too small. What makes it a "mild hybrid" is that when you begin to stop, the engine is shut off and isn't restarted until you take off again. This GM system can restart the engine in half a second. It is also capable of recharging the starting system using regenerative braking.

ChrisA
Dec 22, 2008, 01:05 PM
I'm not sure what it is about high MPG vehicles that make them all like that.

The best aerodynamic shape is decided by nature and the laws of physics. designers have little options.

Actually the "best" shape is like a raindrop, a blunt rounded forward wnd with a pointed tail. But the problem for a car designers is always that cars need to be flat on the bottom because roads are flat. Then if you make it round on top and flat on the bottom you generate lift. You can kill the lift by generating turbulent flow over the top but turbulent flow means drag. So they compromise. If you pick a speed you can optimise the compromise for that one speed. But what speed to optimise 55 MPH or 70 MPH?

So you get the idea. Designers have little room in which to work. It's the same with airplanes. All of them tend to look like long tubes with wings on the side and a tail in the back.

WildCowboy
Dec 22, 2008, 01:25 PM
The Civic Hybrid is a full hybrid, it can run up to certain speeds and accelleration rates without the gas engine running. If you are light on the pedal when starting after coming to a complete stop you can keep the engine off for a bit, even a few kilometres.

I guess I should have clarified a bit better. The Civic Hybrid is a power-assist hybrid, so it's better than a mild hybrid, but not a full hybrid. Since 2006, the IMA system on the Civic Hybrid has allowed it to decelerate and cruise solely on electric power. A light touch might get you a bit of electric-only acceleration, but the battery system isn't powerful enough to permit the real electric-only operation at low speeds available with full hybrids.

mkrishnan
Dec 22, 2008, 01:42 PM
I guess I should have clarified a bit better. The Civic Hybrid is a power-assist hybrid, so it's better than a mild hybrid, but not a full hybrid. Since 2006, the IMA system on the Civic Hybrid has allowed it to decelerate and cruise solely on electric power. A light touch might get you a bit of electric-only acceleration, but the battery system isn't powerful enough to permit the real electric-only operation at low speeds available with full hybrids.

The problem is that all of this terminology has always been in flux, also, in terms of what constitutes mild/full hybrids, how to describe the fuel economy performance of a "plug-in" hybrid, how to characterize the horsepower of a hybrid, etc, etc.

For instance, we were more used to the idea of calling the Honda IMA concept "serial" hybridization, in essence, because it has a primary powertrain and a secondary motor that can add power but cannot run the car by itself, and the Prius-like designs "parallel," because they can be run on various combinations of either/or the combustion or electric powertrain, which can power the wheels independently of each other. But that has its own problems.

I think, outside of plug-ins, it's better (personally) to just let the numbers do the talking and talk about the fuel economy and performance, whether laboratory / simulated driving cycle or real world reports. Ultimately, I think most would agree, that if a "mild" hybrid happens to get better fuel economy than a "full" hybrid of comparable size, it's probably better even if the technology is "inferior" in some sense. Of course, that's going to become quite complicated when plug-ins hit the scene, presumably with no real plan to address their burden on electrical power generation or the fuels involved in that.... :o

iAthena
Dec 22, 2008, 02:08 PM
I appreciate Honda's (and Toyota's for that matter) effort to push the envelope with these hybrids, but the real home run will be making cars with this technology that get 35+ mpg that offer sufficient seating and comfort to accommodate the travel needs of a larger number of people.

Could you imagine an older or slightly infirmed person getting in and out of that vehicle or anyone driving it for 360+ mile trips?

slothrob
Dec 22, 2008, 02:38 PM
I appreciate Honda's (and Toyota's for that matter) effort to push the envelope with these hybrids, but the real home run will be making cars with this technology that get 35+ mpg that offer sufficient seating and comfort to accommodate the travel needs of a larger number of people.

Could you imagine an older or slightly infirmed person getting in and out of that vehicle or anyone driving it for 360+ mile trips?
I don't know of very many people that need to regularly carry more than 5 people. For that matter, I don't know very many people that spend more than a fraction of their driving time alone in their car. Don't you think that these cars already cover the needs of 90% of the driving public?

As far as comfort, the car might be impractical for someone in a wheelchair, but it really isn't anymore difficult to get in and out of than a Buick, and easier than climbing up into an SUV.

I know a couple salespeople who spend days at a time in their Prius. One couple I know own a Ford Taurus and a Prius, and choose to drive cross country and from Boston to Florida regularly in their Prius. I asked the wife and she said she thinks it's quite comfortable, and she just spent 24 hours straight in it driving to Florida for Thanksgiving.

GSMiller
Dec 22, 2008, 02:58 PM
Actually, it looks more like the offspring of a Prius that had buttsex with a Civic. Two ugly cars combined into one.

rogersmj
Dec 22, 2008, 03:26 PM
The Insight's a heck of a lot better looking than the Prius (no shock there; my personal tastes always tend toward Hondas over Toyotas), but I still don't like the overall shape. It's still kind of ugly...why can't they make a car with the same specs as this, but shaped like a normal car!?

mkrishnan
Dec 22, 2008, 03:33 PM
Sorry if I missed this... but while we were on the topic of the IMA mild or serial hybrid system that Honda has used...

One advantage had been that Honda hybrids could use a manual transmission, unlike Toyota hybrids (since the gearing of an electric engine was always in use). Anyway, from a fun-to-drive perspective, this made a huge difference to me (pushing me in the direction of high efficiency diesels, for that matter).

Now, IIRC, the newest iterations of the Honda Hybrids don't have a MT option anymore -- the 2009 Civic Hybrid for instance is only available with a CVT.

Is the new Insight likely to be CVT only? I really don't care for CVT's... I know, waah, waah.... but ... at least direct injection turbodiesels are fun to drive. :o

slothrob
Dec 22, 2008, 03:56 PM
...why can't they make a car with the same specs as this, but shaped like a normal car!?
Because the idea behind hybrids is still to get the best possible mileage. This shape is currently the best option for low drag coefficient and passenger comfort. Just like almost all cars looked like the "melted bean" shape of the Taurus back in the late '80's and 90's, more and more cars will probably adopt variations on this newer shape until something better gets engineered.

Prof.
Dec 22, 2008, 04:07 PM
Because the idea behind hybrids is still to get the best possible mileage. This shape is currently the best option for low drag coefficient and passenger comfort. Just like almost all cars looked like the "melted bean" shape of the Taurus back in the late '80's and 90's, more and more cars will probably adopt variations on this newer shape until something better gets engineered.
Thank you sooooooo much for explaining that! I've been wondering for a long time why they make hybrids that shape. haha:)

blitzkrieg79
Dec 22, 2008, 04:10 PM
Don't get too comfy with the gas prices. They're expected to go back to $3.50 by summer of '09.

As for where i got the 70MPG figure... I read it in a news article. I'll try to find it. Hold on.

EDIT: HERE (http://www.allautoreviews.com/auto_reviews/honda/honda-insight.htm) it is. It says it gets 68mpg highway. :) However, Honda said it gets 70mpg. :confused:

I bet you are one of those people who also believed that price per barrel this time around would be around $250 as predicted by so many "analysts" during last summer :p Reality is that as long as investors will keep oil futures out of hedge funds (and it doesn't look like oil is a hot commodity right now nor will it be anytime soon), you can be sure that price per barrel will not reach $100 any time soon. Given current world economic situation and grim forecasts, gasoline in USA will not go up to $3.50 any time soon. The only people I feel sorry about is the ones who traded in their SUVs for little puny Civics and such during last summer, not only did they get ripped off at trade off but also lost a lot in comfort.

And as far as the new Honda is concerned, it's a nice car for what it is but I prefer the Chevrolet Volts technology and design.

IJ Reilly
Dec 22, 2008, 04:59 PM
The Ford Fusion hybrid is also coming in early 2009. Should be capable of 50+ MPG.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-neil19-2008dec19,0,1742816.story

Prof.
Dec 22, 2008, 05:14 PM
The only people I feel sorry about is the ones who traded in their SUVs for little puny Civics and such during last summer, not only did they get ripped off at trade off but also lost a lot in comfort.
Pffft. I don't feel sorry for them. Most ppl who have "suburban assault vehicles" (SAVs) have no need for them. Unless you have a large family/family who does a lot of sports or other activities or have a job that requires big trucks (construction, TV News, etc.) You don't need a SUV. IMO, they should pass a law taxing ppl who have SUVs. (say... $200+ a year?) I can't tell you how many moms I see driving their huge ass "SAVs" when they're just going grocery shopping or at the mall.

*waits to be flamed*

note: i'm talking about Hummers, Chevy Suburbans etc. Not Mini vans or similar cars.

mkrishnan
Dec 22, 2008, 05:22 PM
The Ford Fusion hybrid is also coming in early 2009. Should be capable of 50+ MPG.

I'll be curious to see how that turns out. The Mazda6/Fusion/global midsize platform is fantastic.

IJ Reilly
Dec 22, 2008, 05:48 PM
I'll be curious to see how that turns out. The Mazda6/Fusion/global midsize platform is fantastic.

Likewise. The writer of that story was lamenting Ford's bad timing, but oil prices could easily be on the rise again next year. If so, Ford might be positioned to have a real hit on its hands.

rogersmj
Dec 22, 2008, 06:53 PM
The Ford Fusion hybrid is also coming in early 2009. Should be capable of 50+ MPG.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-neil19-2008dec19,0,1742816.story

Not quite 50...Autoblog and Jalopnik drove one for awhile last week, and with really, REALLY crazy conservative driving they managed around 43 mpg (http://jalopnik.com/5107064/ford-fusion-hybrid-gets-fuel-economy-rating-of-438-mpg-in-jalopnik-road-test). Normal driving will probably be in the 30s. Still pretty good.

IJ Reilly
Dec 22, 2008, 06:58 PM
Not quite 50...Autoblog and Jalopnik drove one for awhile last week, and with really, REALLY crazy conservative driving they managed around 43 mpg (http://jalopnik.com/5107064/ford-fusion-hybrid-gets-fuel-economy-rating-of-438-mpg-in-jalopnik-road-test). Normal driving will probably be in the 30s. Still pretty good.

The writer says he got 52 without major effort in mixed driving. Says so right in the article.

richkent72
Dec 23, 2008, 05:54 AM
I'm enjoying the irony that a thread about fuel efficient cars is giving me advertisements for Land Rover. :D

SactoGuy18
Dec 23, 2008, 06:00 AM
Likewise. The writer of that story was lamenting Ford's bad timing, but oil prices could easily be on the rise again next year. If so, Ford might be positioned to have a real hit on its hands.

Actually, the Ford Fusion with the new 2.5-liter I-4 and six-speed automatic will also be a hot seller. I've read that version is capable of 32 mpg highway based on the EPA 2008 test, which is a much more stringent test than the older EPA test.

cube
Dec 23, 2008, 06:03 AM
I'm enjoying the irony that a thread about fuel efficient cars is giving me advertisements for Land Rover. :D

Because of their new stop-and-restart engine. They are spending 1 billion in fuel efficiency.

SactoGuy18
Dec 23, 2008, 06:33 AM
Because of their new stop-and-restart engine. They are spending 1 billion in fuel efficiency.

Speaking of which, Mazda recently demonstrated a new engine technology called Smart Idle Stop System (SISS), which is simpler than other engine stop systems. Since Ford has technical exchange agreements with Mazda we could see this system on new Ford models over the next few years. Can you imagine the new Ford Fiesta with the 1.6-liter I-4, SISS and the next six-speed Powershift dual-clutch transmission? Can you say EPA 2008 city rating of 34 mpg and highway rating of 41 mpg? :D

Sun Baked
Dec 23, 2008, 08:30 AM
I'll be curious to see how that turns out. The Mazda6/Fusion/global midsize platform is fantastic.

But the Fusion isn't quite on the global platform, it however will be next time round ... which means no more US 1-2 inch stretch behind the front seats. And maybe the global platform roofline.

Come over like the Contour did at first, on the global platform with the common rear seat legroom problems -- though it'll likely get the Contour's later fixes immediately (aka, more legroom via sculpted front seatbacks, and sculpted rear seats to add the inches.)

Should be common rather soon to get the global platforms without the US version stretching and massaging the vehicle into their own unique version for 1-2 billion.

mkrishnan
Dec 23, 2008, 08:36 AM
Should be common rather soon to get the global platforms without the US version stretching and massaging the vehicle into their own unique version for 1-2 billion.

Hope so ... they always make the car worse in the process... and it is true, while I thought the current Fusion was pretty adequate, pretty much everything that differed from the first gen Mazda6 was a decrement to the car and not an improvement. OTOH, the second gen Mazda6 is just too big. Or at least, I will definitely not buy a car that big, as beautiful as it seems to be.

rogersmj
Dec 23, 2008, 09:28 AM
The writer says he got 52 without major effort in mixed driving. Says so right in the article.

I don't believe him; it doesn't sound like he drove it much at all -- only 50 miles apparently, and it sounded like he was making an effort to feather the throttle and take advantage of hills and such. He has that one paragraph about actually driving the car, and the rest of the article talks about the technical aspects of the car. Jalopnik and Autoblog both managed in the 40s, with a lot of effort, and Jalopnik said they don't think most people could even replicate their 43.8 number (http://jalopnik.com/5107120/2010-ford-fusion-hybrid-first-drive) -- which was higher than what Ford themselves had done. Really, what do you think is more likely? If those two journalists and Ford only managed in the low 40s, I seriously doubt that LATimes article. I predict most people will be lucky to ever see 40mpg in normal driving in the Fusion Hybrid. Still better than the Camry.

Sun Baked
Dec 23, 2008, 09:31 AM
I think a lot of the reporters count on the trip computer and instant mileage for MPG figures.

I've always liked doing it by actually driving, filling up the tank, and using a calculator.

But alas, the 4 function calculator may confuse them.

slothrob
Dec 23, 2008, 10:07 AM
The thing I don't understand is how my mid '80's Honda CRX got 40-50 mpg with traditional technology, was a blast to drive and had a good size cargo area, yet these cars barely beat it's fuel efficiency.

mkrishnan
Dec 23, 2008, 10:12 AM
The thing I don't understand is how my mid '80's Honda CRX got 40-50 mpg with traditional technology, was a blast to drive and had a good size cargo area, yet these cars barely beat it's fuel efficiency.

For one thing... we actually care about emissions now. ;)

IJ Reilly
Dec 23, 2008, 11:13 AM
I don't believe him; it doesn't sound like he drove it much at all -- only 50 miles apparently, and it sounded like he was making an effort to feather the throttle and take advantage of hills and such. He has that one paragraph about actually driving the car, and the rest of the article talks about the technical aspects of the car. Jalopnik and Autoblog both managed in the 40s, with a lot of effort, and Jalopnik said they don't think most people could even replicate their 43.8 number (http://jalopnik.com/5107120/2010-ford-fusion-hybrid-first-drive) -- which was higher than what Ford themselves had done. Really, what do you think is more likely? If those two journalists and Ford only managed in the low 40s, I seriously doubt that LATimes article. I predict most people will be lucky to ever see 40mpg in normal driving in the Fusion Hybrid. Still better than the Camry.

Yeah, he's probably a liar. Only possible explanation.

rogersmj
Dec 23, 2008, 01:14 PM
Yeah, he's probably a liar. Only possible explanation.

Man, aren't we defensive! ;)

I probably should have been clearer that I don't believe what he said is accurate. And all the other reports seem to support that. It was some shallow journalism to report 50+ mpg after only 50 miles of driving, a lot of which sounded like coasting down hills; the fact that his number was so much higher than Ford's ratings should have been a red flag to that reporter that he might want to spend a little more time verifying facts before writing an article. But he sensationalized it to get a good headline. Whatever...the point is, the Fusion should be good for 40mpg in mixed normal driving, and that's better than other sedan-shaped hybrids.

IJ Reilly
Dec 23, 2008, 05:05 PM
I've been reading Dan Neil's automotive columns for years. He's quite thorough, not shallow or sensationalistic. If he was, I would not be reading his columns.

This car hasn't even been officially rated by the EPA so I think it's too early to take sides on who's numbers are more realistic or accurate.

mkrishnan
Dec 23, 2008, 07:05 PM
Not quite 50...Autoblog and Jalopnik drove one for awhile last week, and with really, REALLY crazy conservative driving they managed around 43 mpg (http://jalopnik.com/5107064/ford-fusion-hybrid-gets-fuel-economy-rating-of-438-mpg-in-jalopnik-road-test). Normal driving will probably be in the 30s. Still pretty good.

The official Fusion Hybrid numbers are out... they're quite good. As you mentioned, numerous reports report doing better (which is a pleasant change from the earliest hybrids and the old EPA system, where it was relatively rare to hear of people who actually achieve sticker mileage).

http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/12/23/ford-fusion-hybrid-is-rated-at-41-mpg/?hp

LOS ANGELES ó Official fuel-economy ratings from the Environmental Protection Agency are in for the new 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid, and Ford says it is ďAmericaís most fuel-efficient midsize car with a certified 41 m.p.g rating in the city and 36 m.p.g. on the highway.Ē

FX120
Dec 27, 2008, 10:14 PM
Ugly. And there really is no reason for it, or for the Prius to be butt-ugly for that matter.

There are cars just as aerodynamic but much easier on the eyes. The Mercedes Benz S-Class comes to mind, with a Cd of 0.26, the same as the Prius.

So IMO it all has to do with (ironically) apperance. Make it look like a space-mobile and it's easily recognizable as a hybrid, and feel-good soccer moms can go about their days proving to the world that they care about sustainability without having to flap their gums all day long.

Mr. Giver '94
Dec 28, 2008, 06:44 AM
When I saw the concept photos for the new Insight I was amazed at how it looked, but after seeing all of the revisions that took place from then until the actual model severely disappoints me. I much prefer the Prius's design, not that it's any sort of beauty to be marveled at.

I'll stick w/ Lexus and Cadillac, thank you very much...

and feel-good soccer moms can go about their days proving to the world that they care about sustainability without having to flap their gums all day long.

This made me laugh. I agree with you completely though.

Abstract
Dec 28, 2008, 10:11 AM
I've been reading Dan Neil's automotive columns for years. He's quite thorough, not shallow or sensationalistic. If he was, I would not be reading his columns.

I have also read a few numbers in the 40's with regards to mpg.


I guess he could be keen on hypermiling, and have far better technique than the typical automotive journalist. However, I'm guessing he's just wrong this time. ;) He didn't drive it enough anyway.

KyPosey
Dec 28, 2008, 10:11 AM
ill keep my 30mpg rabbit.

Prof.
Dec 28, 2008, 12:16 PM
There are cars just as aerodynamic but much easier on the eyes. The Mercedes Benz S-Class comes to mind, with a Cd of 0.26, the same as the Prius.
Yeah cuz everyone can afford a Mercedes Benz.:rolleyes:

And IMO, Mercedes are the most ugly cars ever built. I'd pick a chevy over those things.

dmr727
Dec 28, 2008, 12:22 PM
Yeah cuz everyone can afford a Mercedes Benz.:rolleyes:


I think he just used that model of Mercedes to show that you can design an aerodynamic vehicle without it looking like a suppository. ;)

FX120
Dec 29, 2008, 02:43 AM
Yeah cuz everyone can afford a Mercedes Benz.:rolleyes:

And IMO, Mercedes are the most ugly cars ever built. I'd pick a chevy over those things.

You completley missed my point. Good job.

Don't like the S-Class, fine. The Mazda 6, Lexus LS, Audi A6/ VW Passat, Infinity G35, and many others all rate in the same ballpark as the Prius in terms of coefficient of drag.

mkrishnan
Dec 29, 2008, 07:32 AM
Don't like the S-Class, fine. The Mazda 6, Lexus LS, Audi A6/ VW Passat, Infinity G35, and many others all rate in the same ballpark as the Prius in terms of coefficient of drag.

I would tend to agree with the basic point you're making... I think the Prius's exterior styling has in part to do with achieving a low Cd, but also ends up being sensible packaging for the goals of the car -- the five seats, the amount of cabin space, the amount of trunk/storage space, and room for the batteries, without needing excessive space.

As for the examples you provided though, it's clear that there are more options. The Fusion, which body-wise is quite similar to the 6, as we've discussed above, did manage to slot in at #2 on the current fuel economy list, without sacrificing its appearance (although I think it's less pretty than either the first, lovely if basic, Mazda6 or the second, gorgeous but way too big Mazda6). The articles so far indicate that numerous minor changes were made to improve the Cd, but clearly the car looks grossly similar.