Honda Insights – Both Old and New – Celebrate Earth Day in Anaheim

By dancurranjr On April 24th, 2009

insightAmerican Honda Motors celebrated Earth Day at the Honda Center in Anaheim with a multi-sponsored festival, a Honda Insight (the old one) “homecoming” and a public ride-and-drive of the 2010 Honda Insight that recently went on sale.

Although only about 40 of the older hybrids showed up to the event, Honda spokesmanKurt Antonious mentioned that a few owners traveled thousands of miles to be there for the “Homecoming.” “I’m amazed with how far people have come to join us today… .One drove all the way from New Jersey.”

On hand for the green event was hypermiler Wayne Gerdes of Wadsworth, Ill., — the man who laid claim to coining the term “hypermiler” to describe a driver who gets the maximum mpg with sometimes extreme driving habits. Wayne, who runs the online forum,, said he first posted the term on a popular autos forum just after Sept. 11.

“The 9/11 attack had a huge impact on me, and I went from being a lead-footed driver to becoming an activist for squeezing the most I possibly could out of a tank of gas.” Gerdes said he believes that if people simply followed the posted speed limits and left a few minutes earlier to arrive at their destination, our dependence on foreign oil would end.

When asked which hybrid he prefers between the Honda Insight and the Toyota Prius, Gerdes, who was sensitive to his being at Honda’s event, said both cars are great, but the Prius is “more suited to inner-city stop-and-crawl traffic” while he felt the Insight was “better at longer-range highway travel.” As a footnote he mentioned that a Honda Insight hypermile test he conducted at the launch of the car proved to be quite impressive. “We were able to get 72.6 miles-per-gallon on a 53-mile ride using some very basic hypermiling methods.”

Consumers who heard about the free event from ads, chat rooms or e-mail invitation, came to take a test drive in the new Honda Insight between the cones in the center’s parking lot. Karen Barth of Anaheim said she wanted to test drive the Insight herself.  “I’ve driven a 2000 Honda Odyssey for all these years, but now that my kids have grown up and are in college, we’re interested in a more fuel-efficient vehicle.”

Brothers Gary and Glen Benoan of Long Beach came out for a test drive. “I’ve never driven a hybrid, so I’m interested in seeing what they are all about from a driving perspective,” Gary said.

Honda raffled a new 2010 Insight to a lucky attendee who did not have to be present to win — and the winner wasn’t. Richard Wada of Orange, Calif., will be contacted by Honda by phone later today with the good news.


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