Honda offers many different hybrid models. The Insight is the car that Honda has been putting most of its development efforts towards as of recent. It is obvious that Honda wants this to be the hybrid to beat and they are doing an amazing job. Toyota has had a controlling share of the market with their Prius model and the Honda development team is trying to change that. The Insight still struggles in comparison because of its mild fuel economy advantage over other small cars that run solely on gas. The Insight get 40 MPG in the city and 43 MPG on the highway, but they are striving to offer an even more fuel efficient model in the years to come.
The Insight will hold five passengers and comes with a 1.3 liter 4 cylinder engine along with a 10 kilowatt electric motor. Together the two power sources in the Insight offer 98 horsepower. High end features like Bluetooth, navigation systems and more are available in the higher end trim model.
Engine: 1.3L I-4 and electric motor
Models: LX, EX
There has been much speculation that Honda will boost the Insight’s battery range and electric motor output in an attempt to improve fuel economy. How that would be possible, while keeping the price down is unclear. Other areas that will likely be addressed include the suppression of wind noise and road vibration. Look out for more details in the fall of 2010.
Skinny, 15-inch wheels and a narrow, Kamm back profile give Insight great aerodynamics but leave it susceptible to wind gusts and grooved roads. EX models receive alloy wheels and side mirrors with imbedded turn signals.
The Insight’s instruments are fun and futuristic. Legroom is decent in the rear seats, but shoulder room is tight. EX models receive paddle shifters and cruise control. Bluetooth is available on EX via the optional navigation system.
Insight feels light and tight on the road, but suffers from poor NVH isolation and a rough ride. A paddle-shift enabled CVT does offer the pretense of sportiness, but the Insight is slow, particularly in ECO mode, and fun-to-drive only for those with good imaginations. EPA fuel economy numbers can be achieved with diligence and compromises to driving enjoyment and passenger comfort.
All seats have three point seatbelts. Driver and passenger have dual stage, multi threshold front and front side airbags. Outboard passengers have side curtain airbags. ABS and EBD come standard; stability control available only on EX.
40 mpg city/43 mpg highway
- Low cost
- Futuristic gauge cluster
- Wind noise
- Ride Harshness
- Fuel economy
- Lackluster performance
Coarse, loud, slow; Honda misfires
- Chevrolet Volt
- Nissan Leaf
- Toyota Prius
- VW Golf TDI