Want to know how Honda was able to undercut Toyota in the hybrid pricing war? Take a quick look inside the Insight's cabin. Apart from some upscale fabric on the seats, much of the materials - dash panels, door trim, and all - seem as if they're pulled directly from the Fit.
Also, the powertrain is nowhere as sophisticated as that in the Prius, but the Insight is still quite efficient. On a brief jaunt to Dexter, Michigan, I was able to keep my fuel consumption in the 40-mpg range, and the nifty three-dimensional speedometer glowed green or aqua whenever my driving was earth-friendly.
I'm a bit perplexed by the combustion engine itself. I thought a vintage Honda moped was following me for a while, until I popped the hood. That slow 'tick-tick-tick' was coming from the Insight's 1.3-liter I-4, which has a surprisingly low idle speed.
Later, I managed to gain some rear-seat time in the Insight - although I wish I hadn't. The rakish roofline eliminates virtually all headroom for a 5'10" gentleman like myself. And the simplistic rear axle, borrowed from the Fit, produces a harsh ride, sending my cranium into the headliner over every speed bump.
Evan McCausland, Web Producer