The Honda Insight makes hybrid ownership attainable. Created to be sold not only in the United States but also in markets around the world, the Insight costs less than the smaller Civic Hybrid. Just because it's inexpensive doesn't mean that it lacks technical sophistication, however, as it uses the same parallel-hybrid powertrain that does duty in the Civic Hybrid. Current Honda owners who get behind the wheel of the Insight will feel instantly at home. The cabin design and ambience are an appealing mixture of Civic, Fit, and first-generation Insight, with effective ergonomics, intuitive controls, and lots of nooks and crannies for storage. Hybrids are all about fuel economy, and last year's Insight achieved 40 mpg in the city and 43 mpg highway. The Insight's 2012 EPA estimates have not yet been released, but Honda promises even better mileage. Changes made to improve fuel economy include the fitment of a new set of low-rolling-resistance tires, tweaking the exterior styling, and reducing friction in the little gas engine. All in all, the Insight brings a simple, price-minded attitude to a crowded market, and it should appeal to buyers who've been intrigued by hybrids but didn't think it made economic sense to purchase one -- until now.
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