2010 Honda Insight Hybrid & vehicle test drive and review & 2010 Honda Insight hybrid road test

4 Jun 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on 2010 Honda Insight Hybrid & vehicle test drive and review & 2010 Honda Insight hybrid road test
Honda Insight

2010 Honda Insight drive

Honda’s market turned up an interesting fact: The most likely to buy hybrid are young people who can’t them. Enter the 2010 a purpose-built four-seat hybrid to bring high mileage to the But the Honda Insight isn’t a cut-rate hybrid — it eco-driving into a video complete with snappy cheat buttons, high and trophies. How does the Insight do it?

on. Base price: $20,470. EPA economy TBD.


I liked the new Insight as soon as I set on it. From the outside, the Insight like a Honda-ized Toyota which is understandable — the of both cars are optimized for aerodynamics. Angular headlights and a chrome grille recall hydrogen-powered FCX Clarity, while the remind me of the original two-seat

Settle into the Insight’s height-adjustable bucket seats. and clear that this is a designed for Generation Y — the has a futuristic look that pass muster with older, more conservative and Accord buyers. Like the the Insight uses a brilliant dash. with a digital up top and other gauges in a bin below the wheel rim. Cargo is excellent — Honda redesigned the Insight’s controller and pack to fit into a small under the trunk floor but back seat room is tight, with little and low doors that make it to get in and out.

Honda offers the new Insight in two and they’re easy to spot: wheel covers denote the Insight LX, while jazzy wheels mark the Insight EX. LX get power windows, locks and keyless entry, automatic control and a CD stereo. while EX add cruise control, electronic control, an iPod adapter, an navigation system. a center and a few other bits and bobs.

Look feel

The cockpit of the 2010 Honda Insight EX.


The Insight is a lot of fun for a hybrid acceleration is zippy and it handles typical Honda agility, the ride is noisy, especially at speeds. But the coolest thing the Insight is that it turns into a video game. The is chock full of displays give you feedback on your

A colored band behind the glows green when eco-miling, bright blue you’re lead-footing it, and blue-green you’re somewhere in between. And there’s the Insight’s multi-information — besides the traditional fuel economy and power gauges, it has an Eco Guide with a bar that moves left or as you brake or accelerate. Keep the bar as to the middle as possible, and presto, hypermiling.

The car even keeps a long-term using a small plant that rewards eco-drivers by leaves and, eventually, a

Most modern-day video have cheat codes you can type in to improve your of success. The Insight has its own form of code: A big green ECON Pressing it changes several of the Insight’s behavior, from the way the responds to the accelerator pedal to the of the air conditioner.

Even the cruise gets in on the act; it relaxes a when Econ mode is allowing the car’s speed to a bit on inclines. Aside from the control behavior, Econ doesn’t make a huge in the way the Insight drives, but it does pick up an extra MPG or two.


Honda Insight

The Insight is powered by a gasoline engine and a continuously-variable transmission with a DC brushless sandwiched between them. output is 98 horsepower and 123 lb-ft of with 10 hp and 58 lb-ft coming the electric motor.

Like the in the Civic Hybrid, the Insight run the engine and the motor independently. but it shut the engine off when the car is and it has an electric-only mode for low-speed — the intake and exhaust are closed, sealing the engine and engine drag. But since the is still turning, the Insight run silent the way most hybrids do the power gauge is the only that the Insight is running on battery power.

EPA fuel estimates for the Insight have not yet announced, but Honda’s in-house predict 40 MPG city and 43 MPG highway. that to 40/45 for Honda’s Hybrid and 48/45 for the Toyota Honda set up a hypermiling course of 16 miles of suburban streets a 35 minute time limit.

I drove it normally as a benchmark and got MPG. Using my best skills and the Insight’s video tools, I scored 63.7 MPG and the course in 34 minutes. Then I it in a Toyota Prius, which the Insight’s eco-feedback gizmos.

only my ears and the seat of my to guide me, I got 74.5 MPG in 31 minutes. Sorry, Honda.

When all said done

2010 Insight eco gauge

#169; Gold

I like the Insight it’s cute, it’s and it’s fun. But it has two major The first is size: The Insight is for singles and young families, but as kids grow, you’re to need a bigger car, and the family-friendly hybrids come Toyota (Prius, Camry and Nissan (Altima Hybrid).

Second, I don’t think IMA system is as good as Toyota’s Synergy Drive. Despite all the gauges and gadgets, Toyota’s — which shuts the engine off entirely, rather just disabling it — eco-driving easier, as proven by my hypermiling experiment.

Bottom It’s great to see a hybrid specifically to make eco-driving fun and Unfortunately, the Insight simply as fuel-efficient or as practical as the Toyota — but it is a lot more enjoyable. If willing to trade a bit of economy and for a higher fun-to-drive factor, the Honda Insight is the hybrid to — Aaron Gold

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