2011 Honda Insight » Eric Peters Autos

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Honda Insight

2011 Honda Insight

by • December 15, 2010 2 Comments

Last year, brought out the Insight hybrid to against the well-established, best-selling Prius hybrid. The 40-43 MPG didn#8217;t quite match the MPG fuel efficiency of the Prius, but it was much more aggressively: for the 2010 Insight vs. $22,000 for the Prius.

That put $2,200 in your pocket #8211; to buy more than 800 gallons of unleaded gas at current prices $2.70 per gallon), which out to about 32,000 miles of assuming an average of about 40

In effect, the Honda came three years#8217; worth of gas as an incentive.

For 2011, Honda#8217;s even more aggressive. The of the Insight has been dropped to #8211;  $3,450 less the base price of the 2011 ($21,650).

And that will buy you more fuel #8211; to 1,300 gallons at current Enough to travel about miles.

Eventually, the Prius up. But how long do you want to wait for savings?

You might want to a look at the Insight if you#8217;re in the for a new hybrid.

The Insight is a hybrid five-door hatchback sedan in general layout and function to the Toyota Prius.


The big news is a big price cut for 2011. The base price is $1,600 than it was last year.

All Insights also now come with Honda#8217;s VSA stability system #8211;  which was available only in the top-of-the-line EX.


Does the basic job as the Prius but costs a lot to buy.

Honda dealers likely to haggle than dealers.

Big enough to work as a car#8221; for a small family. the second row seats folded two people can sleep in the cargo

Futurama interior layout.


Like the Prius and all other hybrids #8211; the does its best work on roads at speeds of 40 mph or less. it often on the highway at real-world of 60-70 and real-world gas mileage the EPA Happy Talk) is within a few of what you#8217;d get from a economy car like the 2011 Fiesta (41 MPGs on the highway).

The not-so-powerful powertrain sometimes sweats to keep up with


The Insight#8217;s powertrain consists of a 1.3 liter gas plus a 10 Kw electric motor and pack. The gas engine produces 88 hp and the motor/batteries the equivalent of 13 more for a total of  101 hp.

The transmission is a Continuously Variable CVT) transmission.

The Insight is slow . It about 11 seconds to reach 60 mph on ground with no passengers on

The payoff is the possibility of 40 mpg city/43 if you drive it slow .

Like the Prius, the Insight can along on its batteries and electric alone at speeds up to about 30 The battery/electric motor also a supplemental power boost the gas engine needs a little

Which is often. At least, the way I Or, to be fair to the car, where I

I live in the country and rarely to deal with slow-moving, #8211; the type of driving for which the Insight was optimized.

I do to deal with steep and highways posted 70-75

Neither is the Insight#8217;s #8211; or any #8211; turf. The gas engine hard to maintain 70 mph on anything than a completely flat the engine will often to 80 percent of redline (about RPM on a 6,000 RPM scale) and stay until the terrain levels out or you hit a section. It#8217;s a little to listen to the engine struggling this, just to keep up.

range when driven way is mid-high 30s. Just ok.

a 2011 Ford Fiesta deliver 41 MPG for $5,000 less up and no hybrid equipment needed. The about two seconds quicker to 60,

Just saying.

City is where you#8217;ll get the most out of the #8211; out of any hybrid.

When stopped at a light, the car#8217;s controller will cut off the gas engine to fuel that would be wasted. The Prius (and hybrids, like the new Ford hybrid )  does the same but the Honda does it with sophistication. Even if the gas engine actually running (more its cylinders aren#8217;t firing ) its is turning at all times #8211; so restarts are barely perceptible.

In other hybrids, the Prius you#8217;d often feel a shudder/chugging sensation as the gas engine

The CVT transmission has a Sport mode and its characteristics can be controlled via F1-style shifters (on EX trims) located on the wheel. These basically let you the transmission in a more aggressive for at least the feel of better But with a zero to 60 time of 11 seconds, the Insight is about 2-3 off the pace of almost any conventional economy car.

A Ford Connect is about the only that#8217;s slower.

The Insight like a hybrid but it#8217;s not as hybrid as the Prius #8211; nor as Geek Squad in terms of its

Honda Insight

It has, for example, a conventional key and a floor-mounted shifter (the has a toggle thing mounted on the console that takes getting used to). The readout speedometer has green-blue that shifts from green (most economical) to of blue (less economical) on how hard you#8217;re working the #8211; as a sort of visual cue to high-mileage driving.

There is a smaller display that you can through by pressing the #8220;i#8221; on the steering wheel to learn things as instant and average as well as range and (like the whether you#8217;re using the motor/batteries, the gas engine, or both.

The AC system is controlled by rotary to the right of the steering wheel, fan speed just above No mice or menus to negotiate. If you defrost or heat or whatever, you turn the knob to the appropriate

The rear doors are cut deeply the back quarter panels and makes them open wide and also creates a big to ease getting in and getting

There#8217;s not quite as much back there once in, though. On this score, the larger Prius has a definite with almost three more rear seat (36 inches vs. 33.5 inches for the and about two inches more (37.6 inches vs.


The part of the Insight is a lot like used to be called a Kammback meaning the roof slopes backward where it meets up a fairly tall/vertical tail #8211; most of which up when you raise the hatchback. layout increases useable space with the hatchback too (32 cubic feet, max) and gives the interior a roomy and feel.

There#8217;s also a tilt and telescoping steering and height adjustable driver

During the week I had the Insight, the car got 35-38 mpg driving at roughly ft. and dealing with hilly and average speeds around 50

Mid-high 30s is ok . but if you do a little research find it#8217;s about an #8217;80s-era Geo Metro or Renault Le Car #8211; without all the complex/expensive technology. Why haven#8217;t modern been able to outperform econocars when it comes to

Modern cars #8211; hybrids like the Insight are about 500 pounds heavier, on than the economy cars of the #8211; for two main reasons:

modern cars #8211; hybrid cars #8211; all come standard with such as air conditioning, power and locks, as well as more deadening, etc. #8211; all of adds weight.

Two, cars must comply much stricter federal requirements #8211; which more structural integrity, usually means more #8211; which usually more weight. Also, new have to have multiple air which also adds

Nothing wrong with #8211; and safer #8211; But it comes at a cost, both up and at the pump. We could probably 60 MPG economy compacts #8211; if were willing to  drive without things like AC and options #8211; and if the government its crashworthiness requirements.

Neither is to happen #8211; which is why the car builds $20k hybrids can#8217;t match the efficiency of $5k shitboxes.

The new base model #8211; with its much-reduced #8211; is a step in the right though. And the car#8217;s still for commuter/everyday use #8211; with AC and a decent CD-playing stereo MP3 port.

All models come with ABS regenerative braking, which the vehicle#8217;s momentum to help the batteries) as well as front side impact and curtain air for both rows.

Another The brakes are disc/drum #8211; is arguably a plus in terms of life and cost to service. brakes are simpler and more no expensive rotors to warp or calipers to replace.Drum brake often last 50,000 or more, too.

The Insight#8217;s layout is perfectly adequate for the of driving this vehicle is to see.


Toyota is still the acknowledged of hybrids #8211; having got the to market first and having had the success with it #8211; the is that dealers are demanding and getting #8211; top dollar for the Prius.

You#8217;ll also to drive the Prius for several at least to work off the difference in costs.

Even a top-of-the-line EX with voice-recognition navigation, alloy wheels, paddle for the CVT and a premium six-speaker stereo is $21,490 #8211; less the cost of the base version of the Prius.

So, if you want a new hybrid save you money as well as the Insight#8217;s definitely worth a drive.

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Honda Insight
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