When they first arrived on the scene, hybrid cars held the promise of clean and affordable EV transport, but too often failed to deliver on range or performance. Thankfully things have changed.
The new Insight from Honda has taken a huge step forward, combining traditional driveability and convenience with excellent electric vehicle technology. What sets it apart from the competition?
Looks and Comfort
Unusually in today’s SUV-dominated market, the Insight is a sporty sedan rather than a hulking hatchback. It’s based around the tried-and-tested Honda Civic bodywork overlaying a cutting-edge hybrid powertrain.
But despite its relatively compact body shape, the Insight can still seat up to five adults in comfort, although four might be a more realistic number for longer journeys.
And as you’d expect from a modern Honda, the Insight is equipped with a full range of interior comforts, from touchscreens through Bluetooth to Wi-Fi hotspot and tethering.
Innovative Hybrid Powertrain
However, the most impressive aspect of the Insight is its innovative powertrain design. Earlier hybrid technology largely used the electric motors as a backup to the gas engine, improving fuel economy but without going the full EV distance. The Insight flips this idea on its head.
As standard, the Insight contains a 1.5L 4-cylinder gas engine, but this is mostly used as a generator to charge the battery. The main power comes from an electric front-wheel motor which pushes a respectable 151 horsepower, although when more power is required the gas engine can kick in to take over direct drive of the wheels.
This configuration provides excellent fuel economy, with figures of 4.6L / 100km in the city and 5.3L / 100km on the highway. However, if you require an edge to the car’s performance, the continuous automatic transmission can be seamlessly switched to Sport Drive mode, which delivers a little more power and excitement at the expense of economy.
Strong Safety Features
Honda have built a solid reputation for safety, and they don’t let their standards slip with the Insight. As well as passing the US NHTSA tests with a top-level five star rating, the sedan is well equipped with a wide range of active and passive safety technology, including:
– Full set of driver, passenger, and second-row airbags.
– Honda’s VSA stability control system for surefooted handling in hazardous conditions.
– Lane keeping assistance with departure warnings.
– Forward collision detection with automatic mitigation braking.
– Backup camera and LaneWatch right side camera.
What’s more, these features are standard in the base-level trim rather than offered as expensive optional extras.
Honda Insight: The Verdict
It’s only fair to say that the Honda Insight won’t win any straight-line speed races or blow you away with its acceleration, but that’s not what it’s tilting for. Instead, it’s an ideal choice for daily commuting and general errands, offering a smooth drive, outstanding fuel economy, high comfort, and more than a little style.
To see for yourself how far electric vehicle tech has come in the last few years, contact us now to arrange a test drive of the ground-breaking Honda Insight hybrid.