When the Honda Insight first entered the market, it was also the first from the company to use its Integrated Motor Assist system. It started production in 1999 and is still being produced today with the second-generation Insight which was introduced in 2009. Touted as the cheapest of petrol-electric hybrids in the market, the Insight managed to sell more than 143,000 units all over the world a year after it was made available in Japan. The second-generation model was first seen at the Paris Motor Show, debuting a concept design that uses the same dedicated hybrid platform as the Honda CR-Z. A facelift for the second-generation Insight was implemented in 2011 for the 2012 model year.
While the Honda Insight has chosen to be modest in design, it did good work to achieve excellent aerodynamics by using a windscreen with a steep slope and A-pillars. The transition from the roofline to the windows in the rear is so gradual that you might not even notice it at all. Careful balance is attained though to ensure that there is still enough headroom at the back for passengers.
Inside, the Insight is spacious, fitted with a boot that has a 408-litre capacity and can accommodate up to three adults at the back when needed. It’s roomier though up in front so the driver and a front passenger will be enjoying the most comfort. Seats are also well-sculpted and offer good support so no need to worry about long drives.
One of the best attractions that the Insight has going for it is the fact that it is the cheapest hybrid vehicle in its class, offering a margin as high as £4000 at the very least. If you’re raring for a hybrid then and wish to work with a budget, the Insight would make an excellent choice. Not to mention that running costs for using the car are also low.
To keep things simple, the Honda Insight is only available with a 1.3-litre petrol engine matched with a battery pack and an electric motor. This pretty much narrows down what the Insight can address but Honda makes this hybrid a little bit more flexible by offering five trim options. However, the Insight is also lacking a bit in terms of design because Honda has opted to play it safe. If you’re expecting the new Insight to be more daring and innovative than its older brother, you’ll be disappointed. The sentiment is also reflected inside the Insight because while styling is pleasing and borders on futuristic, at best it is just adequate despite revisions.
The Integrated Motor Assist system is simplistic but is capable of powering a vehicle as needed. However, it is less efficient than the more complex systems used by other hybrids. There is growing interest in hybrids because they allow you to do your part for the environment by not relying as much on fuel. The Insight takes away a bit of this benefit though because it is continuously using the engine, which in turn consumes fuel. Other hybrids can completely disconnect engine use that’s why they are more efficient.
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