The Insight is a solid build car designed to appeal to those wanting a decent family hatchback with good eco and environmental credentials. There are two engines on board, a 1.3litre petrol and an electric motor which both have a combined output of 97bhp. Not everyone who buys an eco car is looking for astonishing economy and the owners of the Insight will find it should return around 68mpg on the combine cycle with CO2 emissions 96g/km which means that, under current rules, the car is exempt from road tax.
This means it is not particularly fast but for most families it is ideal and comes with lots of practical ideas and lots of space, particularly in the boot which is 408litres in size. With the rear seats folded flat, that will expand to a useful 1,017 litres and there's also plenty of leg room in the front and rear. The Insight handles well; the steering is accurate and the suspension copes with bumpy roads adequately and overall the car is comfortable and refined to drive. Just use the electric motor around town and the driving is quiet and quite impressive though as one would expect it's not nearly as dynamic on motorways though the electric engine will kick in to help with overtaking and hard acceleration.
The interior has been well-designed, and even for a Honda the interior has a futuristic feel to it with various neon lights and a digital speedometer. The dashboard will also display information to help the driver drive more efficiently. It's also important to note that the Insight bears no relation to the name of the same car that came before it, though it too was a ground-breaking eco-car of its time. Hondas are very well built and reliable cars and the Insight offering is underpinned with a five-year or 90,000 mile warranty.
Why not have a look at the Insight on the official Honda UK company web site and get the latest news about the Insight in the UK at The UK Honda Owners' Club. You may also like to see what they're saying about it on the Top Gear web site.
Unsurprisingly the Insight is a safe car to drive having scored the maximum in the Euro NCAP crash safety tests and there's also electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes fitted to help the driver. There's also various airbags and vehicle stability assist too. Being a Honda, there's lots of standard equipment fitted including alloy wheels, MP3 player connectivity and climate control. Other models include automatic headlights and windscreen wipers, parking sensors and USB connection. The top range models have leather seats. Essentially, the Insight is a great offering for anyone looking for an eco-car that is fun to drive and practical for everyday family use.
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EYES ON THE PRIZE: Hybrids need to fight their corner if enough people are going to drive them. Further improvements to Honda's Insight keep it in the chase. Steve Walker reports.