The “freaky” first-generation Insight has been replaced by an aerodynamic, four-door, five-passenger hatchback hybrid. Honda has aped “the Prius’ basic exterior design and packaging philosophy.” But its 40 mpg city, 43 mpg highway fuel efficiency falls far short of the “fantastic” Prius numbers—50 city, 49 highway. Three people can share the rear row, but only if they’re all preteens.
Smaller and less expensive than the Prius so beloved by boomers, the Insight is geared to the under-30 set. Automatic climate control, power windows and locks, rear-window defrost, cargo light, and a tilt-and-telescope steering column are all “good interior appointments for its price class.” The “best-handling hybrid yet,” the Insight also delivers superb electric power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering and electronic braking.
Car and Driver
Honda’s priority with this hybrid is “affordability,” not pushing the technical envelope. The car drives like a Honda, “with tight suspension motions, a firm ride,” and responsive steering. Push the ECON button, and a computer starts to moderate air-conditioning cycles and throttle action to maximize fuel efficiency. Maximum output on the basic 1.3-liter, four-cylinder engine is 88 hp, supplemented by a 13-hp
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How to make the ultimate grilled cheese
- Dick Cheney's America is an ugly place
- The Hobbit: A disappointing set of movies, but a worthy set of prequels
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- The liberation of Barack Obama
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- Diagnosing Die Hard's craziest injuries: A professional weighs in
Subscribe to the Week