The Honda Insight is a hybrid engine hatchback model designed with fuel efficiency in mind. The Insight has a fuel economy of 45/49 mpg city/highway with an automatic transmission and 48/58 mpg city/highway with a five-speed manual transmission. The great city fuel economy on both models makes commuting much cheaper than similar-sized vehicles.
The configuration of the hybrid engine in the Insight means that it does not require being plugged it. The battery in the Insight automatically charges while the engine is using gasoline. When the battery is sufficiently charged, the vehicle automatically uses the energy stored in it to provide additional power to the engine, lowering the gas mileage. As a result, driving and maintaining the Insight is the same as a normal vehicle.
Even for non-environmentally oriented drivers, the Insight is still an appealing choice. Drivers using this vehicle are going to need about half as much gasoline to drive the same distance as a non-hybrid vehicle. The Insight is around the same price range as similarly performing vehicles, so there is no added upfront cost. The savings at the pump should be almost immediately felt compared to purchasing a similar size non-hybrid vehicle.
The Insight only contains two seats and has a fairly small interior. This vehicle is intended mainly for commuters and short distance driving as a result. The storage space is fairly limited, but it should be sufficient for most professionals. The Honda Insight provides a more economical option for getting a person or two from one place to the next compared to most vehicles on the market.
Body Styles: subcompact hatchback
Engines: 1.0-liter three-cylinder hybrid
Transmissions: five-speed manual, variable speed automatic
Models: Honda Insight
The 2005 Honda Insight has not received any new features in comparison to the previous year.
The Honda Insight has a futuristic, sleek backed look that makes it very distinct on the road. Rather unusual for a contemporary vehicle, rear tire panels cover most of the tires. This feature, when combined with the hatchback design, creates the rounded teardrop contour of the vehicle. The body is mostly constructed from aluminum, which results in the light weight of the vehicle.
The Honda Insight is a two seater that has adequate room for most adults, but taller occupants might feel a little pinched due to the design of the vehicle. The display panel is a little cluttered due to its small size and necessity to also display information for the electric motor. Cargo capacity is limited to 16.3 cubic meters. Overall, the interior is a little smaller than average but comfortable for a vehicle designed primarily for short distance driving.
The Insight has fairly standard interior features for a vehicle in its price range. One-touch power windows, power mirrors, and power steering are all standard features. A CD player with four speakers is its default entertainment system.
Performance & Handling
The Honda Insight handles noticeably different from many similar-sized vehicles due to its lightweight hybrid design. The engine does not have the same raw power of gasoline powered vehicles. Once the Insight gets up to speed, the engine performs well, but the acceleration is noticeably slower, especially compared to six-cylinder engine cars. However, the relatively low weight of the Insight allows it to turn and maneuver very gracefully.
Overall, the performance does make slight compromises due to the hybrid design. The Insight is designed for commuting, running errands, and similar domestic uses. It is not intended to be a high-performance vehicle. For those types of tasks, the Insight handles well enough to satisfy most drivers.
The Honda Insight has driver and passenger airbags. Anti-lock brakes are a standard feature. The Honda Insight received a four-star safety rating in front and side collisions from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA).
EPA Fuel Economy
Honda Insight Automatic: 45/49 mpg city/highway
Honda Insight Manual: 48/58 mpg city/highway
- Excellent fuel economy
- Battery recharges automatically
- Low price tag
- Unique body style
You Won't Like
- Small cabin
- Poor acceleration
- Battery drains quickly if used electric assist is used too extensively
- Unusual body style
Provides good performance with about half the price at the pump of a similar vehicle.
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