Review: Honda Insight Proves Green is Good
I’m a horrible eco-driver.
At least that’s the impression I got while driving the Honda Insight.
Equipped with what Honda calls Eco Assist – a system that minimizes the compact hybrid’s energy use to save on fuel – the car rewards the driver with “leaves” based on efficiency and changes the background colour of the speedometer from blue to green to indicate economical driving.
Well, I put considerable effort to maximize the “leaf count” after each journey and to keep the dashboard brighter than the best golf greens.
However, the Toyota Prius – Insight’s main competitor – reportedly gets 3.8 L/100km. But the Prius starts at $27,500, making the Insight the least expensive hybrid currently available in Canada.
While the Insight’s exterior is strikingly similar to the Prius (and, I really do wish more time was spent to differentiate it from its closest competitor), the interior layout cleverly uses limited space to house all needed controls. A simple circular panel next to the steering wheels takes care of climate options and the audio console is not too far out of reach when driving.
Speaking of driving, this is a fun machine to command. Yes, it’s slow out of the gate like any other hybrid, but acceleration is better than expected with 88 HP from the engine and an additional 13 HP from the electric motor. I didn’t enjoy the “split view” looking back with the rearview mirror, due to its hatchback, but I learned to get used to it. And having to spend a fraction at the pump quickly made me forget the small qualms I had with the design.