The all-new Honda hatch has landed on our shores, claiming a 40% reduction in cost to run
Honda says that as well as being stylish and fun to drive, the new Insight costs 40% less to run than the average small hatch.
The Insight is powered by a dual power plant unit - a two-stage i-VTEC system that gives Variable Cylinder Management, and a dual spark ignition system. This, coupled with Honda's Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) provides a total output of 72Kw and 167Nm of torque.
The IMA system includes Auto-Stop and regeneration charging of the electric storage battery, capturing energy that would be lost in braking or deceleration and returning it to the car for "fuel". An ECON button is also available, to optimise gear ratios, engine revs and output, air con tuning and cruise control.
And yet another featuer to encourage the driver to use more efficient driving techniques - the Honda coaching system, which changes the background colour of the speedo between blue and green, to indicate to the driver their current driving style and offering the option to improve their efficiency.
The proof seems to be in the pudding, with the Insight winning the Supreme Award as New Zealand's most cost efficient car to run in New Zealand’s 2010 AA Energy Wise Rally. The winning drivers achieved 4.6l/100kms over 1763kms (NZ$147.83) which matches its catalogued ADR fuel economy figure.
For the gadget oriented, a host of toys come with the Insight. Racing inspired steering-wheel mounted paddle-sportshifters are standard, converting the CVT auto into a seven-speed manual. There's CD, AUX input, MP3 and iPod compatibility. And, of course, there is also the computer that provides a host of options to view how the IMA system is integrating the petrol and electric motors.
And owners can take their own toys with them in the 400 litres of boot space when the seats are up (expanding to 584 litres floor to window line when the seats are down).
The Insight achieved a 5-star EuroNCAP safety rating.
The 2011 model is on sale now from $35,600 and includes sport and leather model options.