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2010 Honda Insight Review

2010-honda-insight.jpgUnlike the previous version of the original Honda Insight, the totally redesigned 2010 model looks much less like a spaceship and a lot more like a state-of-the-art hybrid car. Geared mainly toward young, hip and price-conscious consumers, the Insight is both friendly on the environment and the pocketbook.

Although the 3rd generation Prius comes with a few more standard luxury features, the new Insight starts at a lower MSRP of only $19,800 with upgradeable models listed at just $23,100. In comparison the Prius has a starting MSRP of $22,000 and can climb north of $30,000 with all the goodies. However, the Insight does have a lower MPG rating of 40/43 compared to the Prius at 51/48 (and 2010 hybrid Fusion at about 41 miles per gallon). It should be noted that many of the road tests conducted by consumers got a better MPG rating than that of the EPA (although the same could be said for new hybrids from Toyota and Ford).

With a 1.3 liter VTEK four-cylinder engine and Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist System, the Insight offers a fairly smooth and quiet driving experience. Rated at 98 horsepower and 123 pounds-feet of torque, the Insight utilizes its’ electric engine when stopped and at speeds up to around 30 mph. The dashboard provides drivers with a high-tech Eco-assist system in which the background color of the speedometer turns from blue to green as mileage improves. In addition to the eco-assist, you can also utilize the Eco-guide which is a nifty little game that adds graphic tree leaves as you improve and keeps tabs on your daily driving and overall “lifetime” score.

The interior of the Insight begins with a dash forward design, mainly to give front passengers more room and comfort. The back seat can realistically seat three children or two adults, but complaints have been made about the lack of headroom for taller people, with most mentioning a problem if you are over 6 feet in height. Cargo space is 15.9 cubic feet, quite a bit larger than other several previous hybrids on the market; however, the back seats do not fold completely down, which can create a bit of a problem when transporting larger items. One nice feature, uncommon with other hybrids, is the Insights’ lift-up handles as opposed to the larger, more SUV like handles we’ve grown accustomed to on vehicles in this class. And with rear tinted windows and LED taillights, the Insight has some rather impressive design features for such an inexpensive green car.
The Insurance Institute For Highway Safety (IIHS) crash test ratings for the 2010 Insight were recently released with a good performance rating in front, side, and rear tests with optional electronic stability control. NHTSA rated the Insight a perfect 5 of 5 on the front driver impact, 4 out of 5 on the passenger side and 4 out of 5 on rollover, which gives it an overall safety rating of 4 out of 5 stars.

So, do you own one of these insightful rides? If so, add a comment below and tell us what you think!

Other 2010 Honda Insight Reviews and Resources:

Honda Insight versus Fit
Honda Insight versus Toyota Prius

USA Today

By Jeff Carey

There Are 5 Responses So Far. »

  1. Purchased an Insight EX in March of this year and we have been very pleased with the car so far. Have been getting between 45 and 48 mpg. We do feel road bumps more than with our 2006 Dodge Caravan but the Insight is quieter, handles better, and seems to have more power ( Caravan has 2.4 liter engine)than the van. I find the Insight to be comfortable both around town and on long trips of several hundred miles.
    We also briefly tested a Prius and liked it also, but it was a bit too pricy for us. While the Prius offers more back seat room, at 6′ tall, I find the back seat of the Isight to have adequate room and comfort.
    Folks looking for a reasonably priced compact car that offers great mileage should check out the Insight.

  2. My 5-foot-2, 125-pound wife recently bought an Insight and she absolutely loves it. I’m a foot taller and 100 pounds heavier, and I can just barely get into it. This is not a big person’s car.
    The gas mileage runs 6-7 mpg higher than EPA estimates. I’ve never heard of any other make consistently beating the government estimates like that. Expect in the mid- to high-40s, close to Prius territory.
    Like all hybids, it uses ridiculously expensive 0W-20 oil, available only as a synthetic. Worse, the car’s computer recommends fairly frequent oil changes. Honda says it’s OK to change the oil filter every other oil change, but who’s going to leave a half-quart of dirty oil in their engine?
    The biggest problem is that the car feels every bit as small and inexpensive as it is. You’ll hear lots of road noise and you’ll feel every tiny bump. You won’t want to take lengthy highway trips in this thing.
    On the other hand, if you’re not long of leg, it makes a great commuter car.
    My wife and I are thinking of moving from Indiana to Virginia. We’ll drive my Subaru and let the moving company tow the Insight. We love it, but even my petite wife can’t stand the idea of an 8-hour trip in the thing.
    Get accustomer to mistaking any Toyota Prius of the same color for your car. You almost have to park them side-by-side to tell the two makes apart. No question where the Insight’s styling came from.
    But with a much lower purchase price and very nearly the same gas mileage the Insight is an absolute bargain compared to the similar Prius. Unless you’re taller than average or plan long trips on the Interstate. Or plan to put an adult in the back seat, which is suitable for small children, but no one larger.

  3. Had my EX for a few months now. In short its a great city car. Wish I could say the same thing about highway driving. After about 2 hrs this thing is not comfy at all.

  4. want to purchase a honda hybrid second hand car year 2008 or above, of colour red or prunes with all options and tinted windows.

  5. I just picked up a used 2010 model three weeks ago to replace my 19mpg Tacoma. I’m getting 48mpg now and will keep it until I can afford an electric. I’m 5′11″ at 285lbs and fit in nicely. I bet if I lose a hundred lbs I could get over 50mpg. Anyway, I like it.

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