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Published on March 16th, 2011 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez

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Honda Insight HYBRID ‘Real World’ test drive

At the media test drive event, we managed to record a 1st place in fuel efficiency with 26.1 kilometres for every litre of petrol used. Then last month we were handed the keys to the Insight for a week and we drove it hard and without the ECON mode (economy drive mode which minimises the amount of fuel used) used and we did an impressive 13.6 kilometres for every litre of petrol used.

This is a big difference but when you look at what normal petrol driven compact sedans are sipping (8-10kilometers for every litre of fuel used at best in town),

this RM98,000 fully imported family car makes just good sense to buy and own. As you can see above in the two pictures, the top dash meter (speedometer) changes colour from blue to green to show how well your using fuel on a typical drive. ‘Green’ is good and ‘Blue’ is not so good for you wallet!
Technically, the All-New Insight is created to cater for exceptional fuel economy which it does when driven in the appropriate manner. Appropriate is the key word here as the car delivers on its promise when the driver is conscious of his driving method and manner. The car has a dashboard display that ‘teaches’ the driver what is the best way to get the most out of the fuel in the rear tank. Watching the traffic ahead and planning each move is also important where you learn to coast when possible and use your acceleration wisely and with little aggression.  To further guide owners to realize the full benefits of Insight, it features a new interactive, driver-focused fuel economy assist technology called the Ecological Drive Assist System (Eco Assist). 

It combines multiple functions: a driver-activated ECON mode (stands for Effective Control) that optimizes control of the CVT, engine and related powertrain components to further improve vehicle fuel efficiency; a driver feedback function that uses an innovative speedometer display with changing background colours to provide real-time guidance to the driver on achieving higher fuel efficiency; and a unique fuel-economy scoring function using a plant-leaf graphic to provide feedback to the driver on current-trip driving efficiency and lifetime fuel-efficient driving performance.
The Insight is powered by Honda’s new generation of Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) System that ingeniously recaptures and stores kinetic energy from vehicle braking and deceleration, and supplies additional power for acceleration when needed. 

It consists of a 65-kilowatt (88PS) 1.3-liter SOHC i-VTEC engine, a 10-kilowatt (14PS) electric motor and a newly improved Intelligent Power Unit (IPU) that has been made 19% more compact and 28% lighter in size for the All-New Insight.  This smaller and more compact IPU has been relocated under the floor of the cargo area to create a 400-litre trunk space that could accommodate up to 3 golf bags; and a 60:40 split backseat that can be folded down flat to give a 584-litre flat cargo load area.
The continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) has been further enhanced to provide a smoother drive with high torque for rapid performance, a fluid uphill drive, better engine braking and quieter ride. Although the modest four-cylinder engine and electric motor produce only 98 horsepower, the fuel-saving technology of the Insight’s powerplant is unsurpassed. Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) can conserve fuel by using electric power only at low speeds and can also shut off the engine when the car is stopped. The engine then automatically turns on again when the vehicle accelerates.

In terms of safety standard, the All-New Insight has obtained a 6-star JNCAP safety rating for driver and 5-star JNCAP safety rating for passengers. Insight also did very well in many foreign government crash tests, earning five stars for driver protection in front- and side-impact tests and four stars for passenger protection in front- and side-impact tests. The Insight also earned a four-star rollover rating.

Standard car safety equipment includes dual-stage front airbags, side-curtain airbags, front side airbags, electronic brakeforce distribution, and anti-lock brakes. Without question, the interior of the 2011 Insight lives up to the high bar Honda sets for vehicle quality. The Insight feels spacious, airy, and somewhat futuristic. Like the Honda Civic, there’s plenty of forward space and a clean, multi-level dash. Seats are well positioned and covered in a soft eco-friendly cloth. The rear seat is good for 3 adults and offers a 60/40-split fold. Cargo room is also sufficient for as family drive holiday. Standard features for the entry-level edition include: automatic climate control; remote keyless entry; power windows, door locks and outside mirrors; tilt-and-telescoping steering column; manual driver’s seat height adjustment; AM/FM/CD audio system with two speakers; auxiliary audio input. There is also an impressive Eco-Assist graphics on the dash.

The All-New Insight comes in four colours; Premium White Pearl; Dyno Blue Pearl II; Alabaster Silver Metallic; and Crystal Black Pearl. At its asking price now it just makes good s ense to buy and own one as the tax free incentive might not be continued in 2012. That means if you are looking for a midsized family car or just a car for your adventurous lifestyle, then the Insight for 2011 is your best bet without a doubt.
Honda Insight Specification
Engine: 4-cylinder SOHC i-VTEC
Capacity: 1339cc
Max power: 98bhp @ 5800rpm
Max torque: [email protected] 1000-1500rpm
Top Speed: 175km/h as tested
Fuel Consumption: 41 mpg estimated
Range: 434 miles estimated
Transmission: CVT
Price: RM98,000.00


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