2010 Honda Insight EX Review

2010_honda_insight_ex_05After a brief hiatus, the two-door Honda Insight returns to the market place as a four door sedan. Available in either LX or EX trim, the Insight is a huge improvement over the previous one and is as good as any other hybrid assist vehicle on the market.

One of the interesting things Honda has done with the Insight is the external badging, or rather lack of it. You need to get up close and see that the LX has a centre console while the EX has a centre console with storage and an arm rest. Of course, you could always step back and look at the wheels; Alloy wheels go on the EX while steel wheels with covers go on the LX. There are plenty of other differences, but you need to be more aware than the average person to pick them out.

As for the overall design of the Insight, it does have several “retro” styling cues such as the rear hatch which has a large, nearly horizontal back window and a smaller, vertical panel across the back to improve rearward visibility. This is very similar to what the CRX used. Side doors on the Insight are large enough to allow for easy entry and exit.

Move to the front and the styling cues are fully modern. Designers have kept such a strong “family” resemblance that the front will remind you of your favorite new Honda as opposed to just one model. For me, the slope of the nose and the headlights remind me of Accord while the grille is more Civic oriented.

Inside, the instrumentation for the driver is all modern with the two level approach similar to that used in the Civic and Fit. The speedometer is in a separate, eyebrow like upper instrument pod while the tachometer is in a lower pod along with an “assist gauge” and fuel gauge. Inside the tachometer is a driver information centre that among other things gives you an “eco driving score” when you shut the car off.

Controls are all standard Honda, but I did find a few things to play with. The first one is the green “eco” button on the left side of the dash. Turn it on and you get to go for maximum fuel efficiency and minimum passenger comfort, at least on 31 °C days. The first time I pulled up to a stop light with “eco” engaged and the motor shut off, I thought great! This is really working. Then, the air conditioning shut off and the inside turned to a sauna real quick. I turned “eco” mode off and resumed my fuel hoggish, but more comfortable drive.


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