Thus far in its tenure at Motor Trend, the HONDA INSIGHT
has garnered more unfavorable than favorable comments. From the meager power and loud road noise to the challenged A/C and lack of a fully electric drive mode, Honda's Prius lookalike has struggled to endear us. Executive editor Edward Loh, however, spent a week with the HONDA INSIGHT
and came away with some positive, um, insight.
"I found the HONDA INSIGHT
to be a perfectly fine weekday commuter car for my 45-mile (one way), mostly freeway commute to my lady friend's house. On HONDA CITY
streets, the HONDA INSIGHT
is light and easy to maneuver. It's not fast, but you're never struggling to cut into that line for the 405 south. At the end of the on-ramp, it merges to freeway speeds with ease and, again, strides lightly with the flow of traffic. Yes, there is some wind noise from the side and a bit of drum-tight booming from below, but it's nothing a bit of Fresh Air (NPR) can't cover up."
Loh recognizes the Insight's weak points: "It struggles with heavy loads, isn't particularly comfortable with a full complement of passengers or on long road trips, it's not great in extremely hot weather (even if not in ECO mode, the A/C struggles in traffic), and it gets tossed by semis and high winds (combination of skinny tires and slablike profile)," but also views Honda's hybrid hatch as a practical and well-suited daily driver. "I could see this as the official car of SoCal's 101/405/10/5 freeway commuters everywhere. Pick it up Monday morning, park (and forget) it Friday night, gas it once every two weeks, and get on with life."
2010 Honda Insight
Months/miles in service 12/19,591 Avg econ/CO2 38.5 mpg/0.50 lb/mi Unresolved problems None Maintenance cost $238.69 (2 - oil change/inspection/rotate tires, replace spark plugs, CVT fluid, and engine and cabin air filters) Normal-wear cost $0