What both engines give you isn’t 112bhp and a whopping 199Nm of torque but you get 98ps and about 167Nm only. This is what happens when one engine/motor gets peak power/torque at one part of the rev range compared to the other.
Anyway, I have to say that if this car was my daily driver I won’t be able to get what Honda is claiming – 4.4l/100km. The 2012 Honda Insight has all the gadgets an eco-friendly fuel saving car has and this basically means low rolling resistance tyres, a CVT gearbox and stop-start function. These are all things I have decided to not like very much after driving the Insight.
Firstly, low rolling resistance tyres are hard and somehow add to a lot more tyre clobber than usual. When you’re in the Insight you notice some of this even if the cabin is indeed a nice place to be in with its good driving position (with the exception of the fact that half the digital speedometer being blocked by the top of the steering wheel in the position I felt most comfortable with). I suppose this could be due to the car being pretty quiet if you’re just pottering around town.
Secondly, the CVT gearbox like 90% of the CVT transmissions out there is slightly horrid. A CVT can provide better fuel economy than other transmission types by enabling the engine to run at its most efficient revolutions per minute (RPM) for a range of vehicle speeds. The one is the Honda Insight highlights this fact clearly.
[/center]If you floor the loud pedal to the metal you’d notice that the engine holds steadily at 6,000rpm as the car slowly matches the engine speed. This is actually quite irritating as an engine running close to its redline does not sound nice especially if you add the fact that the car is actually quite slow. All it does is make the car feel tiresome after awhile.
Thirdly, the stop-start function does not work very well in the car we tested. Oh yes the engine will stop as soon as you reach the traffic light but it restarts just after a few seconds which makes it extremely pointless. And irritating as you can feel each and every restart.
The 4 cylinder 1.3-litre engine isn’t something on super soft engine mounts or a paragon of refinement even if it is efficient. I suppose its also pointless as when the engine shuts down, the air condition compressor shuts down too, making the cabin a pretty hot place to be in our tropical weather. Maybe this is why the stop-start function isn’t working as its supposed to. But then again, we did try it with the air-conditioning off. It still did the same thing. We tried it with the Insight’s ECO button on and off. It still did the same thing. Maybe its because we’re barbarians trying out a fragile flower. Who knows.
And so, after all that complaining the question is whether the car is worth spending your hard earned dollars on.
I suppose it is. It does the transportation reason for buying a car worth it. You do not have to walk, take the MRT or take the bus. It is pretty refined and as torquey as a 1.6-litre car. The materials used in its cabin are also of good quality as is its build quality.
The dashboard looks good albeit a little confusing for first timers. It rides decently well but handling isn’t all that great with its lack of feel steering and body roll. But do not expect to match the fuel economy figures given in this hybrid.
I think you could only do so if you drive like Mother Theresa. If you are a heavy footed grizzly, don’t even think about it. And if you are a grizzly, this truly isn’t the car for you.[center]