2013 Honda Insight Overview
Hybrid cars have been with us for some time and in that time they’ve made quite the impression. Even though no hybrid is more famous than the Toyota Prius, Honda was actually the first to introduce a mass production hybrid car in 1999, the Insight. In 2009, Honda reinvented its much-loved Insight, billing it as a budget friendly Prius alternative. The new 2013 Insight is the most recent incarnation of Honda’s second generation hyper-miler.
The exterior leaves something to be desired, but is still by no means unpleasant to look at. There are plenty of “look-at-me” lines and creases, which contribute to the low wind resistance and therefore good MPG characteristics. Exterior accessories like protective films, door guards, and splash guards can be added to customize the Insight.
The hybrid powerplant is carried over from last year’s Insight. Unlike the Prius, which has a rather large electric motor, the Insight uses a system called Integrated Motor Assist, in which a small electric motor gives the gasoline engine a boost when the go pedal demands it. Based around an 85-horsepower, 2.0 liter four cylinder engine with 65 pounds- feet of torque, the electric motor adds 13-horsepower and 58 pounds-feet of torque to give the Insight a total of 98-horsepower and 123 pounds-feet of torque.
So, the real biggie for the Insight – its economy ratings. Honda expects the Insight to achieve 41 mpg in the city and 44 mpg on the highway. While these numbers trail those of the Prius, we should not that the Insight’s price trails the Prius’ as well; the Insight is nearly $3,000 cheaper than the Prius. In other words, you could buy 750 gallons of gas (at $4.00/gallon) with the money you save. That translates to 33,000 free highway miles.
When we move to the interior of a car, there is a well-appointed, modern collection of materials. The dashboard is straight out of science fiction with its dashing curves, thruster-style vents, and bright blue gauges. Other interior features include Bluetooth connectivity, paddle-shifters, and a nifty multi-information display within the tachometer.
Honda has long had a good reputation for incorporating advanced safety features into all of its models. The 2013 Insight is no different, utilizing a variety of front, side, and side curtain airbags, active front head restraints, and an integrated body construction to dissipate impact around the passengers. Paired with the standard traction control and ABS systems, the Insight is indeed a very safe car winning an IIHS Top Safety Pick award.