Honda Insight 2010 – test drive

I have wrote about Honda Insight 2010 coming this year on two occasions here: (1), (2).

And I have expressed some of my concerns already, but now I have actually had a chance to try it last weekend… And there are my thoughts and ramblings.

To say I do like my Honda (Accord) and I was looking to replace my Nissan (Altima) with a new car.

With prices on gas, on cars, new models and personal preferences, a new Honda Insight was my target.

I have tried this EX model and I am afraid that I would have to look elsewhere or enjoy my old car a little longer and there is why…

  • As I said before, 40/43mpg (48/45 mpg for Prius) is not an impressive statement from Honda for the comeback of the Insight. Not at all. Yes, driving in ECO mode and trying to stay in the “green” zone may help improve the mileage, but… There are some reports of 60+ on the highway, but I want to see it first and test-drive is probably not a good test for it and I do not want to turn everything off and drive at cruising speed just to get good mileage as reported here.
  • Car feels very fragile when it comes to driving and acceleration. I am somewhat aggressive driver and it was very hard for me to be “green” and accelerate at the same time. There goes mileage…
  • To be fair, on the cruise control, car stayed steady in the “green” zone.
  • In contrast to some reviews, it was fairly quiet inside a car in all driving conditions and engine noise does not stand out like for ex. in Ford cars I have driven in the past.
  • And engine kick-in was not affected much by the AC running at 20% of airflow power.
  • No mpg estimation while driving. I read somewhere that it is optional and only available in some models, but I think it should be standard to “prove the point”.
  • Small… very. Yes, after Accord and Altima, my expectations are a little bit high, but having 6′ one hits the celling sitting in the back and has claustrophobic feeling sitting in front. Plus foot space was on the verge of rejection/inability to fit.
    In addition it is not as wide as Accord and a rear view was a little bit “compressed”. Otherwise, with bigger side windows, it gives better view to the passing cars.
    Just to compare actual numbers, there is a table showing side-by-side Interior dimensions for Insight, Prius and Accord.
  • I did not like light gray interior plastic though, kind of cheap, but it is personal feeling off course.
  • I have driven in-city and on highway, and aside from the need to stay “green” car did provide enough power to stay in the crowd and not behind most of the time (yes, acceleration may be a problem :))
  • Price probably could be cheaper all consider, but 20K is few thousands cheaper then Prius. Question remains if it covers the difference between two.

Bottom line: if you are tall person, this car may not be for you. Add to this unimpressive mileage and some “cheap” feeling of EX model and expectations are ruined. I have had higher expectations, and may be I shouldn’t. Will see if anything would change with next year model. I guess it is time to visit Toyota or wait for Chevy Volt.

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