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Yes…it’s here. Intriguing and full of ingenious ideas and features, the Honda Insight is one of the most frugal drives in Australia. And like other Honda cars, the build quality is excellent, the interior comfortable, and the road-holding and performance athletic.
One of the excellent features you’ll find onboard the Honda Insight, is that safety is important. With an ANCAP five-star crash test result the Honda Insight is equipped with a comprehensive set of six airbags (as standard). The airbags in the front protect the driver and passenger in more ways than one. Not only do they provide cushioning in the event of a collision, they're also designed to minimise any injury that could be caused by the airbags themselves. Full-length curtain airbags round off the Honda Insight's impressive airbag package.
VSA and CTV are just two of the modern features you’ll find are standard features. The strong engine performance that is translated through to the chassis is controlled with VSA, while the smooth action of the CTV makes progress very quiet and relaxed. You’ll be driving a class leader when driving the Insight.
If you look at the dashboard of most modern cars, you’ll find the usual gadgets that tell you how fast you’re going, how full the fuel tank is, how many kilometres you’ve done, how many revs the engine is doing and maybe a bit about your current fuel economy. The Honda Insight has all that… and more. The Honda Insight aims to give you a bit more... um... insight into how economically you’re driving – which translates into how eco-friendly your driving choice is.
The dashboard in the new Honda Insight has extra dials and controls that let you know exactly how you’re doing, such as the guidance in the speedometer that changes from green to blue if you’re a bit too aggressive and lead-footed (and that applies to the brake pedal as well as to the accelerator). You’ll also find a scoring function that appraises how economically/sustainably you’ve been driving – this scoring function rates each individual drive as well as your lifetime score, so if you have had to flog the five-door hatchback along a bit (e.g. if you’ve had to whizz a child into the emergency department at your local hospital or if you’ve had to hurry to say a last goodbye to a dying relative – it happens!), you can make up for the less eco-friendly driving next time and improve your overall average. And where other cars have a “sports function” button, the Honda Insight has a green (of course) Econ button that makes every function in the car (from the air conditioning to the idle speed) run at its most efficient. The big dashboard – make that control panel – also houses the air conditioning (with pollen filter), the trip computer and display panel, and the audio system – but you’ll find the audio controls on the steering wheel.
Given that the publicity and the features the manufacturers trumpet most are environment/zero-emissions/sustainability related, it’s probably no surprise to learn that the Honda Insight is a hybrid car, running on both petrol and electricity. What this means for the driver is that when you’re running around town as normal, the Honda Insight’s engine burbles away on petrol. If you’re waiting at the lights (or for that family member who has had to nip back into the house for something forgotten at the last minute), the petrol engine cuts out and the electric motor keeps things ticking over. And if you need a bit of extra torque for accelerating, the petrol and the electric motors work together so the Honda Insight doesn’t guzzle too much petrol or belch out too much carbon (or other nasties). The CVT (continuous variable transmission) keeps things running smoothly as well as efficiently at exactly the right torque levels. Actually, the Honda Insight averages a frugal use of 4.6 litres/100 km.
The Honda Insight’s engine, incidentally, is a 1.3-litre unit that is found across the model range, which comprises the ES-T (the top-level model), the ES, the SE and the S (the basic model). Glance at the paperwork, and what stands out is the maximum torque levels are available between 1000 and 1700 rpm!
Even the exterior of the Honda Insight has been designed with economy in mind. It’s all about aerodynamics. The overall body shape has been tailored to minimise drag, and thus reduce fuel consumption. This aerodynamic shape also gives an overall impression of speed as well as being aesthetically pleasing. You’ll find a few nice touches in the exterior styling too – somebody probably had a lot of fun coming up with the headlight design in the Honda Insight, for example.
OK. So the Honda Insight tries to protect the planet. But does the Honda Insight protect you? Yes, it does. The Honda Insight has a range of active and passive safety features that protect not only the occupants of the car but also any pedestrians or cyclists the car comes in contact with – and believe me when I say that the push to make things safer on the roads for cyclists and pedestrians is an important part of reducing emissions. Brakes, of course, are a big part of this safety, and the Honda Insight is equipped with EBD and ABS brakes to bring things to a Smart stop (and nuts to the efficiency in this sort of situation – the Honda Insight isn’t stupid and will let you bang on the brakes hard even when in Econ mode). The Honda Insight is also fitted out with Vehicle Stability Assist and, for the worst case scenario, active front head restraints to prevent whiplash. And, of course, the airbags – dual front, side and curtain airbags with a safety switch-off function for the passenger seat if you’ve got the baby seat there (or else you use the Isofix child restraint preparation).
Car-pooling is an economy measure for many commuters or folk doing the school run, so it’s pleasing to see that the interior of the Honda Insight makes this possible with ample room for the driver and four passengers. The rear seats fold flat if you need to take a big load in the back, and the seats have an attractive cloth trim in either blue or grey. Cupholders are provided all round, and most models of the Honda Insight have a storage pocket on the backs of the front seats.
The current model series includes the:
· Honda Insight VTi
· Honda Insight VTi-L
For any more information on the Honda Insight, or for that matter any other new car, contact one of our friendly consultants on 1300 303 181. If you'd like some fleet discount pricing (yes even for private buyers!), we can submit vehicle quote requests out to our national network of Honda dealers and come back with pricing within 24 hours. Private Fleet - car buying made easy!
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