For The Honda Insight hybrid is an efficient, well-equipped, practical and clean-living car that can cope with family life.
Against Hybrid engine lacks muscle and isn't terribly refined. The steering has virtually no feel, and there are cheaper hybrids out there.
The Honda Insight is compromised in too many ways. Other hybrids are cheaper and better, while some conventionally powered cars are cleaner and more frugal.
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Forget everything you might have remembered about the first, two-seat Honda Insight. The second-generation version of the hybrid is a direct rival for other efficient small family cars like the Toyota Prius and VW Golf Bluemotion. It isn’t the same exercise in outright efficiency as the original car was – it’s 400kg heavier, for a start – but it has far broader appeal thanks to its five-seater cabin and large boot.
The Insight’s biggest flaw is that its CO2 emissions are over 100g/km, meaning it’s not exempt from road tax. Most other hybrids are considerably cleaner and more frugal, and some are considerably cheaper. Honda dealers are pretty stingy with discounts, too.
The hybrid system is a development of proven technology, so it should prove to be reliable, and the battery is designed to last the life of the vehicle. Honda also has a reputation for quality in other respects, so the Insight is likely to be dependable.
The Insight is compromised in too many ways to have true mass-market appeal. However, if you are willing to put up with the car’s shortcomings, this is the version to have.