By Cars.com EditorsJuly 8, 2009
About the video
Cars.com's Joe Wiesenfelder gives us his driving impressions of the 2010 Honda Insight.
<v Announcer>Cars.com Auto Review. Hi I'm Joe Wiesenfelder of Cars.com. We've shown you the 2010 Honda Insight hybrid before. Now we're gonna take and drive in it. Just to give you an idea.
One of the things about the Insight that we like is that it is probably the most fun hybrid to drive and probably the most like a real car. When it comes to the driving experience, the steering is nice and sharp, And there's good feedback to it. The center of gravity is nice and low because the battery is low behind the back seat. And the brakes feel like natural breaks. They don't have that kind of shifting transition feeling that a lot of hybrids have when they go from regenerative braking, which charges the battery to the regular, conventional braking. Now, as for the visibility, I have no problem driving this out in traffic. There's the funky split window here that some people aren't that crazy about. I'm sure I'm not crazy about it either. But what it does is it does let you see much lower than you would be able to, in the rear view mirror over your shoulder. And because of the design of the seats back here, the head restraints go down and there's nothing in the middle. You get a much better view than you do and say the Prius. The Insight doesn't give you quite as much information as some of the newer models that are out these days that give you just more than you could possibly want. For one thing, there is the simple charge assist gauge, which is in just about every hybrid. When you accelerate, means the electric motor is helping the needle goes up into the blue assist range. When you were coasting and breaking, especially it comes down to the charge range. And that means the regenerative brakes are helping to recharge the battery. Just above that gauge is a branch type icon that is representing Econ mode. This is a mode that comes out automatically when you start the car and when you drive, it makes the accelerator pedal a lot less sensitive. So it makes it easier to drive efficiently. For any reason, you want to go to the standard mode, you would turn it off by means of the little green button by the driver's knee. Now, one way they try to get you to keep your eyes on the road is, there's a background color behind the digital speedometer, which sits up high, close to your line of sight. And you can see there's a blue arch in there. And that is basically a reading of the fuel efficiency. Now, when you start moving, you'll see it fades. It turns a little bit green and the green means that you are driving in a more economical, fuel efficient mode. So then when you're going most efficient, so you're going downhill and recharging. It goes to a bright green. So the driving experience, we like a lot with the Insight. I think its biggest hurdle is going to be it's EPA mileage rating, which is 40 city, 43 highway. It sounds a little bit low compared to things like the Prius, but so far people who drive it, us at Cars.com included, and owners, are finding much, much higher mileage than just in the 40s, some in the 50s or even higher. <v Announcer>For more car related news, go to Cars.com, or our blog Kickingtires.net.