Although some people say that hybrids are more like city-dwellers rather than cars intended for longer journeys, Honda Insight manages to do its job outside the city in a pleasant and enjoyable way.
As always, fuel consumption is the main topic of discussion. Driven on Honda's perfect roads, the Insight should burn around 4.2 l/100km (56 mpg), but real figures aren't far from that. Highway, 130 km/h (80.7 mph), cruise control on, fuel consumption of 5.4 l/100km (43.5 mpg). Things are far better on a country road where the on-board computer's estimates matched Honda's – 4.2 l/100km (56 mpg).
However, such an impressive mileage can only be achieved if the driver adopts the old man's style. Meaning that the car should be driven as smooth as possible, with slow acceleration and easy braking, without exceeding speed limits and using the Eco mode. But how specifically does this pre-defined mode act?
Without going too deep into details, the Eco mode modifies certain settings of the car to improve mileage as much as possible, but don't expect to save more than 1 maybe 2 mpg. Specifically, pressing the ECON button makes the throttle pedal less sensitive, thus limiting the effects of hard acceleration. In addition, it re-adjusts the CVT for increased economy, while also taking control of other systems, such as the air conditioning which is turned off more often to save fuel. One thing worth mentioning is that the cruise control function also changes the way it operates, allowing the car's speed to vary a little bit for smoother acceleration and deceleration.
The experience you get when driving the Insight outside the city is not too bad though. There are some sources of noise at high speeds, but the main sound you'll hear when cruising on the highway is actually the one of tires rolling on the ground. Unless you're having a heavy foot...
In this case, you'll be surprised to find out how noisy the engine actually is... In a bad way, that is. The lag between throttle push and acceleration per-se is highly noticeable, especially when driving in Eco mode. Furthermore, driving in sport mode (yes, the CVT configuration also boasts a Sport mode for a “blood-pumping” experience – you'll understand what's with the quotes a little bit later) doesn't change too many things in the car's behavior. The throttle is slightly more responsive, but performance won't be improved too much.
As we mentioned before, the car comes with cruise control, which helps the driver further increase mileage by choosing the optimum cruise speed for the given driving conditions. The trunk is spacious enough (408 liters), but the rear seats can also be folded to get as much as 584 liters of storage volume.Continue reading
Hold on, Mary would like to say something...
Finally, a car with a greater affinity for fuel consumption. I know I told you that I hate the Prius but I am thrilled to see that hybrids and electric cars are becoming more popular, it's the future, you know it's the future, don't you? We simply can't continue killing the environment, we MUST stop right now, we must stop cutting trees, we must stop killing all those cute animals, we must stop burning gasoline, we'll be screwed in a few years, trust me...
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