Consumer Reports on the Honda Insight ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Consumer Reports on the Honda Insight

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Consumer Reports on the Honda Insight

Consumer Reports does not like the Honda Insight and wasn't shy about telling the world how they feel about it. "The Insight achieved an excellent 38 mpg overall in CR's tests but fell short in ride quality, handling, interior noise, acceleration, rear-seat, access and visibility."

That doesn't sound appealing or promising.

"The Insight is the most disappointing Honda Consumer Reports has tested in a long time," said David Champion, senior director of CR's Auto Test Center. "The Insight is a noisy, stiff-riding car with clumsy handling that is nothing like the Fit on which it is based. Also, Electronic Stability Control is only available on the highline EX version."

The Honda Insight seats five and gets excellent fuel economy, but it's a noisy car with a stiff ride and clumsy handling. At its cornering limits, the Insight plows straight ahead early on in tight turns and the tail can slide out too quickly for stability control to completely prevent it. The Insight EX, ($21,790 Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price as tested), is powered by a 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine with a 13-hp electric motor combine for 98 hp that delivers 38 mpg overall. The continuously variable transmission performs smoothly. Unlike a full hybrid, the Insight requires the gas engine to turn whenever the car is moving. Braking is Very Good. Cargo space behind the rear seats is adequate.

At the end of the day, the Insight fell to 21 out of 22 for small hatchbacks and wagons, slightly outpointing the Dodge Caliber because of its higher fuel economy rating.

The low rating will result in the Honda Insight being left out of the 'Recommended' rating by Consumer Reports.

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