December 2011

Vehicle Profile: 2012 Honda Insight

The 2012 model year means extensive revisions for the new Honda Insight, a five-passenger, five door gas/electric hybrid that offers outstanding fuel economy, more technology than the Space Shuttle and an MSRP starting well under $20,000.
 
The Honda Insight (MSRP $18,350) has been identified primarily by its aerodynamic, wind-cheating design. For 2012, that slippery profile receives a number of improvements including revisions to the shape of the underbody cover below the engine, and the addition of air diffusers under the rear bumper, which smooth airflow exiting from behind. The strakes in front of the front wheels were lengthened by almost half an inch in order to more efficiently direct air around the front tires, which are wider for this mode year. These subtle refinements resulted in a two-percent increase in aerodynamic performance, and positively impacted fuel economy, with a one mpg improvement to an EPA estimated 41 mpg city and 44 mpg highway.
 
That amazing fuel economy, especially in the kind of stop-and-go driving we all experience on our way to work, is largely due to Honda’s innovative Integrated Motor Assist™ (or IMA™ system), which combines a 1.3-liter iVTEC® gasoline four-cylinder engine with a 10-kilowatt electric motor. Together, the IMA™ system develops 98 hp at 5,800 rpm, and 123 lb/ft of torque at just 1,000 to 1,700 rpm, for brisk launches. The engine and Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) underwent friction-reducing measures which also helped to increase fuel economy estimates. With a full tank of fuel (10.6 gallons), the Insight can travel over 400 miles, which should get you from San Francisco to Los Angeles with fuel to spare.
 
Inside, you’ll appreciate a host of refinements for 2012, including a more spacious rear passenger area thanks to a reconfigured rear seat and headliner that maximizes leg and head room. The gauge cluster now has a more technically sophisticated look, in keeping with the high technology under the hood. The Insight LX seats are upholstered with a new premium seat material. The Insight EX now has a combination of synthetic leather seating surfaces, along with premium fabric.
 
Outside of the engine bay, the technology continues with the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™ available on Insight EX models, providing voice recognition and a new rearview camera. In place of older DVD-based navigation systems on competing cars, the Insight features a 16GB flash memory for faster route calculation, and also provides FM traffic, a subscription-free service alerting drivers to traffic conditions and alternate routes.
 
Efficiency might be a top goal for the Insight, but so is safety. Standard safety equipment includes dual-stage, multiple-threshold airbags up front, with front-side airbags and passenger-side Occupant Position Detection System. A side-curtain airbag system protects occupants in the event of a side impact. The Honda Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure, provides improved occupant protection, as well as better crash compatibility between vehicles of different sizes and ride heights in frontal crashes. Avoiding accidents in the first place is always the best policy. Anti-lock brakes with electronic brake distribution help drivers to stop more effectively.
 
The Insight has been lauded in the press since its introduction, and has collected a string of awards along the way, including J.D. Power and Associates "Highest Ranked Compact Car in Initial Quality in a Tie" in their 2011 Initial Quality Study SM (IQS) (the Insight tied with the Honda Civic, by the way). For the past three consecutive years, the Insight was named a Top 10 Green Car by Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com.
 
The Insight is a hybrid with all the utility and passenger carrying capability of a compact sedan. Schedule a test drive today to learn how the newly revised Insight can reduce your overall carbon footprint.
 

*MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, $770.00 destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.
 
** 41 city/44 hwy/42 combined mpg. Based on 2012 EPA mileage estimates. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models before 2008. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.


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