In our opinion green cars (electric cars, hybrid cars, alternative energy vehicles) are cars that are more energy efficient than your average car especially when the manufacturer has made a special and concerted effort to develop new approaches or new technologies. An efficient vehicle runs on less fuel which saves more of the world’s finite natural resources. This in turn means that we human (along with our fellow plants and animals) get to enjoy a healthier environment.
Honda Insight Reviews / Prius vs Insight
At a standard retail price of $19,800 dollars the Honda Insight is selling at a few thousand dollars below the iconic Toyota Prius.
-The image to the left represents the Honda Insight. Photo is by Brian Lau.-
This means an affordable four door, five seater package in a Prius look alike hatchback layout.
Honda markets the Civic and the Accord but what makes the Insight different is that it’s a hybrid only model again like the Prius.
What the 2010 insight wants to do is to utilize the most cost effective hybrid technology for best effect.
The result is a compact car that can go 40+ mpg and is cheaper than the cheapest Prius by about $2,000 dollars. The Honda Insight has already been tested in real life highway fuel economy tests racking and achieving an impressive 60+ miles per gallon.
Honda Insight Reviews / Design
The Insight’s design is one that has come to represent hybrids and electric cars.
The five door layout with a smooth front end and a tail that seems abruptly cut off. The widespread sentiment seems to be that the Insight looks like the Prius and there seems to be no doubt on that but in this era of fuel efficiency aerodynamics is a major factor in the design of green fuel efficient vehicles and this design seems to be among the most efficient.
Below the hood is Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid power system. The base gasoline engine of the IMA is a four cylinder 1.3 liter power plant that produces 88 horsepower and 88 foot pounds of torque. Add to that an electric motor that generates 13 horsepower and 58 foot pounds of torque which alone can get the Insight up to 30 miles per hour without the gas engine.
The banks of nickel metal hydride batteries keep the electric motor running while the motor gives back a charge of electricity during braking via the regenerative braking system. The innovation of keeping the gas engine’s crankshaft spinning while the insight is on electric power alone prevents any coughing and other unpleasant noises when the gas engine goes on-stream.
Honda Insight Reviews / MGP
The resulting package is sexy hatchback with seamless and perky performance achieving EPA estimated 40 mpg per gallon city and 43 miles per gallon highway with a combined 41 miles per gallon fuel consumption. With its standard retail price in the $19,000 range the Insight under prices the Prius its nearest rival by a between several thousand to a couple of thousand for The Prius’ cheapest model. As a comparison the Insight Ex costs about the same as your basic Prius.
For more information on alternative energy vehicles follow these links: