2010 Honda Insight EX: Simple Electricity
September 18, 2009
My friend the Kaiser Permanente doc knows a little bit about cars, enough to have a BMW 3 Series and an Audi Q7 3.2 in his garage. So he was more than a little eager to get an introduction to our long-term Honda Insight hybrid.
The big surprise to me is that every little thing about the Insight seemed to be a big surprise to him, as if the car were an example of industrial magic. Who knew that when the car stopped at a light, the engine did, too? Who knew that the instrument panel gave you a little reward for driving efficiently? Who knew that the batteries last more than 100,000 miles (so far, anyway)? Who knew that the rear seats fold down to provide a flat cargo floor?
It reminded me that much of the enthusiasm for hybrids is simply built on enthusiasm for basic, no-frills transportation. And because electricity seems so simple, plentiful and cheap, everyone assumes an electric car must have the same virtues. That's why guys like my friend the Kaiser doc are always a little bit disappointed when they discover that a Honda Insight is more expensive than a Honda Fit.
For all the Honda insight's little dynamic eccentricities, I think it's a really interesting car, so perfect for Honda's brand image. And my experience with my friend the doc makes me think that the whole thing of electricity in the automobile is better served by a cheap car like the Honda insight than a super-duper sports car like the Audi E-tron.
Michael Jordan, Executive Editor @ 6,250 miles