2010 Honda Insight EX: The Hybrid Look
January 05, 2010
Apparently there are some guys out there who are not comfortable with the way a hybrid vehicle looks. Apparently these are the guys for whom the Ford Fusion Hybrid has been designed, at least if the television ads that keep breaking into football games are any guide.
Of course, we're all made pretty uneasy by some big truck with a leafy green decals, even when we do the math for the percentage of improvement in carbon emissions and all that. But even so I like it when a hybrid looks different. I want it to express a different sensibility.
Really I want it to look clever, which is pretty much the only thing a hybrid as going for it. So a hybrid should make what it can out of a wind-cheating shape, flush wheel covers and sliver-size airfoils. Such things are appropriate for a hybrid as they are for cars at the Indy 500, so I want to see the visual expression of performance, even if it's drag coefficient rather than horsepower.
Maybe this is why I like the way the Honda insight looks. And when I see a 2010 Toyota Prius with zippy cast-aluminum wheels, clear-lens taillights and a shiny Scion-style paint scheme, I'm a little confused. And when I see a Ford Fusion Hybrid that looks like any other Ford Fusion sedan, I can't help thinking that the money spent on putting a marketing band-aid over the car's appearance might have been better spent in the wind tunnel or the dyno.
I know that a hybrid is a real car these days, but I guess I still want it to be special. Probably I'm one of those hybrid troglodytes who should still be driving a 2000 Honda Insight.
Michael Jordan, Executive Editor @ 10,885 miles.