2010 Honda Insight EX: A Wagon by Any Other Name
November 02, 2009
I continue to bemoan the fact station wagons got a bad rap. They clearly represent the most flexible and useful configuration you can get in a sedan-sized footprint, and so I'm sorry automakers have to disguise their designs to deliver that utility without calling their cars wagons.
Consider the Honda Insight. Everybody talks about its hybrid powertrain but look at the cargo area covered by the rear hatch. Especially with the rear seatbacks flipped down flat, the space is cavernous. Though the Insight is a compact car, it can accommodate surprisingly voluminous loads. Which is precisely the genius of the station wagon roofline. And the Insight even presses that boundary. Take out just a couple degrees of down angle in the roofline's profile and you'd have a station wagon shape, pure and simple.
And why not, I say? There's already a vertical glass element in the hatch. Too bad we can't just be honest and have the Insight be a really efficient little wagon.
It IS plenty efficient, too, but you'd expect that. Starting with a fresh fill-up and then easing into the slow-and-go freeway traffic of my morning commute, I worked the "average mpg" readout up to 53-plus, using light throttle when acceleration was necessary and maintaining momentum when possible. With the traffic-imposed limit of about 55 mph, I was using less fuel than I would have on a motorcycle.
And with all that space!
Kevin Smith, Editorial Director, @ 7825 miles