2010 Honda Insight EX: Goofy Steering
November 30, 2009
I can accept our long-term 2010 Honda Insight's busy ride and thin sound insulation and weaksauce acceleration as natural consequences of its fuel-sipping, low-costing, battery-hefting mission.
What I can't stand, though, is its crummy on-center steering behavior. For this there is simply no excuse.
The steering response as you cross juuust over center seems to go dead, like there's inertia or stiction or hysteresis. As a result, driving it in a straight line at freeway speeds involves constant, minute corrections around center.
It's not tramlining or crosswinds, it's the electric steering. And it's irritating. Behaves just like the Fit's steering, in fact, which isn't that surprising since the two cars share a lot of DNA from the firewall forward.
I'll say this, though -- I flung the Insight onto a freeway on-ramp yesterday and the thing didn't understeer like a bad bus. On the contrary, it was completely neutral, even requiring a bit of countersteering. I was floored. Oversteer in an economy car, yee-haa!
I think this last bit will be lost on Insight buyers.
Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor @ 9,521 miles.