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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Test Drive: Honda Insight Hybrid

 TEST DRIVE + Close up: Honda Insight Hybrid...

On 23 February 2011 (ie. today), I sent my family's Honda Civic for 45,000km service.  While waiting for my car to be done, I checked out the NEW Honda Insight Hybrid.  I was even given the chance to Test drive the Insight.

Thanks to the Recent Budget, the Honda Insight costs only RM98,000OTR.  Interest rate (as at this week) stands at 2.63% (if 6 years loan).


The Insight is powered by 1.3 SOHC 2-stage I-VTEC assisted by Integrated Motor Assist (IMA).  Maximum power is 88ps (+14ps IMA) while maximum torque is 121Nm (+78Nm IMA).  Combined Max power and torque 102ps and 199Nm respectively mated with CVT transmission.

The Suspension setup is a MacPherson Struts front and Torsion-Beam rear which I felt 1980s technology.


Besides the 1980s Rear Suspension, other cost cutting signs are the use of "Drum" rear brakes, Single Disc MP3+WMA Player with 4 speakers (Instead of Multi-CD Changer + 6 speakers) only saving grace being USB + Aux Port, ONLY 2 Airbags, MANUAL (Hand) front Seats adjuster, SINGLE-ZONE Auto Climate-control Air-cond (instead of Dual Zone), El-cheapo Black Fabric Seats.


Engine is WHISPER-quiet, but I-VTEC sound can be heard above 3000rpm.  Stylish Rear HONDA CRX Style tailgate. The ECO-SCORING Function is UNIQUE and "Rewarding".  Working with the "Colour changing" Speedometer (Blue = BAD driving style, GREEN = GOOD driving style),  it encourages you to drive FRUGALLY.  See Youtube Video below:

Other Good stuff, ABS+EBD+BA+VSA (Traction Control), ISOFIX Rear seats, Steering wheel Audio Remote Control (Left) + Cruise Control (Right), 6 Cup holders, 60:40 Split fold rear seats expands the already big 408L Boot space, 4 sensor Reverse Sensor, Multi-information Display, rear adjustable (3x) headrests, Immobiliser + Cobra Security System, paying 1300cc Road tax,  and LASTLY Power adjustable+retractable Door mirrors.


I spent 10 minutes test driving the Honda Insight.  The pick-up I would say is AS GOOD AS Honda Civic 1.8IVTEC (FD1). It's very torquey, I can feel the 199Nm torque in action.  Being a CVT, you can't detect the Gear change (Ie. "0" gearchange) unlike my Honda Civic FD2's 5 speed Automatic.  Braking power is SUPERB (despite using rear Drum brakes) while ride is more on soft side.  As for the Handling, it's nothing special, the Civic 2.0IVTEC (FD2) has better handling. 

That's all I can comment as 10 minutes (6km) drive is Insufficient.  NO CLEAR ROAD to drive and NO chance to test DRIVING UPHILL (I suggested a place in Section 16 but Salesman said "TIMES UP").

CONCLUSION:  AT RM98,000 it's a GOOD BUY.  But I can't get over the 1980s Torsion Beam rear suspension and Rear Drum Brakes.  Also, the level of specifications is "NEITHER HERE NOR THERE".  On 1 HAND it has Cruise Control, VSA (Traction Control), rewarding ECON-SCORING Function, Multi-info trip computer, Auto Climate Control A/c (though single zone) on THE OTHER HAND "ONLY 2 Airbags", El-cheapo Black Fabric seats, MANUAL Seat adjuster.

BOTTOM LINE: It's CBU Made-in-Japan Hybrid (Green) car.  This will earn some "BRAGGING RIGHTS" among your relatives and friends.

Well there's a saying, a picture's worth 1000 words...  Here are the pictures (40+).
 The Insight is available in 4 colours.  Above: Colour #1: Alabaster Silver Metallic.  Below: Crystal Black Pearl.

 Green Button: ECO Assist (Ecological Drive Assist System)

 Above: Multi-information Display button.

 60:40 split fold rear seats.  Essential feature.

 16" Alloy wheels with 185/55R16 Bridgestone Turanza Tyres

 Auto Light + Fog lights + Halogen headlight (manual (1980s) levelling)
 Rear reminds me of Honda CRX (1989 to 1994).  STYLISH!
 Test drive car, Colour #3, Dyno Blue Pearl II.
 EXCELLENT Leg and head room.

 ABOVE: SINGLE ZONE Auto Climate Control Air Cond.
 3x Rear headrests.  Notice the "CHEAP" Looking the Fabric material.  The Fabric reminded me of PROTON SAVVY.

 Above: Front: Colour No 4: Premium White Pearl.  Back: Alabaster Silver Metallic.
 Above: The BEST COLOUR.  Silver.  The Public seemed to agree with me.  6 months waiting lists for this colour.  Other colour 3-4 months waiting lists only.
 ABOVE AND BELOW: Test car.  I tested this car at "SUMBER AUTO EDARAN" PJ, while I serviced my family's Civic FD2.

 408L Boot space Seats up.  ??? L when seats down.

ABOVE and BELOW: For a limited time, you'll get this GIFT after Test Driving the New Insight.


Nope. The one serving me, "MARK TIN" is GOOD but he's a CHAIN SMOKER (Every 20 - 25 mins came outside showroom  to smoke).  I DISLIKE Chain Smokers.  Owner OR Potential owner,  Please feedback to me your buying experience (Good or bad), recommended Outlet and Sales Executive, Interest rate (how low/high) + Waiting time (how long you get your car) + Colour chosen.


How Honda Insight Hybrid works:

That's all folks, thanks for having the time and patience to read this blog entry.  An ORIGINAL Jeff Lim's Production (OTHER THAN THE YOUTUBE VIDEOS which is OFFICIAL HONDA'S VIDEOS).


  1. thanks for your comments..
    i really appreciated...but im still wondering about the speed and geerbox.. i came cross insight don't have gearing systems.. i booked white colour somewhere around jan 2011.. the sales man told insight have 5 speed gear... is it right... until now i havent test drive..

  2. Hi dass, you can Test drive the Insight at Sumber Auto Edaran, Jalan 13/1, PJ. It's actually 1 speed CVT with 5 "virtual ratios".

  3. Is a CVT gearing. Cone to cone connect with a belt. Same as Nisan Sylphy. I been hours reading the review n spec for this car. Yes all the information written is correct. I book a silver one today.

  4. Is a CVT gearing. Cone to cone connect with a belt. Same as Nisan Sylphy. I been hours reading the review n spec for this car. Yes all the information written is correct. I book a silver one today.