• Jul 22, 2009

2010 Honda Insight EX - Click above for high-res image gallery

It looks like Honda may be responding quickly to early criticism of its new Insight hybrid. Recent reviews of the Insight have been particularly harsh, especially when compared to the new Prius. Despite Honda's claims that the Insight is not a direct competitor to the Prius, AutoCar claims Honda engineers are working hard to get closer to the Toyota's mileage. It's not clear how close they can get without some significant changes to the powertrain -- something that could take considerable time and expenditure.

While Toyota clearly has bragging rights in terms of efficiency, one of the primary criticisms of the Honda has been its ride and handling. The Insight works well enough on smooth roads, but is less behaved over rougher pavement. Changes to the suspension could be accomplished pretty quickly and even rolled out as a running change.



Photos Copyright ©2009 Sam Abuelsamid / Weblogs, Inc.

[Source: AutoCar]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 35 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Heh. Sounds like quite a chore. I drove an insight. It *tries* to involve the driver. Hard. But it doesn't work. Thought not as bad as Mr. Jeremy Clarkson claims, the Insight has a lot of room for improvement. Insight V.2. has gotten me intrigued.
        • 5 Years Ago
        ... or you could just buy a Prius and be happy the first go round...
      • 5 Years Ago
      If you drive a 1st gen honda fit it handles so good that if you dont go look at the torsion beam on the rear tires you would swear its some other type of suspension.. and the brakes on the 1st gen honda fit even though on the rear its drums it breaks really good! so as long as the torsion beam and brakes are incorporated in a good way its all good! but i agree that on the insight or second gen fit that is not the case.

      the main thing wrong with the insight is the 10 year old IMA technology. toyota has improved it a long way since we saw the first gen prius. IMA is still the same as it was 10 years ago.

      secondly and sadly u can tell there was some serious cost cutting done on the car. seats feel cheap dashboard well not hondalike! hmm even the sheetmetal it feels tin as a sardines can! im pretty sure the paint is the cheapest in the industry to save cost!

      this car is too expensive! thats why people are complaining! the way to fix this car asap is to simply take 3K off msrp. that way the ex/nav will be 20k. and the lx will be 17k which will fit right above the fit sport

      people compare this car to a prius because for $800 more u can get a prius if i was in the market for a hybrid i wouldnt even consider the honda.

        • 5 Years Ago
        I think the torsion beam and drums work OK for a 2500 pound car, but adding in the extra ~200 pounds for the Insight might stress them too much.
      • 5 Years Ago
      How about the cheap plastics used in the interior? Really quite awful.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's really the only way to keep it priced below the competition.

        Sound familiar? *cough*BIG THREE*cough*

        .....
      • 5 Years Ago
      if they fix up the new insights, it would really suck to be an owner of a 2010, when the 2010.1 model comes out a couple months later as a running change would indicate. Also buying one could be hit or miss for getting the new batch with the changes(assuming they happen) unless they identify them easily. If they are easily identified, then good luck to dealers trying to move old stock.This could end up being a very awkward situation.
        • 5 Years Ago
        it won't be an issue if that happens.. there will be people looking for a discount at slight disadvantage.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If they didn't want it to be compared to the Prius, then they shouldn't have made it look like a rebadged Prius.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow, great attitude coming from Honda. I wish I was able to see the same kind of sentiment coming from GM and Chrysler.. sigh...
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Great attitude from Honda" huh?

        If the domestics had done this, you would have been complaining saying you hate the Big 3 for making the buyers their beta testers and that they should have gotten it right the first time.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Humm, I'd rather see the "Get it right the first time" attitude, like I've been seeing from GM and Ford recently. I don't like being a Guinea Pig.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That's just my opinion, Mike. Hybrids are a step in the right direction, if not from the actual environmental impact then in terms of social impact. I don't like hybrids because nickel mining is very environmentally harmful. (Do a search if you want sources, they're everywhere) So along the total manufacturing process of a modern hybrid, you end up polluting more than you would with a similarly sized combustion engined car. The green-minded people without the prescience to do their full research end up buying these types of vehicles. The carmakers will still sell them because people will buy them but that doesn't make hybrids true to their proposed intentions. They're a complete farce and unless the volume manufacturers switch to "cleaner" batteries, (like LiPo for instance) I'll continue to hold them in contempt.

        The ONLY good part about hybrids is that it shows that people actually care about the environment. It shows that they're stupid, but they care. I'll keep burning gasoline until somebody finds a better way for me to get around (and still have fun doing it) that's not actually somehow worse for the planet.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think Honda guessed that they could pitch it as an "entry full hybrid" below where the Prius sits. They would have liked to undercut the Prius price by a significant margin, but Toyota decided to price their base level Prius very competitively, therefore negating much of the advantage Honda sought to gain. Not that 3000 isn't a significant margin, it's still not enough to escape comparison.

        I'm not sure IMA has the potential to rival HSD in terms of mileage anyway. As for ride quality... these people are likely the same ones who would pick a loaded ES350 over a 335i ten times out of ten if they had 40K+ for their cars but want Hybrids because they want to be cool and hip and trade their own tailpipe emissions for industrial and manufacturing emissions that are even worse.

        I can't wait to pull up to the first d-bag I see that buys the new Lexus HS250 or whatever and tell him "Nice Prius." I hate hybrids.
      • 5 Years Ago
      What a shame...They wanna be cheap, they found cheap.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You know what's ironic? I read your comment... and then your screen name. :P
      • 5 Years Ago
      zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
      • 5 Years Ago
      Until they do something about the atrocious rear head room AND the pathetic blind spots this car is worthless to the people it's intended for.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Considering that they cheaped out by skipping the 3-stage i-VTEC from the Civic Hybrid, thats probably on the short list of upgrades. That would boost efficiency for sure, and possibly power. Tweaks to the suspension and sound deadening would be easy enough too. I still think the car is a waste, but at least they're improving it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I hope this isn't a surprise to anyone. Honda went from the concept of making the best in the 80's and 90's to making the cheapest in this past decade. The press releases now seem to focus more on the superficial features such as the number of cupholders sooner than the technological acheivements. I also believe we have a younger generation that doesn't appreciate the mechanical refinements that Honda was formerly so well known for. This Insight has a crude torsion beam suspension and drum brakes. Sorry, but no matter how much they tune or tweak, you can't overcome those serious limitations to ride quality and handling. You can certainly say it's "adequate" as is, but it won't win any contests. Honda was so obsessed with hitting their cost target, but apparently failed to realize that people seldom buy the cheapest version of any model.

      Bring back your fully independent double wishbone suspensions, quit using drum brakes altogether, and start innovating in the engine and transmission departments again. Make the best car instead of the cheapest, and people will buy, regardless the number of cupholders.

      Carlos
      • 5 Years Ago
      There was a video posted up a while back that has stuck with me, it's tag line was "Honda success through failure." With their failure here they will succeed in making the Insight a better car. I see nothing wrong with that.

      Yes you can argue that they should have gotten it right the first time, so should have Tesla with their CEO and the Roadster, GM with the Volt, Ford with the 1st gen Fusion, Toyota with the 1st gen Prius. They all had something wrong with them until the companies corrected them. I'll be happy to pick up a 2010 model Insight at a nice discount and deal with minor problems.
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