2001 Insight New Car Test Drive
Honda's Insight is recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency as the world's most efficient gasoline-powered automobile. It earned an average fuel economy rating of 64 miles per gallon, according to the EPA, 16 mpg better than the next most efficient vehicle.
Frugal, yet sporty at the same time, there's nothing else on the road quite like the Honda Insight. It looks slippery and futuristic. And it is. According to Honda, it is the most aerodynamic production car on the road. And it was the first gasoline-electric hybrid car sold in the U.S.
Honda Insight offers the environmental benefits of an electric car without the hassles. It drives like a normal small car, yet it is one of the most fuel-efficient and cleanest gasoline-powered cars in the world. Its tail-pipe emissions are bettered only by a zero-emissions pure electric car. It's just the sort of car environmentalists should love.
Yet, unlike the totally practical Toyota Prius, the Honda Insight somehow manages to be sporty. It only seats two people, and it's fun to drive, handling well on winding roads and cruising easily at high speeds on the highway.
Hybrid gas-electric cars are currently the best, most practical answer to the question of how to conserve fuel. With the Insight, Honda has designed a great hybrid. Adjusting to it is easy. Drivers who can live with its limited cargo capacity should find the Insight to be an enjoyable long-term companion.
Just one model of the Insight is available, which retails for $18,880. Adding the factory-installed automatic climate control system (with air conditioning) brings the price to $20,080.
Honda is adding a model with a continuously variable automatic transmission, or CVT, beginning mid-year.