2010 Honda Insight EX - Click above for high-res image gallery First impressions can be problematic, even more so when reviewing a vehicle. When the media gets its first shot at a new offering, the automaker typically invites journalists to a location of its choosing to drive under conditions that show the car in its best light. Such was the case with the 2010 Honda Insight. After our First Drive, we came away with the impression that Honda's hot new hybrid was an engaging alternative to the Toyota Prius, but we quickly came to realize the Insight's limitations and flaws after a week behind the wheel on our home turf. Get our real-world impressions after the jump. %Gallery-67238% Photos Copyright ©2009 Sam Abuelsamid / Weblogs, Inc. When Honda revealed its all-new dedicated hybrid model, it was careful to emphasize that the Insight wasn't meant to be a direct competitor to the Prius. (If you buy that, we've got a bridge you might be interested in...) Without a doubt, Honda saw the success that Toyota enjoyed with the Prius as an instantly recognizable alternative powertrain vehicle, so with the same engineering and aesthetic goals in mind, Honda's designers followed a similar aerodynamic path. While that drew a fair amount of criticism from the Peanut Gallery (the Insight's a Prius clone!), in reality, both hybrids simply adhere to the time-honored task of "form following function." In spite of a very similar shape, the styling of the Insight has its own unique touches that connect it to the rest of the Honda lineup, particularly the hydrogen-powered FCX Clarity. Most bystanders like the look, although there was some debate about the chosen wheel size. The 15-inch hoops look positively puny in the wheel arches, but while larger rolling stock would give the Insight a more athletic appearance, they would add weight, decrease fuel economy and degrade ride quality. Unlike the Toyota Prius, which carries a mid-size classification, the Insight is much smaller, sharing many of its underpinnings with the Fit. Since Honda doesn't want to put the Insight side-by-side with the Prius (we'll humor them), maybe it's best to draw a comparison between the hybrid and Honda's other sub-compact runabout. Not quite. Compared to the Fit, the emphasis on optimal aerodynamics has taken a big bite out of passenger room, with the peak of the Insight's roof sitting four inches lower than the Fit's and then sloping downward into the hatch. The rear door openings cut down sharply and make ingress and egress a pain (in one case, literally) for anyone over six-foot tall, and once fitted into the rear confines, head room is limited, with only a fraction of an inch separating one of our lanky passenger's craniums from the roof. However, we were able to fit three passengers in the back, and while the shoulder fit was snug, there was a reasonable amount of leg room. And although the Insight loses a lot of vertical space, it's still packing plenty of …
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|MPG||40 City / 43 Hwy|
|Transmission||2-spd CVT w/OD|
|Power||88 @ 5800 rpm|
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