2012 HONDA INSIGHT
HONDA Affordable hybrid further improved
Honda Motor Southern Africa has released an updated and improved version of its trend-setting Insight hybrid family car. The revised, 2012 model year Honda Insight is the cleanest and most frugal to date.
Revisions to the Insight’s 1 339 cc engine have achieved further reductions in both fuel consumption and CO2 exhaust emissions. The combined-cycle fuel consumption of the latest Insight is now rated at 4,3 litres/100 km, while CO2 exhaust emissions have been reduced to just 103 g/km.
The exterior also benefits from subtle changes, many of which have been inspired by further efforts to improve aerodynamic efficiency. The front grille design has been revised, while the rear gets a slimmer, more aerodynamic spoiler and reworked tailgate garnish.
Inside, there has been an even greater focus on the use of quality materials and finishes, while the suspension settings have been tweaked in the interests of improved ride comfort, stability and refinement.
HONDA FLUID, EFFICIENT EXTERIOR DESIGN
The design of the Insight fuses the requirements of efficient aerodynamics, interior space, and aesthetic appeal into a single package. The five-door hatchback is also unmistakably Honda, and draws on some aspects of the FCX Clarity for its distinctive, wedged shape.
The 2012 model’s fresher front-end treatment combines a typical Honda ‘face’ with a narrower grille and slimmer headlights. The smoother front bumper is closely integrated with the new grille and headlights, affording significant gains in aerodynamic efficiency.
The tapered profile acknowledges the car’s low drag coefficient, with the top half of the body tapering towards the rear to boost aerodynamic efficiency without compromising practicality.
The rear features a steep, distinctive tailgate – again determined by both practical and aerodynamic considerations – while the bright, eye-catching LED tail lights increase safety and visibility.
The new, slimmer roof spoiler has not only been designed to reduce drag and improve aerodynamics, but has the added benefit of improving rear visibility through the wider glass area.
A smarter licence plate garnish has been included in the 2012 package, while the indicator surrounds are now keyed in blue to highlight the Insight’s hybrid identity.
HONDA SPACIOUS, FLEXIBLE INTERIOR
The 2012 Insight has also benefited from detail upgrades to the interior, with a particular focus on even higher standards of quality and comfort.
Improved rear packaging has resulted in a 10 mm increase in rear headroom. This has been achieved by adjusting the angle of the rear seat, and reprofiling the headlining, which now features curved edges.
Not all the improvements to the cabin are visible, though. Engine and road noise has been further reduced by paying particular attention to the intrusion of noise from the suspension and tyres. The steel front lower suspension arms have been replaced by lighter, stiffer aluminium versions, while a new tyre specification has also benefited noise abatement.
The 2012 Insight continues to offer an inviting interior with full seating for five occupants, while there’s more than 400 litres of cargo space, despite the presence of the battery pack. A split rear bench seat and a configurable boot floor add versatility.
The spacious, user-friendly cabin features a compelling sense of space, while also embracing the driver in a cockpit where ergonomics take centre stage. Excellent visibility is ensured by the slim A-pillars, and the overall cabin-forward configuration.
The comprehensive standard specification includes, electric windows, remote central locking, a six-speaker sound system with MP3/WMA playback capability and an iPod/USB port, climate control, cruise control, and electrically adjustable exterior mirrors. Leather seats and seat heaters, rear parking sensors, rain sensing windscreen wipers and auto headlights are also standard.
Safety is comprehensively addressed via front, side and curtain airbags, together with ISOFIX child seat mountings, active head restraints and inertia reel seatbelts. The 2012 Insight also comes with Auto doorlock with selective unlock.
HONDA HIGH-TECH HYBRID DRIVETRAIN
The Insight is powered by Honda’s established 1,3-litre i-VTEC engine with IMA (Integrated Motor Assist). The 1 339 cc four-cylinder unit has a power output of 65 kW at 5 800 r/min, with a torque peak of 121 Nm at 4 500 r/min.
The IMA electric motor is a slim and compact unit that is mounted between the engine and the Insight’s Constantly Variable Transmission (CVT) gearbox. It has a maximum output of 10,3 kW at 1 500 r/min, together with 78,4 Nm of torque at 1 000 r/min.
Combined, the petrol engine and electric motor deliver 73 kW at 5 800 r/min and
167 Nm between 1 000 and 1 500 r/min – figures comparable with a larger petrol engine, while achieving low fuel consumption and emissions.
Thus, the Insight accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 12,5 seconds, and achieves a top speed of 182 km/h.
As mentioned, combined-cycle fuel consumption of the latest Insight has been reduced to just 4,3 litres/100 km, while CO2 exhaust emissions have dropped to103 g/km, well below the SA exhaust emissions tax threshold.
HONDA PROVEN CHASSIS COMPONENTS
The Insight chassis is cleverly designed to allow for more interior space, and improved packaging for the battery pack. It comes with front MacPherson struts, an H-shaped rear torsion beam, and ABS-controlled disc brakes all round.
The Insight is equipped with Honda’s Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) as standard. The system is designed to assist the driver in maintaining control during cornering, acceleration and sudden manoeuvres by applying braking to the right or left hand wheels as necessary and managing the engine torque systems.
The Honda Insight retails for R272, 500 and is covered by a three-year/100 000 km warranty, and a five-year/90 000 km service plan. Service intervals are every 15 000 km.