Posted December 10th, 2010 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »

The new INSIGHT,another HONDA’s hybrid car, has been on sale overseas for over a year now and will be hitting Australian dealerships from December 2010.   INSIGHT is not available to purchase in Perth WA yet, but demonstration is available at HONDA dealers.  My sister-in-law is interested in buying this car, and she told me she was going to test-drive this car soon.

The top reason why this car has been very popular overseas is its price – a list price of just under AU$30K for the base model (depends on the area in Australia).  In Perth, $32737 for the base VTi model and AU$36536 for the higher-spec VTi-L. (metallic paint: about $500 plus)  It’s the cheapest hybrid vehicle in Australia.

Besides the low price tag and the Toyota Prius-like outlook, INSIGHT has an interesting feature.  Driving this car is like a game!  Called “Eco Assist”, a part system and part game, there is a digital speedometer changes colours as you drive. Green means you’re being good, and blue means you could be doing better. Drive greenly for long enough and you’ll also start earning leaves on your dashboard. 🙂  You can do the simulation of INSIGHT driving experience here.  The lovely pink bird will tell you how you are doing as you proceed.

Furthermore, when you’re done, Eco Assist will let you know how you’re going with your overall, long-term, fuel-efficient driving, giving you an Eco score by growing a flower on the screen! 

HONDA tried to make this car lighter and cheaper.  The engine is 4 cylinder and Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) for both models.  Yes, the interior may look cheap, but the specs are pretty good.  Even base model has Bluetooth connectivity, climate control, Auxillary jack, and alloy wheels.