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Honda adds Insight to SA range

2010-11-19 22:32

HONDA'S NEW INSIGHT: A compact family hatch with a huge boot and very wallet-friendly fuel economy - check the figures!

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Honda
Model Insight Hybrid
Engine 1.3 litre four-cylinder petrol / electric
Power Combined - 73kW @ 5800rpm
Torque Combined - 167Nm from 1000-1500rpm
Transmission Constantly variable with paddle shifters
Zero To Hundred 12.5ec
Top Speed 182km/h
Fuel Tank 40 litres
Fuel Consumption 4.6 litres/100km (combined cycle)
Weight 1650kg
Boot Size 400 litres
Steering Electric power assistance
Airbags Yes
Tyres 185/55 16"
Service Intervals 15 000km
Service Plan Five-year or 90 000km
Warranty Three years or 100 000km
Price R259 900
Rivals Toyota Prius
Honda South Africa has added a second hybrid model to its passenger car offering - the astoundingly fuel-frugal Insight is here.

The car has been available in other world markets for some time but has arrived here after the much newer CR-Z hybrid sports coupé that had its SA debut earlier in 2010 and is already an SA Car of the Year finalist. World demand for the car has been blamed.
The Insight is a five-door family hatchback powered by Honda’s innovative IMA drivetrain – an efficient hybrid that combines a frugal, efficient 1.3-litre petrol engine with a compact, light electric assistance motor to give good all-round performance with thrifty fuel economy and low CO2 emissions.
It's also sportily good-looking, efficiently wind-cheating, carries five people on flexible seating and has a boot capacity of 400 litres. It's also well provided with comfort, convenience and safety features.


Graham Eagle, the genial sales director at Honda SA, told Wheels24: “The Insight's arrival has been eagerly anticipated for some time. Its SA debut is in line with Honda’s commitment to launch products reflecting cutting-edge technology and driving enjoyment without losing sight of the need for value-added, eco-friendly motoring.
“The launch of the Insight (pretty much unherallded and with no ride-and-drive) is the second hybrid car from Honda SA. Highly positive reaction to the CR-Z showed that local motorists already acknowledge the compelling benefits of hybrid cars.”
Eagle said the current-generation Insight had been on sale in Europe since 2009; the version for South Africa will have the latest updates introduced at October's 2010 Paris auto show. These include  suspension improvements and changes to the cabin. "The result," Eagle says, "is the best iteration of the Insight to date and a car that will surprise and delight South Africans on many levels."
Honda says the spacious cabin shows compact cars don’t have to be cramped. "It has seating for five amd there’s more than 400 litres of boot space despite the presence of the battery pack. A split rear bench seat and a configurable boot floor add versatility

FIVE-DOOR HATCH: The tail door on Honda's new Insight opens on to 400 litres of boot space and has a second window for better rearward vision.

"The spacious, user-friendly cabin has a compelling sense of space while embracing the driver in a cockpit where ergonomics take centre stage. Excellent visibility is ensured by the slim windscreen pillars and the overall cabin-forward configuration. There's a second rear window below the traditional bootline for better rearward vision."

Standard spec includes  power windows, remote central locking, a six-speaker sound system with MP3/WMA capability and an iPod/USB port, cruise control and power external mirrors. Passengers are protected by front, side and curtain airbags, active head restraints and inertia-reel seatbelts. Child-seat anchors are standard.
The heart of the Insight, however, is its innovative combination of 1.3-litre petrol engine and a supplementary electric motor. The petrol engine is capable of 65kW at 5800rpm and 121Nm at 4500rpm and the electric motor 10.3kW at 1500rpm and 78.4Nm at 1000rpm - it's mounted between the petrol engine and the constantly variable transmission

FAMILIAR TERRITORY: The Honda Insight's steering wheel will be familiar to all other Honda drivers - as will the bright illumination colours on the fascia.

Combined, that's 73kW at 5800rpm and 167Nm from 1000-1500rpm – comparable with a larger petrol engine but with much lower fuel consumption. Combined, they will take the Insight to 100km/h in 12.5sec and on to a top speed of 182km/h. Fuel consumption is listed as 4.6 litres/100km in the combined cycle and 4.7 in city driving. Equally impressive is the tax-beating CO2 emissions rating of only 108g/km.
The Insight chassis is cleverly designed allowing for more interior space, and improved packaging for the battery pack. The Insight comes with front MacPherson struts, an H-shaped rear torsion beam, and ABS-controlled disc brakes all round.

Stability control and anti-lock brakes are also in the package.
The Honda Insight will be in South African showrooms in December 2010 for R259 900, which includes a three-year or 100 000km warranty and a five-year or 90 000km service plan. Scheduled services are 15 000km apart with no additional service requirements for the hybrid components.

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