Honda Insight

The Honda Insight is the most fuel efficient vehicle in mass production, ever. No exceptions. It was also the first hybrid vehicle available in the United States, hitting the streets in 2000. From its incredible efficiency to it's head turning two-seater design, the Honda Insight unveiled to the west the promise of hybrid technology.

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Honda Insight
1st Hybrid in the USA
Hitting the market long before the Civic Hybrid, the Insight was the first vehicle to use Honda's Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) technology, featuring a parallel configuration so the electric motor never powers the vehicle all by itself. Instead, it assists the three-cylinder, 1.0 liter gasoline engine under increased load, such as during acceleration or going up a hill.

Available with either a 5 speed manual transmission (60 city / 66 highway) or a continuously variable transmission (57 city / 56 highway), both options get incredible mileage. A single tank can take a driver from Washington, DC to Montreal; that's roughly 1/3 the fuel a conventional vehicle would consume. With incredible efficiency, Insight drivers lead the way towards energy independence.

Much of the vehicle's fuel efficiency comes from engineering breakthroughs unrelated to its hybrid drive train.

Honda Insight
And Still The Most Efficient
Invisible to the casual eye, the Insight features a very lightweight chassis, making use of aluminum instead of steel. The wheels are also made of a lightweight alloy to reduce weight. As outlined in our efficiency obstacles article, the heavier a vehicle is, the more energy is required for propulsion. Contrary to popular belief, the weight reduction has not compromised the Insight's safety ratings - receiving 4 out of 5 stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in each category: Driver, Passenger, Front Seat, and Rollover Resistance (there is no back seat).

Like other hybrids, the Insight uses regenerative braking to charge the Ni-MH batteries while braking.

The most amazing thing about this vehicle may be its aerodynamic design. With a drag coefficient of only 0.25, the Insight is able to move at high speeds with incredibly little wind resistance, allowing for its impressive highway mileage. Contributing to its sleek design are rear wheel covers, a teardrop shape and Kamm back, and pannels under the vehicle to reduce turbulence. In fact, it's more aerodynamic than a Ferarri Modena. Aerodynamics alone allow the vehicle to consume 30% less fuel than conventional vehicles to operate at highway speeds.

External Honda Insight 2004 Reviews

Consumer Guide Review of the Insight:

Not only did the front-drive subcompact function differently from any car on the road, it looked wholly different as well. Aerodynamic styling teamed with lightweight aluminum-intensive construction. The Insight soon earned the Environmental Protection Agency's top fuel-economy ratings. Insight Review:

...the Insight is a small but showy challenge for the single environmentalist or couple...'s review of the Honda Insight:

Because it is a two-seater with limited cargo space, the Insight works best as an urban commuter or a second or third vehicle for an environmentally conscious family. The Insight is an improvement over electric cars because it requires no battery charging or special fuels - just regular gas, and not much of it.

2004 Honda Insight Review Summary

HCG News Headlines

California Hybrid Owners Recieve Discount
EPA Announces Best 2006 MPG Cars
Gas Increases Outpace Salaries
Honolulu Considers Tax Break
New Hybrid Sales In April 3x Last Year