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Honda Insight

The Honda Insight is a hybrid electric vehicle produced in Japan starting from 1999. Represented in two generations, the car’s production was ceased in 2014. The Honda Insight is the first vehicle to be equipped with the Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist as well as the first hybrid car to enter North American market.

A Brief History

The first generation of the Honda Insight (1999-2006) was introduced at the 1997 Tokyo Motor Show. Using the Honda J-VX as the basis, engineers improved the Insight’s aerodynamic qualities and reduced weight of the structure by making it aluminium. It made the car more fuel-efficient, thus more environmentally friendly. The Insight of the first generation remains the most fuel-efficient vehicle according to the U.S. EPA as of 2014, running 53 miles per U.S. gallon combined.

Originally, the Insight of the first generation, which was delivered only as a two-seater, was available just with a manual gearbox. Later on, some cars were equipped with a CVT. The auto was powered by a 1.0-litre 3-cylinder 67 hp gasoline engine and 144 V 13 hp electric one. Supplementing one another, they performed as an average 1.5-litre petrol engine.

The second generation of the Honda Insight (2009-2014) debuted at the 2008 Paris Motor Show in Europe and at the Los Angeles Auto Show in North America as a five-door five-seat front-wheel-drive compact hatchback. This Insight is equipped with a 1.3-litre LDA series I4 SOHC i-VTEC engine producing 98 hp at 5,800 rpm and 123 lb/ft of torque at 1,000-1,700 rpm and EC motor making 13 hp at 1,500 rpm and 58 lb/ft of torque at 1,000 rpm.

The 2014 Honda Insight: Exterior & Interior Dimensions

The 2014 Insight comes in three trim levels: the base (MSRP is $18, 725), LX (MSRP is $20,500), and EX (MSRP is $22,190). All of them have the same size: their length is 172.3 in, width - 66.7 in, height – 56.2 in, wheelbase – 100.4 in. Curb weight of the base trim level cars is 2,747 lb, the LX weighs 2,756 lb, and the EX – 2,762 lb (the EX with Navigation weighs 2,767 lb).

If you hesitate over which Insight to buy, a cabin’s size isn’t the parameter that you should take into consideration – it’s the same for all trim levels: front headroom is 38.4 in while rear headroom – 36.4 in; front/rear shoulder room – 52.7/50.4 in; front/rear legroom – 42.3/33.0 in; front/rear hip room – 51.6/48.7 in. With all seats in place, cargo capacity is 15.9 cu ft. Maximum cargo capacity in the Insight cars is 31.5 cu ft.

Powertrain & Mileage

All of them have a 1.3-litre 8-valve in-line 4-cylinder engine built in, which produces 98 hp at 5,800 rpm and 123 lb/ft of torque at 1,000 rpm. Its displacement is 1339 cc. Besides, there is an EC motor, which produces 13 hp at 1500 rpm and 58 lb/ft of torque at 1,000 rpm. The motors are coupled with a CVT for the base and LX models while the EX cars offer a CVT plus paddle shifters.

All 2014 Honda Insights are estimated at the same fuel consumption ratings from the EPA: 41 mpg city and 44 mpg highway (42 mph combined). Fuel tank capacity of the Insights is 10.6 gal.

Safety Features

In the 2014 Honda Insight cars, safety is ensured by ABS, vehicle stability assist with traction control, EBD, tire pressure monitoring system, brake assist, and daytime running lights. These features are active. Passive ones are 3-point seat belts with automatic tensioning system and seat-belt reminder for a driver and front-seat passenger, dual-stage multiple-threshold front airbags and front side airbags, side curtain airbags and three-point seat belts for all, five passengers. They are available in all modifications of the 2014 Honda Insight.

Convenience & Entertainment Features

The car offers automatic climate control, cruise control (LX and EX), 12-volt power outlet, rear window defroster, height-adjustable driver’s seat, and 160-watt AM/FM/CD audio system (2 speakers for the base version, 4 speakers for the LX, and 6 speakers for the EX). The Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System, rear-view camera, and a voice recognition function are available only in the EX models as well as Bluetooth HandsFreeLink, USB audio interface (not available only with the base trim level), and steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

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