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Honda peps up the Insight hybrid car (2010)

Mon, 19 Jul 2010

By Tim Pollard

First Official Pictures

19 July 2010 10:20

Honda is perking up the Insight hybrid petrol-electric car this autumn in response to customer feedback. In particular, the new 2010 Insight gets mods to the suspension to improve the ride and a few more luxurious cabin trimmings.

It seems that Honda's taken some flak over the way the Insight drives, and engineers have focused on improving the Insight's ride comfort and refinement. They've adjusted the recoil rate of the springs, altered the rear camber angles and fitted new mounts for the rear axle to make the petrol-electric hybrid glide rather than crash over road surfaces.

In this day and age of PR shiny happy people, it's rare for a company to admit openly criticism of its products, yet Honda talks of the 'negative feedback on ride and comfort levels.' Good on them, we say. CAR applauds such honesty, and we've been quite vocal in our criticism.

What else is new on the 2010 Honda Insight?

Not much – it's not really a heavy facelift. The Insight was only launched in spring 2009, after all. But these 2010 changes are being rolled out globally.

Honda's hybrid has a refreshed interior: better plastics have been deployed on some surfaces, while dashboard and seat colours are made over. Chrome rings encircle the air vents and the door sills are now topped with a metallic kickplate. There's a bit of extra kit, too, with rear parking sensors added to ES models and above and two new paint colours are available.

A new, range-topping EX model will be available from launch in September 2010, packed with black leather upholstery, DVD sat-nav and hands-free telephone kit for £20,215.

But I thought Honda's Insight was supposed to be the cheapest hybrid on sale?

It is! Prices kick off at £16,325 for the SE model and UK customers are being wooed this summer with an Affordable Driving offer which brings the price of the Insight down to a tempting £14,995 until the end of September 2010.

Whatever you think of the Insight, that's pretty amazing value for a hybrid car.

By Tim Pollard