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2009 Insight reviews

22 September 2017

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2009 Honda Insight reviews

Honda Insight reviews by year of make: 2009 Read all reviews


Tamas Oroz, Hungary

Honda Insight 2009

5 star review

The fuel economy advertised is a reality; if You drive cautiously, (accelerating in short bursts and efficiently and than decelerating without break-energy feedback) you can reach the official values! I have driven 63300 kms so far. The acceleration is unbelievable with a the proper technique by pumping the pedal so that the revs do not stay high and electric motor continously boosts. If driving calm it is astonishingly silent. The steering and suspension is sporty and punctual with a lots of feedback.

Submitted: 2012-07-17 | ID: 41066

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Syd Taylor, Staffordshire

Honda Insight 2009

3 star review

If you’re very green, the Insight could be the start of a beautiful friendship for you, because it’s a petrol-electric hybrid running on a 1.3 litre 88bhp petrol engine mated to a 14bhp electric motor. In the best hybrid tradition the petrol motor is cleverly assisted by the electric motor when the cars computers deem it necessary for a ’jolt of volts’. My pal Dr. Frankenstein - who has always had a healthy interest in hybrids - swears by his. Looking very striking with its swooping body, this five door five-seater is a world away from the two-seater Insight of twenty years ago, which sold in tiny numbers. The new Insight is a very practical small family car which significantly undercuts its main rival - the Toyota Prius - by around £3,000. Insight prices start at £16,236. First impressions are that - while the slippery shape might cut the aerodynamic mustard - one has to say that driver ingress and egress is not made easier by a steeply raked A pillar that might dent ones designer baseball cap. Once settled inside, however, a chap can get comfy easily enough. There’s supportive seating, room to stretch out for those in the back and front and a big boot to carry all that unnecessary luggage - and you find all the usual electrically powered adjuncts to modern day motoring for the terminally atrophied. Similarly, life saving airbags abound - but in saving oneself via these inflatable Salvationists ethical questions arise, which are contrary to this cars philosophy. Noxious gases are released, making self preservation a very selfish and non-green thing to do. Surely a Greenist should heroically sacrifice himself on the altar of purity for the greater good. I suggest a sharp spike on the steering column. Coincidentally, a fine example of heroic Greenism presented itself to me as I crested the brow of a hill followed by a sharp bend, and witnessed how a green minded driver had done his best and parked his Prius in an adjacent green field: such a pity that a fence was in the way. I judge the Insights performance to be adequate for today’s world with its top speed of 113mph - but make no mistake, this is not a car for those who see driving as an involving and (dare I say it) enjoyable business. It is a functional tool to fit in with these straitened and strangled times - and it does so very well. I was reasonably satisfied with the celerity of its movement up a steep gradient, but ’punchy’ was not the word that sprang to mind. Errant thoughts of pressing on in the manner of the heavy right foot brigade were sternly corrected by the Cyclops eye of economy’ that loomed into sight on the dash above the steering wheel. One is presented with current speed (in digital format) in large numerals against a background that changes from icy blue (naughty driving) to emerald green (saving the planet driving) as you progress (if that’s the word) along the road. The digital display is big enough for Mr. Magoo himself to notice whether or not he’d overstepped the mark. This is a car where that ’green about the gills’ feeling is positively advantageous. That blue light is indicative - not of our friend Dixon of Dock Green - but of the legions of Blue Meanies ready to pounce on cavalier carbon burning. Not only that, but drivers of unreliable cars of yesteryear will have to fight back the default reflex of reaching for the ignition key every time the Insight comes to a halt at junctions and becomes eerily silent. This is the eco-imperative that very cleverly, cunningly and with a degree of technological sophistication far beyond the ken of ordinary humans, comes into play and wraps down firmly on knuckleheaded extraneous gas-guzzling, be it ever so marginal. It seems to be saying ’a drop of fuel saved is a boon to the planet.’ Even so, fuel economy is not super duper. I averaged around 55mpg when Honda claim around 65 mpg. This could, of course, be attributable to my use of full afterburner everywhere. Trusty Trevor and Theresa visiting National Trust properties would undoubtedly get better results. Certainly, one might add, from a purely selfish and penny pinching perspective it can’t hurt the wallet either. Have you seen what they’re charging for petrol at the pumps these days? In fact, I wouldn’t put it past Honda to have in development, a device incorporated in the seat belt that responds to driver hypertension in the aftermath of filling up. This device triggers soothing aromas and relaxing music. They have yet to come up with a device that regenerates the contents of the wallet though - but I live in hope. There is, of course, a great deal more to this remarkable car than electrical wizardry. The CVT transmission conveys the feeling of a continuous powerband rather than selected ratios, so there is that strange feeling of a lack of a direct correlation between road speed and engine revs. Once you get used to it, all is fine and you can pretend that you’re jet engine powered and the engines are just ’spooling up’ ready for take-off. One has to say that the car never feels a machine for the open road. Ride quality is not ’magic carpet quality’ when cruising nor ’glued to the road’ when ’pressing on’. Compromise only works so far, but in our traffic congested, over regulated, ludicrously clown painted highways, one has to ask if there’s such a thing as an ’open’ road anymore. Given that this is the case for nearly all of us, the Insight makes a lot of sense. On long motorway inclines, revs fall away and one feels for the low ratio that’s going to provide instant power. It’s not there - to the extent that the car rules the roost. And for the environmentally conscious these days, it’s often thought that the driver must be ’imposed’ upon - if only for the greater good. The question is then ’Are we all doomed?’.’ Is this that National Trust trolley to which we are all soon to be committed?’ Well, I’m pleased to be able to tell you that there’s enough of the driving experience to provide fun - yet an abundance of technological admonitions to forestall untoward adventurousness. It’s a car to like, if not to love: compromised, perhaps, but sublimely diplomatic in the spooning of its medicine. The pill is well sugared, in other words. The likes of Jeremiah Clarkson may regard it as castor oil, and grimace with distaste: but Nanny knows best - given the state of the planet today.

Submitted: 2010-02-26 | ID: 41065

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Derek Bell, Surrey

Honda Insight 2009

4 star review

I had the chance of driving the Honda Insight on several occasions in late 2009 through a rental firm, so while I don’t own an Insight I’ve driven one for a several days. I remember reading the usual car reviews when it was launched and it took a bit of a beating, and while it isn’t a thrilling car it’s perfectly easy to drive. As long as you keep things simply then the car does exactly what you would expect. I wasn’t particularly concerned with fuel economy but it seemed pretty good, while its exception from the dreaded London congestion charge was the real reason for the loan! Overall, not an exciting car but its pretty economical and does its job fine.

Submitted: 2010-01-27 | ID: 41064

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