Being environmentally friendly has been strongly emphasized these days. From reducing plastic bags to polystyrene boxes, recycling to reusing – various parties have jumped on the “green” bandwagon.
That includes car manufacturers too, such as Honda.
Just recently, I had an opportunity to drive a hybrid car for the first time ever – it’s the Honda Insight.
Honestly, I don’t know much about a hybrid car initially, but boy – it was really a fun and insightful experience!
These days, besides the conventional cars majority of us own, the hybrid cars have received quite a number of acknowledgement from numerous people.
At first, the only thing I knew about a hybrid car is that it’s fuel-efficient, and eventually saves money when purchasing costly petrol. But after going through this campaign by Honda, there are more than that!
Well, allow me to story you about my personal experience with the Honda Insight.
When I first lay my eyes so closely on the Honda Insight, I went like… Woahhh, so this is a Hybrid Car! *jakun* It may not be a classy nor sophisticated car, but I really like the exterior design of the Insight.
This machine is absolutely a beauty.
This is me – don’t look that *jakun* after all. But deep inside, I was pretty pumped up and excited to hit the road with the Insight. Vroommm!
Honda is the pioneer in introducing hybrid technology in Malaysia. It’s interesting to read the timeline of what they have achieved since the initial hybrid introduction. Click for larger image.
Anyway, the interior design of the Insight is pretty simple – resembles a typical car. Nevertheless, it’s spacious and comfortable throughout the whole ride – be it for the driver or the passengers.
But wait till you see the dashboard, you’ll be amazed with how it can help drivers realize the potential of the hybrid technology.
So after the briefing, we started our convoy journey to Malacca – hence, allowing us to test-drive the Insight.
As much as we like to drive on the highway, speed and push the Insight to the limit, it was a brilliant idea by Honda to take us to inner roads where we could take on a day-to-day driving experience.
Despite having to drive on windy and narrow roads most of the time, there are certain times where we entered the highway. Oh baby, that’s where the real fun begin – pushing it to the speed limit.
This was how fast I went with the Insight on the highway. Yes, it’s not that fast but 120km/hour has already exceeded the highway speed limit in Malaysia, y’know? ;)
Oh yeah, there were mini contests throughout the journey, but unfortunately my team didn’t get to win any prizes. Heh.
Anyway, some of you might wonder – what exactly is a hybrid car, and how it works – particularly the Honda Insight.
Well, the two main components are an engine and an electronic motor. When these 2 power sources come together in a single vehicle, that’s what make a hybrid car.
The engine is like the usual engine we have, and the electronic motor provides additional power as and when it is needed.
With the assistance of the Integrated Motor Assists (IMA) system, it’s sort of like a booster for the car. Also, the IMA battery has a 5-year warranty – really long warranty period for the Honda Insight.
The good thing about it is that it results in low emission and promotes fuel efficiency. That would certainly play a big role in promoting a green environment.
Besides that, the design of the Insight is just beautiful. I know, I’ve said this like… twice already!
It’s sleek and curvy.
Know what, it looks really sporty as well.
It’s like a hot sporty chick with a sexy curvy body right? :P
So anyway, after driving the Insight for almost 2 days, learning how the hybrid system works is very interesting.
On the dashboard, there are a specific meter and multi-info screen to assist the driver to drive better.
At various stages of driving, here are how both the engine and electronic motor co-operate to provide the power when needed, and when the electronic motor’s energy is re-charged.
When combined, the 1.3L engine of the Honda Insight actually gives acceleration performance equivalent to a 1.6L engine. Nice!
No wonder it felt almost as good as my current conventional car.
While driving the Insight, it has a feature called the “Eco Assist” that helps drivers to achieve fuel-efficient driving.
The first Eco Assist is called the “Econ Mode”. When activated, the car is automatically adjusted to maximize fuel efficiency.
Another function is the “Guidance Function”. There are colors on the speedometer that changes from blue to green depending on the driver’s driving style.
If it’s green, you know you’re doing it right. Go green! ;)
The last one is the “Scoring Function” where you’re rated based on the overall driving level, cumulatively or long term.
Now this is cool. Besides just driving from destination A to B, you get to obtain your driving score which determines the style of driving. Getting a “Congratulations” trophy would be such an honor right? :P
As fun as this scoring feature could be, it ultimately guides the driver to drive better. Don’t press the accelerator unnecessarily and don’t break abruptly – just to name some tips. :)
One of the information we always monitor while driving was the mileage efficiency. Throughout the journey, we were asked to check that.
When this photo was taken, it was 16.1km/l – which is not ideal (coz speeding decreased it hehe). However, under a controlled driving environment, one could get as much as 25km/l – which is way better than a normal car.
Besides that, the Insight is well-equipped with various safety features.
Here are the 9 main safety features of the Insight…
It definitely comes with features that take care of you, while you take care of the environment. Win-win FTW!
Other than that, one exterior feature that attracts me is the blue-ish front lights.
So sexy right?
Also, the cargo area is really spacious, and it’s reachable from the back seats.
The good thing about it is that you can grab things from the back seats without stopping the car at all – that’s if you have passengers behind lah.
Even though the Insight is a typical 5-seater car, and it’s obviously just for 5 people – but what if you have an extra person who wants to follow?
Fear not, because with the super spacious cargo area – the 6th passenger can surely have a ride too!
I have an Insight!
Can fit right – with a ‘sexy’ pose some more! :D