|The new entry-level 2011 Insight. Click to enlarge.|
The 2011 Honda Insight hybrid, now on sale in the US, gains new standard features and the addition of a value-oriented entry model featuring an MSRP starting at $18,200. The new base model is simply designated as “Insight”. The Insight LX and top-of-the-line Insight EX are still available. All Insight models are equipped with Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) for 2011, which was previously exclusive to the Insight EX.
The five-door dedicated hybrid vehicle is powered by an Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system comprising a 1.3-liter i VTEC gasoline engine and a DC brushless 10 kW electric motor that together contribute to an EPA-estimated city/highway/combined fuel economy rating of 40/43/41 miles per gallon US (5.74 L/100km combined). The Insight features the Ecological Drive Assist System (Eco Assist) to enhance efficient vehicle operation while providing feedback related to individual driving styles.
The electric motor, positioned in-line between the engine and the transmission, adds power during acceleration and in certain cruising situations, and recaptures energy from the vehicle’s forward momentum during braking (regenerative braking).
The Insight’s IMA system has the capability to operate exclusively on electric power in certain low- to mid-speed cruising conditions. It can also provide cylinder deactivation during deceleration and an idle-stop feature when the vehicle is stationary. With a 10.6-gallon fuel tank, the Insight delivers an estimated maximum driving range exceeding 400 miles. Models for sale in California and states that have adopted the California Air Resources Board (CARB) ZEV standards receive an Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV) emissions rating.
The Insight uses Eco Assist to help drivers improve fuel efficiency, both by altering vehicle functionality and providing driver feedback, with fuel-economy dependent on their given set of driving conditions. Pressing the ECON button can further enhance the efficiency of multiple vehicle systems: throttle control, CVT operation, idle-stop duration, air conditioning and cruise-control operation (if equipped).
Eco Assist also provides feedback about driving style via a 3D-appearing background within the speedometer. The background changes colors from green to blue to reflect how efficiently or inefficiently the driver is accelerating or braking (green = efficient). The driver’s results are continuously tracked as fuel efficiency ratings are shown per drive cycle and on a lifetime basis in the form of plant-leaf graphics that appear in the Multi-Information Display (MID). Up to five leaves can be “earned” as the driver demonstrates a fuel-efficient driving style. A real-time score is shown in the Eco Guide MID screen.
Standard safety features on all Insights include dual-stage, multiple-threshold front airbags; front-side airbags with a passenger-side Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS); side-curtain airbag system; anti-lock brakes with electronic brake distribution (EBD); driver’s and front-passenger’s active head restraints; and a front body designed to mitigate pedestrian injuries. All new Insights also feature Honda’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure, which provides improved occupant protection and crash compatibility between vehicles of different sizes and ride heights in frontal crashes.