Honda Insight 1.3L Test Drive Review On Jelutong Express Highway
Another weekend arrived, another exploration for me. This time I went to the Honda Showroom near Upper Penang Road to test drive the Honda Insight, a hybrid car. Hybrid cars are getting more demand from people nowadays as we can see there are a lot hybrid cars on the road. People are more conscious toward the environment and they want a car that is more environment friendly in a fuel effective way. Fuel effective cars also help the owner save money on petrol.
Thanks to our government budget in 2011 which made a 100% exemption for BOTH import duty and excise duty for certain hybrid cars. This exemption is for hybrid cars with 2.0 litre engines and below, and the exemption was supposed t expired on Dec 31st, 2011. But the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Tun Razak had announced during Budget 2013 that this 100% exemption will be extended until 31th Dec 2013.
In other words, if you are buying a Hybrid car, the price that you pay is cheaper than you would for a non-hybrid car.
Honda Insight only comes in one variant in Malaysia which costs RM99,800 with insurance.
Now, let’s get back to the story.
After greeting the Honda salesman in the showroom, we went to test the Honda Insight. Upon entering into car, I was immediately impressed by the stylish dashboard, sporty panel meter and ergonomic position of audio controller and air-con controller. Then I started up the engine by twisting the key, the conventional method ( no push start button). Engine starts up with low noise.
The sporty MID illumination looks so beautiful compared to my Toyota Vios panel meter. Seats were in black fabric which suits the overall black elegant interior. The leg room inside the car was spacious and it has no problem for 4-5 adults to sit comfortable.
When we stopped at the traffic lights, the engine was completely turned off and silent except the air con blow out from the air vent. Well, that impressed me because this was the first time I really experienced turned off the engine at a red light. But I do notice the car temperature getting hotter over time as we stopped there, possibly due to the engine being turned off which in turn, switched off the air-con compressor as well. The salesman explained that the engine will kick on when the compressor requires energy from it. I didn’t have the opportunity to experience that as the traffic light turned green before the engine get the chance to kick in back.
Now I get to accelerate the car quickly as there was no traffics ahead on us. I stepped fully on the gas pedal to the floor to really push the car to the max, loud engine noise was heard from the cabin. The engine noise at this moment is the loudest even louder than my Toyota Vios. The acceleration of the car wasn’t impressed me, and it is much slower than Toyota Vios acceleration.
Insight’s handling was great. At 110km/h, I still have the confidence to go further as the car gripping was fantastic. Suspensions are harder and bouncier, like the City’s, compared to Toyota Vios.
In between I got to drive with the ECON mode too. The ECON mode limited the excessive RPM by changing the gear at lower RPM. This features helps the car to have better fuel efficiently. Honda claimed that the fuel consumption for Insight is 27.2km/l.
After a spin on the Jelutong Express Highway, we went back to the Honda Showroom and we discussed on the maintenance cost and the safety.
The safety features are ABS, EBD, BA, Hill Start Assist and VSA. Here is the maintenance schedule of Honda Insight:
Overall, Honda Insight is a beautiful car. I like the exterior as well the interior of the car. The exterior is sporty with aerodynamic shape and the headlamp is attractive in blue housing. The wheels of the car is attractive with the sporty 16′ inch rims. This makes the car look elegant and sporty.
Interior wise, it is very obvious that the beautiful panel meter and ergonomic dashboard make up a great interior to the car. The drawback is, don’t expect much on the performance since it is a hybrid car and the engine is only 1.3 i-VTEC with IMA battery.
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