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£199 Honda Insight 1.3 IMA SE Hybrid CVT

posted on Feb 03 2010 by Kyle McWilton

£199 Honda Insight 1.3 IMA SE Hybrid CVT

The Honda Insight has come down in price to a new £199.99, now that's a bargain!!! When you think of Ahybrid' cars the chances are one car comes to mind. The Toyota Prius has now such a hold on this fledgling class that it's impossible not to picture its teardrop-shaped bodywork.But rival Honda is about to strike back with a model of its own. Enter the 2009 Insight A a car that is being billed as the most affordable hybrid in the world thanks to an estimated Prius-beating price tag of less than £15,000.

But this isnt about buying the car, this is about leasing it and on this playing field the Honda Insight is much less! The Insight bears a striking resemblance to the Prius, but Honda is promising it is more than just a copy of the Toyota, with a unique personality.It's smaller than the Prius and claims to offer a more dynamic driving experience. It also gives owners a fun way to monitor economy.The new comer uses Honda's clever Integrated Motor Assist drivetrain. This couples an 88bhp, 1.3-litre eight-valve VTEC petrol engine with a 13bhp electric motor, which is sandwiched between the main unit and the CVT gearbox.The combined output is 98bhp and 167Nm of torque A all of which is available from as little as £1,000pcm.

So the Insight has plenty of performance. Throw in firm suspension, nicely weighted steering and a paddleshift gear selector on EX models, and you have the first fun to drive petrol electric car A at least in comparison to its main rival.Of course, hybrids also have to be efficient, and the Insight encourages thrifty driving. An Eco Assist display takes pride of place in the centre console. It has the feel of a video game, and sees leaves and petals grow on flowers the more efficiently you drive. A more conventional bar graph also shows energy consumption. In addition, there is the Eco Guide, which uses backlighting on the speedometer to indicate how environmentally friendly you're being.

A green speedo means you're loving the planet.An Econ mode makes green driving easier by remapping the throttle to be less aggressive, dialling back air-con demand and using a few other tricks.On a fuel economy route set up especially by Honda for our drive, the test drivers did not take notice of the car's promptings and left Econ off and still managed 42.4mpg.When the test drivers let the Insight tell them how to drive and coasted down a few hills, that figure shot up to 65.6mpg. Even without the hybrid technology, the Insight is a great family car. It has more legroom than the Jazz and having the compact battery mounted under the rear seats gives it more boot space than the larger Toyota.

Up front, the split instrument pod from the Civic family hatch is mated to audio controls from the Jazz. The plastics all have a high-quality feel, too.On the outside, the Insight effortlessly blends the nose of Honda's FCX Clarity to a Prius-like body. The aerodynamics make for quiet cruisingAA until you open up the throttle and the engine drones to the red line thanks to the CVT. Options include a sat-nav system, iPod integration and Bluetooth.To find out more about this Honda Insight 1.3 IMA SE Hybrid CVT and other models of the Honda Insight that are available to contract hire, or see all the latest car leasing deals then please visit our Honda leasing page.