Honda announced that its updated 2012 Insight hybrid has drawn a city/highway/combined EPA fuel economy rating of 41/44/42 mpg -- up from 40/43/41 on the prior model.
The five-passenger, five-door dedicated hybrid vehicle receives extensive changes inside and out for 2012. Exterior changes include a more distinctive grille design that introduces a thin, blue accent bar. Restyled front and rear bumpers, along with changes under the vehicle, contribute to a 2-percent increase in aerodynamic performance, Honda said. The car also offers new designs for the headlight and brake light internal reflectors.
The Insight’s interior refinements for 2012 include a reconfigured rear seat area for better leg and head room; a redesigned gauge cluster background; reshaped center-console beverage holders that accommodate larger drinks; and a more supportive front armrest (Insight LX and EX).
Rearward visibility improves with a more compactly mounted rear-wiper motor housing and a thinner rear spoiler that creates a larger viewing area out the lower back window.
The Insight becomes quieter for 2012 with increased thickness to the vehicle’s existing noise-insulation materials and additional insulation panels in the cargo area.
The 2012 Insight is offered in three distinct models. The base model, simply designated as “Insight,” is equipped with a 160-watt, two-speaker audio system, automatic climate control, power windows, remote entry and more. It carries an MSRP of $18,350.
The Insight LX adds a four-speaker audio system, USB audio interface, armrest console, floor mats and a security system. New for 2012, the LX has map lights and steering wheel audio controls. It carries an MSRP of $20,125.
The Insight EX adds alloy wheels, steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, an audio system with six speakers, heated side mirrors with integrated turn signals and more. For 2012, the EX gains Bluetooth HandsFreeLink, automatic headlights and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. The Insight EX is available with the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System with voice recognition and rearview camera.
The Insight EX MSRP is $21,815; with navigation MSRP is $23,540.
MSRP numbers exclude tax, license, registration, destination charge and options.
Available on Insight EX models, the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System with voice recognition receives several notable upgrades including the addition of a rearview camera. The system provides routing and guidance to individual addresses and more than 7 million points of interest within the continental United States. A 16-GB flash memory system replaces the 4.7-GB DVD-based system used on the prior model. The new system offers faster route calculation and includes FM traffic, a subscription-free service that alerts drivers to traffic conditions.
The Insight is powered by an Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system comprising a 1.3-liter i‑VTEC gasoline 4-cylinder engine and a 10-kilowatt electric motor. The combination develops 98 horsepower at 5800 rpm and 123 lb-ft. of torque at 1000-1700 rpm.
For 2012, friction-reducing measures in the engine and the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) contribute to the new model’s increased fuel economy. A 10.6-gallon fuel tank provides an estimated maximum driving range exceeding 400 miles.
The Insight features the Eco Assist System, enhancing efficient vehicle operation while providing feedback related to individual driving styles.