BusinessCar Office Blog: 24 December 2008 - Early Insight
24 December 2008
Author: Tom Webster
Honda is pinning a lot of hopes on an eco friendly future, so the new five-door Insight hybrid is a very important car.
It will be officially unveiled at the Detroit motor show in January, but we were allowed to have an early poke and prod around the car in London last week.
The list of names invited to the occasion showed just how important the car is to Honda. We shared canapes with the likes of transport minister Geoff Hoon and several of his ministerial colleagues, AA boss Edmund King and several key members of the media.
Our first impression of the Insight is that it's bigger than we were expecting. It has been pitched as the cheapest hybrid that will be available, and as a small hatchback. It is more than big enough to accommodate four generously sized adults though, and actually boasts a decent sized boot. The first Honda hybrid, which also took the Insight name, sacrificed its rear seats to the batteries used to power it.
It is quite a good-looking car, so there will be no sinking of drivers' hearts if you bring a load onto fleet. It bears more than a passing resemblance to that other hybrid, the Toyota Prius, but a company voice assures us this is for aerodynamic reasons. Expect to see a lot more wedge shaped vehicles on the roads in the future then.
Initial reactions were positive from the media's car experts, but unfortunately we were unable to collar Hoon to see whether ministers will be swapping Jaguars for Insights.