by: Jenny McLane
Since it was introduced back in 2002, Honda Insight's 1.0-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine and Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) motor-generator have been modified, and the CVT model's final drive ratio is considerably lower, at 5.69:1 compared to 3.21 for the manual, to take advantage of the CVT's wider-spread "gear'' ratios.
Powered by Honda's Integrated Motor Assist (IMA™) system that pairs a 3-cylinder VTEC™-E engine with an electric motor, the Insight comes fully loaded with dual front airbags (SRS), power windows, mirrors and door locks, a remote entry system, AM/FM stereo cassette, alloy wheels and much more.
Like a turbocharger, the IMA motor-generator is called to action when extra power is needed for acceleration and hill climbing, and feels like a low-pressure turbo. Unlike at turbo, the motor becomes a generator when braking or coasting, which recharges the nickel metal-hydride battery pack
The Honda Insight gains efficiency not only by its drivetrain but by light weight and clean aerodynamics. Curb weight is less than 2,000 lbs even with the CVT and air conditioning (standard on the CVT model, optional with the standard transmission).
Like other hybrids, the Insight's engine stops when the car is stopped at a light or in traffic, contributing greatly to fuel economy. The Insight achieves EPA city/highway fuel economy ratings of 60/66 (manual) and 57/56 (CVT) mpg, respectively.
The 2005 2006 Honda Insight runs a 1.0-liter, I3, 67-horsepower, hybrid engine whose mileage specs are 61-mpg in the city and 68-mpg on the highway. Putting power to the wheels, Honda links a 5-speed manual transmission with overdrive as standard equipment. The Hatchback with A/C and CVT is equipped with a standard 1.0-liter, I3, 65-horsepower, hybrid engine whose fuel-efficient configuration achieves 57-mpg in the city and 56-mpg on the highway. A variable speed automatic transmission with overdrive is standard.
Standard features include alloy Wheels, AM/FM Radio, Anti-Lock Brakes, Anti-Theft Vehicle, Cassette, Driver Air Bag, Keyless Entry/Unlock, Passenger Air Bag, Rear Defogger, Power Locks, Power Mirrors, Power Steering, Power Windows, Tachometer.
The Honda Insight has safety-cage construction with front and rear crumple zones, side-impact protection, dual airbags and antilock brakes.
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About the author:
Jenny McLane is a 36 year old native of Iowa and has a knack for research on cars and anything and everything about it. She works full time as a Market Analyst for one of the leading car parts suppliers in the country today.