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2014 Honda Insight Overview
You want a small hybrid hatchback to schlep the gang to the office or the kids to soccer practice? Take a look at the 2014 Honda Insight. This 5-seat, 5-door suburban-oriented slicker doesn’t pack a whole lot of extra rear headroom, or a whole lot of power and agility, but it is, according to Honda, the cheapest hybrid on the market. And class-leading fuel economy numbers don’t hurt, either.
Available once again in three trims, the Base, the midlevel LX and the top-shelf EX, this pint-size people-hauler can also be claimed in its self-descriptive EX with Navigation sub-trim, with all editions sporting 31.5 cubic feet of cargo space (rear seats folded), not to mention a driver-selectable Eco Assist feature to run the fuel bill even leaner. Meanwhile, no significant changes have taken place to the Insight lineup since a comprehensive reworking in 2012.
Standard power remains a 1.3-liter gasoline-fed inline 4-cylinder (I4) engine that once more mates with a 10-kilowatt (14 hp) electric motor and a continuously variable transmission for a total of 98 hp and 123 lb-ft of torque. Meantime, look for auto engine stop/start, regenerative braking and a doddering couple miles on electric power alone to result in mileage estimates of 41 mpg city/44 highway for this front-wheel-drive-only (FWD) hatchback.
Standard goodies adorning the Insight Base include 15-inch steel wheels, cloth upholstery, full power accessories, telescoping tilt-wheel steering, auto climate control, a simulated alloy steering wheel and a 160-watt audio lash-up boasting a single-CD player, 2 speakers and auxiliary MP3 input.
The LX adds premium cloth upholstery, cruise control, steering-wheel-mounted cruise and audio controls, front and rear floor mats, and a USB port to the above.
Meantime, the top-shelf EX tacks on such added amenities as 16-inch alloy wheels, leatherette/cloth upholstery, heated outside mirrors, steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters and leather-accented cabin trim accoutrements.
The Insight EX with Navigation represents the only option package worthy of mention, whereby this high-end pathfinder is loaded up with satellite-linked navigation along with Bluetooth hands-free calling and streaming audio. Oh, and the LX can be endowed with available satellite radio, as well. Such dealer-installed accessories as splash guards and cargo management tools, meantime, are also stacked and ready for inclusion on the 2014 Insight lineup… for some extra cash.
Noteworthy standard safety equipment in the 2014 Insight includes 4-wheel antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags, active front headrests and daytime running lights. The top-shelf EX, meantime, adds in standard turn-signal-integrated mirrors, dusk-sensing headlights and a remote antitheft alarm.
Have Laptop, Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.