Honda has given the Insight a minor facelift for 2012 and got its CO2 emissions below 100g/k, promising free VED and no congestion charge.
We’re still not convinced that Honda has its heart in the Insight Hybrid, but they have no choice other than to present some semblance of competition to the stranglehold Toyota has developed in the hybrid market.
So in an effort to make it more appealing, the unconvincing 2012 Honda Insight gets a bit of a facelift and, perhaps more appealingly for many, a cut in emissions to under the magic 100g/km.
Titivations to the Insight for 2012 include a new front grill and bumper – just so existing Insight owners can feel fed up at driving the ‘old’ Insight – and a smaller spoiler and wiper at the back for better visibility. Inside Honda say they’re using higher quality materials. As we said, mild titivation.
Under the skin is where the main changes are. Honda has taken on-board some of the criticisms levelled at the Insight and have had a play with suspension settings to make the Insight less uncomfortable and more stable. But they’ve also tweaked the hybrid setup.
That has meant reducing engine friction and fiddling with the CVt ‘box and air conditioning to reduce both fuel consumption and emissions, the result of which is a drop from 101g/km to 96g/km which will mean nor road tax or London congestion Charge for UK buyers.
Unfortunately Honda hasn’t done anything about the Insight’s lack of performance and haven’t, as we hoped, fitted the bigger 1,5 litre they put in to the CR-Z, so although the new Insight may be more frugal and less emitting, it still takes 12 days and 5 hours to get to 60mph.
Still unconvincing, but at least the Insight is now cheaper to run if you live – or drive through – London.