What is it? Honda's revised Insight hybrid has a freshened exterior styled more like the new Civic and various enhancements aimed at increasing fuel economy.
Honda claims the new Insight will see a 1-mpg improvement in EPA tests, from 40 city/43 hwy/41 combined to 41 city/44 hwy/42 combined. That’s still no match for the Toyota Prius’ 50 mpg combined EPA average. We got 38 mpg overall with the Insight versus the 44 mpg overall with the Prius.
The 2012 Insight will have wider tires than last-year’s model, 185 mm vs. 175 mm. That could improve grip in our emergency handling and braking tests, addressing two of our biggest concerns about the original Insight.
Inside, Honda says they have “reconfigured” the rear seat to give it 0.6-inches more headroom, as well as a little more legroom.
Honda has also added sound deadening and claims the upholstery materials are nicer. And the rear wiper motor and the metal support bisecting the rear window has been trimmed down for better visibility.
The Insight EX now comes standard with Bluetooth connectivity, automatic headlights, and leather steering wheel and shift knob.
We're hoping that some of our criticisms may be partially addressed with these changes. We look forward to seeing if these updates improve the Insight, which currently scores too low in our tests to be recommended.
When will it be available? November 2011.