The Honda Insight was the first mass produced hybrid to be launched globally in 1999. It looked weird, drove weird, people didn't really understand it, let alone buy it. The Toyota Prius came in, looked just as bad, but its second iteration it caught on with the help of celebrity endorsements and worldwide hate. To say the Insight and the Prius had a significant role to play in making the petrol-electric hybrid popular as it is today would be an understatement, but in all fairness, the Insight never really lived up to its true potential.
Over the past year and a half, Honda has been steadily working on bringing back its mid-90s mojo. They're making sleek, desirable cars which combine performance, efficiency and brilliant dynamics all into great packages you'd want to own. The Civic, the Accord and more recently the CRV are all cars you really don't have to be told twice to consider buying. But where are the hybrids?
They've decided to take the Insight name and put it on a brilliant new design that takes cues from the Accord. It has Honda's new mustachioed family face, rearward sloping fastback style 5-door design, and near perfect proportions that manage to hide all the bulk that comes with an Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid system. It neatly slots in between the Civic and the Accord.
It's part of Honda's return to form, but is it too late to the part? Toyota has been working hard to electrify most of their global model range. All the while, Tesla is breathing down everyone's necks with their “just hybrids won't cut it” mantra. Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure: Honda's Insight deserves the chance to shine.