Thursday, February 05, 2004

Hybrid Honda wins hands down

Jack Kellett writes from the UK:

Hybrids vs diesel/petrol driven golf carts

The Honda Insight is ultra-light and extremely aerodynamic and combines an incredibly efficient conventional petrol engine with electric boost when under load. The batteries are not heavy. Its lightness means that it is very sparing on brakes and tyres. Emissions are almost negligible.

I would back my Insight to outcorner virtually anything. At freeway speeds of 70+mph I return 70mpg, and on ordinary cross-country runs that rises to 85mpg. I have to watch the rev counter and speedo as I sometimes hit the rev limiter going thru the gears (the engine is so smooth) and I find my speed creeps up to 85/90 without realising it. My Insight has done 85,000 miles in 4 years and just sailed through its annual roadworthiness (MOT) test. It shows every sign of continuing. I still look forward to driving it, every trip.

Would I prefer a Smart for all-round use? I don't think so - it might wipe the smile off my face.

Jack Kellett

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