The Honda Acumen has appear a continued way aback it became the aboriginal amalgam agent on the bazaar in North America. But that was way aback in 1999, back the gas-electric amalgam powertrain was a new abstraction for best people. Abounding manufacturers had alone afresh switched from fueling their cars with carburetors to application added efficient, beneath communicable fuel-injection systems.
Then out of the ether came the amplitude pod Insight, with its wind-cheating fender skirts and abounding caster covers. It was never a able seller.
FIRST LOOK: 2019 HONDA INSIGHT
If sales numbers announce annihilation about the American car-buying public, it’s that bodies amount adequation and assemblage over best added things. Otherwise, we wouldn’t see so abounding white, silver, and tan cars on the road, and added bodies would be active the camp hybrids that affiance college mpg and a added “futuristic” future.
The new Acumen appearance accepted styling, solid alley manners, and outstanding ammunition abridgement – all things the advisable car client will want. It’s solid A-to-B busline backed up by Honda’s allegorical acceptability for believability as able-bodied as an avant-garde transmission-less 2-motor hybrid-electric arrangement that’s so acceptable you hardly apperceive it’s there.
Styling is about amid the Civic and the Accord, admitting afterpiece to the latter. The Acumen is abate than the Accord, but beneath blatant than the sport-oriented Civic. If you could analyze the Insight’s area metal to a men’s accouterment ensemble, it would be a brace of charcoal gray dress slacks, a white accepted shirt, a gray or dejected cardigan, and a brace of atramentous oxfords. It’s commodity a ambassador would drive, on or off the clock. The Acumen keeps it business-casual, so to speak, which for the boilerplate disciplinarian is A-OK.
Like the Civic aloft which it’s about based, the Acumen has a ample autogenous and able seats. Quality autogenous apparent abstracts and a borderless infotainment awning that appears to be amphibian aloft the birr accord the Insight’s autogenous a hardly flush look. Light-colored upholstery, which extends to the lower birr and aperture panels, alone bliss up the chic a few added notches.
The car’s cyberbanking continuously capricious manual (eCVT) accustomed Honda to eke out the best amplitude accessible in a car that’s beneath than 6 anxiety advanced and aloof over 15 anxiety in length. Rear headroom, legroom, and hip allowance are commensurable to the Civic, but with about 98 cu.-ft. of autogenous volume, the Acumen offers 3 cu.-ft. added all-embracing amplitude than the hardly abate Civic. (The Accord’s autogenous aggregate is about 103 cu.-ft., in case you were wondering.)
The array backpack for the Insight’s amalgam powertrain is army beneath the rear seat, so it doesn’t access area bigger ill-fitted for cargo. At 15 cu.-ft., the block is acceptable for a baby car. It’s set up in a way that calmly accommodates beefy items, alike if the bear aperture is a bit small. The rear seats bend mostly collapsed to acquiesce for greater utility.
The cast from my end? Too bad Honda doesn’t activity this car in auto format. (The Civic bear offers endless of burden amplitude for its size, but administration evocative of the Fast and Furious blur authorization may rub some bodies the amiss way.)
Knobs. They’re one affection Honda never seems to embrace on its infotainment systems. There are a few ons at the ancillary of the centermost assemblage awning to advice the user acquisition the home screen, coursing for radio stations, and acclimatize awning accuracy (very important). But committed ons for nav and stereo inputs, as able-bodied as a bulge for alteration stations, would abridge things. We bodies may able-bodied be tech adeptness (most of us, anyway), but we’re still primates, afterwards all.
The able concrete shift-by-wire controls Honda acclimated on the Acura RDX (the ons are all aggressive abnormally so that they can be operated by feel, after removing your boring from the road) are additionally present on the Insight. Bravo, Honda.
Although some may appetite to excruciate me for adage so, I anticipate the RDX’s avant-garde trackpad interface would be advantageous here, too. It appearance screen-scale touchpad movement (where your feel presses on the pad is area it activates an activity on the screen) and positive-click command beheading (to anticipate adventitious thumbing of controls). It allows the awning to be army college on the birr — out of reach, but still added or beneath in appearance of eyes advantageous absorption to the road. The Acumen doesn’t accept this feature, but it does accept a ample touchscreen army almost aerial on the dash.
Standard assurance appearance accommodate lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, advanced blow warning, advanced automated emergency braking, disciplinarian absorption adviser (for fatigue), and adaptive cruise control. Unfortunately, blind-spot ecology and rear cross-traffic abetment aren’t alike alternative on the Insight. In this car, Honda still uses a lane watch affection that shows the driver’s dark atom in the centermost awning via a rear-facing camera, and alone for the appropriate ancillary of the car. Blind-spot ecology with rear cross-traffic active is a added able system.
In blast testing, the Insurance Institute for Highway Assurance called the Acumen a “Top Assurance Pick ” for 2019. It additionally accustomed a best-possible 5-star all-embracing assurance appraisement from the federal government.
The Insight’s 2-motor amalgam arrangement was aboriginal alien in the 2014 Accord Hybrid, so Honda has had affluence of time to absolute it. It appearance a 1.5-liter, Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder gasoline agent cranking out 107 application and 99 lb.-ft. of torque, accompanying with an electric motor rated at 129 hp and 197 lb.-ft. of torque. Accumulated arrangement achievement is 151 hp.
Here’s how the arrangement works: At low speeds, the electric absorption motor drives the advanced auto directly. At abstinent speeds, the gas agent is afraid in to drive the auto directly. Beneath abounding amount (mashing the pedal to the floor), the electric motor and the car’s 1.1-kwH array backpack abetment the gas engine. It will actuate the Acumen from a asleep stop to 60 mph in a not-too-shabby 7.7 abnormal on its way to a top acceleration of 114mph, according to Honda. Acceleration isn’t actually as active as the Civic’s, but it’s still adequate.
If there’s one check about this powertrain, it’s the abhorrent agitation it makes back pushed hard. If you actually accept to canyon addition bang down, your best advantage is to about-face up the radio to asphyxiate the car’s afflicted agent drone. Abundant like sausage and legislation, we don’t appetite to apperceive (or hear) how the Insight’s ability is made.
The accumulated EPA ammunition abridgement appraisement for this car is 52 mpg for the lighter abject archetypal and 48 mpg for the top-level Touring, which is the archetypal I tested. As with any car, the numbers you get depend aloft how you drive. I got 47 mpg on my analysis loop, but should point out that the pugilistic active appearance appropriate to get anywhere about New York City is not accessory to acceptable ammunition economy.
People who alive in places area the clip of active is added airy will see college numbers. Naturally, the Acumen rewards abiding pacing with higher-than-rated ammunition economy. It aloof goes to appearance that, with the appropriate powertrain, hypermiling works.
For those absorbed in a sober, dependable bunched auto that delivers abundant ammunition economy, it’s difficult to do abundant bigger than the Insight. Elegant avant-garde administration on top of a alive autogenous and acute powertrain accomplish for the best affectionate of disciplinarian car – the one you don’t accept to pay any absorption to. It’s additionally analytic priced, with a abject amount beneath than $24,000 and an as-tested amount – on the top-end Touring model, no beneath – of aloof beneath $30,000.
Honda says electrified powertrains will be the barometer in 10-15 years. That can be a approaching difficult to brainstorm with the cardinal of big trucks and agog crossovers aerial out of dealership lots appropriate now. But if there’s one affair that’s assertive about ammunition prices, it’s that they can change rapidly. Back they fasten afresh – and they will – a lot of bodies will be animated Honda has gotten this technology bottomward pat.
Aboriginal Pictures: 2019 Honda Acumen
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