Townsville Bulletin - - Cars Guide -

is an op­tion. A green but­ton on the dash­board changes the en­gine pro­gram, dulling per­for­mance and turn­ing the en­gine off ( and on again later) when the car is sta­tion­ary. There are a lot of clever things in the car but — alarm­ingly — it gets shot down by the ar­chaic drum rear brakes vis­i­ble through the al­loy wheel spokes. I men­tioned that op­tional but­ton on the dash. Press it and you kill the fun. light turns the car be­hind you into an ogre and be­cause the en­gine stops when the car stops, so does the air­con­di­tioner. If you’re not in a hurry, driv­ing through hilly coun­try­side or picked a tem­per­ate day for a drive, the `` econ’’ but­ton will chop back fuel use. Other­wise, leave it off and the com­bi­na­tion of the pow­er­ful lit­tle elec­tric mo­tor and small petrol en­gine can pro­vide pleas­ant mo­tor­ing. Even fun. Al­most. There are draw­backs. Squeez­ing more kilo­me­tres from the petrol tank means the In­sight must be light. It is. But that makes it feel un­set­tled on the road, sus­cep­ti­ble to sidewinds and skit­tish when hur­ried through bends. The light steer­ing doesn’t help so it ends up feel­ing not con­nected ei­ther to the road or the driver. It is com­fort­able, spacious enough for a small but the large boot does. It’s an­other sign that Honda has tried to make this a hy­brid for the av­er­age fam­ily.

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