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Honda Insight VTi-L (2012)

by Barry Green,reviewed October 2012

Honda recently gave its petrol/electric hybrid small car segment hatch, the Insight, a touch of the styling wand.
The mild makeover includes a new front grille and bumper design, while at the rear visibility has been improved (albeit only partly) with a thinner tailgate spoiler. Interior enhancements extend to a front console box and armrest, refined gauges and meter panel as well as redesigned front headrests and seat material.

But there’s more ... Headroom in the back seats has also been increased by 20 mm through redesigning the hatch lining and seats. And low-rolling resistance tyres have been fitted to redesigned alloy wheels to help improve fuel economy by 6.5 percent, earning Insight an ADR figure of 4.3 litres/100 km (combined urban/extra urban) and a 5.5 percent reduction in CO2 emissions to 103 g/km. Around town, Insight is smooth and quiet, if a little anonymous. A light throttle response and comfy ride make it easy to live with, and cargo space is good for a small car. There are plenty of eco driving aids to help pursue the reward of that aforementioned thrifty fuel economy. Drive with disregard, though, and consumption can blow out. As we have found often when testing a petrol/electric hybrid, this is a car that does ideology more convincingly than real world ownership.
Honda Insight VTi-L 2012


‘Green’ efficiency, comfy commuter


Relative price, impaired rear visibility

Key features

Bluetooth, climate-control, reversing camera, 16” alloys, satellite navigation with traffic updates, Eco Drive Assist, auto stop/start


Dual front/side/curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist, electronic stability and traction control

Car Details

Vehicle make Honda
Vehicle model Insight VTi-L
Vehicle type Small Under $35,000
Year 2012
Price when new $33,490
Current price range $ - $
ANCAP crash rating
5 out of 5 stars

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Approved Repairers

Our expert team of approved repairers can perform general and specialist repairs, including auto-electrical, air-conditioning, radiator repairs and automatic transmissions.

Engine 1.3-litre, inline 4-cyl with Integrated Motor Assist
Max power 72 kW @ 5800 rpm (petrol + electric)
Max torque 167 Nm @ 1000-1700 rpm (petrol + electric)
Economy ADR 4.3 litres/100 km
Emissions rating
5 out of 5 stars

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This review is based on road testing conducted by The Road Ahead. Further vehicle reviews, in-depth comparisons and coverage of consumer motoring issues can be found in the Club's magazine. Prices listed were current at the time of review and are manufacturers list prices and do not include statutory and delivery charges. Prices can vary from time to time and dealer to dealer.