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The Mercury Cars Guide : November 14th 2009
10--- Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au Saturday, November 14, 2009 Honda s Insight AFFORDABLE: Honda s Insight is about $10,000 cheaper than its main competitor. On the boulevard of hybrid car dreams, Honda s new Insight is a bit Jimmy Stewart . . . a little low-rent, a little folksy and, at first glance, not the sharpest tool in the box. Neil Dowling reports USER-FRIENDLY: Insight s dash has been described as well sorted and easy to read. FEATURED on the same billboard as Toyota's super-slick Cary Grant of petrol-electrics, the clever and polished Prius, it would seem to be a foregone conclusion as to who is taking home the awards. The urbane Prius seemingly holds all the cards. Yet, there is something about the down-home, common-man ap- peal of the Insight that like Stew- art could be a winner with the masses. Oh, yes. And it is going to be something in the order of $10,000 cheaper than the Prius when it finally hits our shores late next year. That sort of cash advantage does a lot to spruce up a chap's appeal. Honda Australia is pushing ahead with plans to land its all- new Insight only a distant kissing cousin of the underwhelming, overpriced model that bore the same name back in 2000 with a benchmark sub-$30,000 price tag. ''It is going to depend on the strength of the Australian dollar when we start importing the In- sight,'' Honda Australia senior director Lindsay Smalley says. ''That was our original price plan when we first looked at the car and it is still our intention now.'' However, plans to get the four- seater Insight to Australia by early 2010 have been shelved and the new schedule will not see an Insight in an Australian show- room until closer to the end of next year. ''It's a question of supply and the popularity the Insight is enjoying in markets around the world,'' Smalley says while weaving an Insight through LA traffic. ''We are just going to have to be patient until we can get supply. ''At the top of the list is Japan, followed by the US and Europe and then us.'' It is no co-incidence that the Insight's styling, said to be driven by aerodynamic efficiency, closely mirrors that of the Prius. When the original Insight went flat and left the hybrid field to Toyota it was the shape of the car as much as the shape of the future that set the Prius apart. It looked different and it was different. A passing glance was enough to tell the world that your social conscience was well in hand. Honda's comeback attempt in the hybrid world with the Civic was hoppled by its sameness . . . apart from a little green badge there was no obvious indication that you were helping save the planet. With the Insight that has been addressed. The car looks like what society has come to accept as a green car. ''There is no doubt that the Civic Hybrid lacked an immediate recognition factor for those own- ers who wanted it known they were driving a hybrid,'' Smalley says. ''That is not the case with the Insight and while acceptance of hybrid technology is definitely growing, I believe even greater numbers are willing to embrace it as long as the pricing is right.'' To get that price advantage an Insight buyer will make conces- sions. The Insight's hybrid system --- the fifth generation of the com- pany's integrated small torque Honda Insight Price: $30,000 (est.) Engine: 1.3L/4-cylinder, 98kW/ 123Nm; electric motor, 10kW/ 78Nm Transmission: CVT; front-wheel drive Economy: 41mpg combined US cycle (est. 5.3L/100km) Alternatives Toyota Prius (from $39,900): Reigning hybrid champion Honda Civic Hybrid ($35,990): For those who don t want to look different $25,888 Driveaway $29,888 Driveaway Ford Territory TX 7-Seater All-Wheel Drive. Top of the Range, All Wheel Drive 118 Argyle Street, Hobart www.eurocentral.com.au Have you found your Perfect Match? You know what you like, now pick the ONE you'll love. 6234 0 Which is your match? $13,888 Driveaway $12,888 Driveaway Honda Jazz VTi Mazda 2 Neo Fuel Efficient and Roomy. Bright and Zippy. $31,888 Driveaway $29,888 Driveaway BMW 318i Executive Mercedes C200 Kompressor Leather, Sunroof and TV. Refined Luxury Motoring. $26,888 Driveaway $19,888 Driveaway Ford Falcon XR6 Ute Ford Falcon XLS Ute Hard to Find Manual. Auto With Low k's. $16,888 Driveaway $16,888 Driveaway Honda Civic GLi Ford Focus CL Great Value Quality Sedan. Popular Hatch With Cruise Control. $19,888 Driveaway Mazda Tribute Sunroof and Towpack. Proudly part of the $34,888 Driveaway Honda CRV Sport Sought-after Current Model. Driveaway $28,888 Honda CRV Wagon Popular SUV, Great History . Ford Territory Ghia
November 7th 2009
November 21st 2009