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Wired Writes About the Insight

Eco Assist uses a dashboard display and speedometer backlighting that effectively turn hypermiling — the fine art of maximizing fuel efficiency — into a videogame that coaches you on your driving style. There’s also an Econ Mode that decreases throttle sensitivity, reduces air-conditioning demand and pulls a few other under-hood tricks to maximize fuel efficiency.

The irony is the Insight is the first hybrid with the driving dynamics that might encourage you to ignore your inner environmentalist and just have fun. While we didn’t drag race a Prius, our seat-of-the-pants impression is the Insight has snappier acceleration, not to mention more responsive steering, better brakes and superior handling.

During a day behind the wheel last month, we managed an impressive 42.4 mpg without even trying. When we pushed the Econ Mode button and used Eco Assist to mind our hypermiling P’s and Q’s, the Insight returned an amazing 65.6 mpg. That’s on par with the best figures we’ve seen from the Prius.

Here. Sounds fun. The steering comments aren’t surprising. All Toyotas and Lexuses feel really loose and disconnected to me. I don’t like it. It’s perfect for people who don’t like to drive (Toyota’s primary market!), but for me, it feels really goofy.  Hondas, on the other hand, feel more connected, more direct with the road, perhaps not quite as much as the famous BMW feel (been awhile since I’ve driven a bimmer tho), but certainly far more than a Toyota/Lexus.

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