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New Insights, But Mostly Abuse

Jeremy Clarkson (the big, droopy one) from the BBC's undeniably awesome car show Top Gear took Honda's Insight hybrid for a test drive and was not impressed. He goes after it like a bitter Douglas Adams. From the Times Online:"It's terrible. Biblically terrible. Possibly the worst new car money can buy. It's the first car I've ever considered crashing into a tree, on purpose, so I didn't have to drive it any more....And the sound is worse. The Honda's petrol engine is a much-shaved, built-for-economy, low-friction 1.3 that, at full chat, makes a noise worse than someone else's crying baby on an airliner. It's worse than the sound of your parachute failing to open. Really, to get an idea of how awful it is, you'd have to sit a dog on a ham slicer." This is kind of Clarkson's thing. In January he gave the Tesla a similar drubbing. He recognizes the need for alternative fuel cars, but he's not going to cut them much slack on performance shortcomings or get blinded by hype (on the Insight he says "for the same money you could have a Golf diesel, which will be even more economical"-fair point).What's bizarre is that he questions the Insight's ecological economy by bringing up all of its hidden production costs-"The nickel for the battery has to come from somewhere"-and then pitches hydrogen cars as the better alternative to hybrids and electric as if they wouldn't require the construction of a new, inflexible trillion-dollar infrastructure.You can check out Motortrend's Insight test drive on YouTube here and draw your own conclusions about the ride.

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