From Honda press: As the first mass-produced gasoline-electric hybrid passenger vehicle sold in the U.S., the Honda Insight remains America's most fuel-efficient car for the 2005 model year.
The 2005 Insight is available with either a 5-speed manual transmission or an advanced continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), achieving EPA city/highway fuel economy ratings of 60/66 and 57/56 mpg, respectively. The first of three Hybrid vehicles offered by Honda, the Insight remains a favorite vehicle choice among customers seeking cutting edge technology and industry leading fuel economy, and demonstrates Honda's long-standing commitment to technological and environmental leadership.
For enhanced fuel economy and added power when accelerating, the Insight employs Honda's unique Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system that couples a 1.0 liter, 3-cylinder gasoline engine with a thin, lightweight electric motor. The system recaptures energy from the car's momentum during braking and deceleration, with the electric motor acting as a generator that automatically recharges the batteries so that it never needs to be plugged in.
The Insight's IMA system also uses an "idle stop" feature that automatically turns off the engine when the car is not moving to reduce unnecessary fuel consumption and emissions. On models equipped with the CVT, the engine automatically restarts when the driver's foot is removed from the brake, and on 5-speed models it restarts when first gear is engaged.
The Insight was designed from the ground up to deliver world-class fuel economy and ultra low emissions. This was accomplished in part by using a lightweight, aerodynamic, aluminum-intensive body and chassis combination that delivers a low 0.25 coefficient of drag, and contributes to a range of more than 500 miles on a single tank of gas.