The new Honda Insight looks like a regular hatchback. Which is exactly what it should resemble. After all, that’s the Toyota Prius’s greatest strength – it’s thoroughly conventional to drive but just that little bit odd-looking, so that the neighbours know that you’re also trying to save the planet.

Honda 1 And Toyota has sold more than a million of them, so it’s no wonder that Honda is aping the formula.

All this is in complete contrast to the original Honda Insight, which looked like it had come from another planet when it landed in 1999.

I spent quite a bit of time driving one back then and it was like nothing else: lightweight, two seats, odd to drive and, of course, it looked like nothing else on the road – complete with its faired-in rear wheels to improve aerodynamics. It drove like nothing else either – thankfully.

It may have been a technological showcase and Honda’s first hybrid but it was pretty nasty to drive, not to mention incredibly expensive.

So maybe the new Honda Insight shows that hybrids have come full circle. It’s a petrol-electric hatch that is a real Focus rival. Not just in size, but in price too (the Prius is closer to £20k after all). It probably won’t be the first either.