Over the weekend, I clocked up more than 300 miles in our long term Honda Insight.
Honda’s latest hybrid offering is packed with lots of hybrid technology, but my favourite part of the car was hardly anything revolutionary – cruise control.
On my drive up to Norfolk on Friday evening, I decided to trust my right foot and frequently I found the speedometer growling at me (by flashing blue) rather than patting me on the back (by flashing green).
This was my first time driving any hybrid and I quickly learned that rapid acceleration and trying to do my own gearshifts in sport mode were off the agenda.
By the time it came to the drive back to London last night, I’d decided the Insight’s technology was probably more clever than I was so I decided to let it show me how it should be done and put it in cruise control.
Instantly, the fuel economy boosted by around 10mpg to 60mpg as the Insight worked out how much throttle was needed to cruise at 70mph.
When going up hills under my guidance, the electric motor kicked in more than was needed (to the detriment of fuel economy) but left to its own devices, the Insight was a model in getting the balance between petrol and electric power just right.
Usually I find myself getting bored with cruise control on but not in the Insight. It was fascinating to see where the battery would recharge itself and how high the mpg figure would rise to without my right foot interfering.
I even found myself setting the cruise control in a 30mph limit and letting the Insight do its business around town. Interestingly, the difference in the mpg figure between cruise control and no cruise control was even greater than on the motorways.
I think my wallet enjoyed the trip, too. I spent little more than £30 fuelling the Insight for its trip, pretty impressive in any class.
Although I'm not necessarily the type of person Honda is aiming the Insight at, it's still left me deeply impressed. I used to think a car used to be quick to be fun, but the Insight has shown me that's not always the case.
The next time the keys are going spare, I'll be doing my best to make sure I'm at the front of the queue to get my hands on them.