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2010 Honda Insight Will Grade Your Eco Driving--With Leaves

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2010 Honda Insight Eco Assist System

2010 Honda Insight Eco Assist System

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The 2010 Honda Insight showed up at the Paris auto show as a concept, and at the Los Angeles show today it prepared for production early next spring (we'll be driving it soon, so stay tuned). As Honda unveiled the Insight alongside the Vector-ish new FC Sport concept, it also unveiled an Insight innovation it says will help drivers learn how to get more miles per gallon from their car.

It's called Ecological Drive Assist System, or Eco Assist. Like the new system in the 2010 Ford Fusion, it features a graphic display to show drivers when they're operating their hybrid at peak economy. The Insight's EcoAssist goes further: It lets drivers choose an ECON mode that makes the transmission, engine, and motors operate in a more economical range. And while driving, the readout puts a different color on the background of the speedometer to give a visual clue about instantaneous fuel economy.

The cheekiest--or most cloying--feature is that driving style is rated by leaves, as in leaves on a plant. The more efficiently you drive, the more leaves you get. You grow, the car grows, everyone's green and happy in Honda world.

The 2010 Insight goes on sale in the spring, and Honda promises it will be the most affordable hybrid on the market.

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