2010 Honda Insight Eco Assist SystemEnlarge Photo
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.