Step inside Honda's cut-price Prius rival and you'll discover a cabin suitably infused with a techno vibe. There's no mistaking you're on board something a little different thanks to the bold layout of the dash and the in-your-face instruments.
Highlights include a digital speedo that glows green when you are driving with optimal efficiency and ever darker blue if you give in to impatience and wring the little 1.3-litre motor out. For some, the overall aesthetic will be a little too reminiscent of a Japanese budget Hi-Fi systems jostling for attention on a superstore shelf. Whatever you think about it, subtle it ain't.
Nor does it give a particularly convincing impression of quality. For the most part, the cabin plastics are joyless, hard and unyielding to the touch. To achieve the competitive pricing, something surely had to give. Soft touch plastics were among the most obvious casualties.
Still, what the Insight isn't short on is features. There's a full function infotainment and navigation system, the details of which we'll come to shortly, a multi-function steering wheel incorporating cruise control, a CVT gearbox completely with the increasingly obligatory flappy-paddle-operated manual mode, all manner of stability control systems including electronic brake force distribution and of course that petrol-electric drivetrain. On paper, it's a lot of car and technology for the money.