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|Oh, Do Shut Up, Jeremy: Top Gear Guru Reviews Honda Insight|
|Written by Keith Buglewisz|
|Monday, 18 May 2009 11:19|
Automotive Traveler's newest automotive contributor takes on Top Gear's loquacious host and his ill-conceived opinion on Honda's Insight hybrid.
One would think that in this day and age of modern technology the age-old practice of grinding axes would have gone the way of blacksmithing. However, Jeremy Clarkson--host and chief bombasticator of the terrific BBC show Top Gear--has proven that there's still a place for it in his recent review of the 2010 Honda Insight. Calling the car "biblically terrible," he goes on to say, for example, that the only way to truly appreciate the engine noise is to sit a dog on a meat slicer.
Yow. Hyperbole much, Jeremy?
Now, he can love or hate whatever car he wants, obviously. He's a big boy, and as one of automotive journalism's most respected voices, his opinion carries some weight. However, it's clear from the tone of the article that he has come to the Insight with a preconceived notion about hybrids and their overall impact on the world, and then goes on to cite multiple reasons why they're a net negative on the environment because of the materials that are shipped overseas, such as the nickel for the batteries coming from Canada.
The problem is, he's entirely wrong.
It sounds as though Clarkson is still thinking that a two-year-old paper from research firm CNW is accurate. The reality is that this "Dust-to-Dust" study--which claimed that a Hummer H3 had a smaller environmental impact over its lifetime than a Prius--has been pretty much completely debunked. CNW's faulty methodology and peculiar assumptions made their conclusions suspicious at best, and since its release it has been refuted time and time again. Still, like many urban legends it is ingrained in the memory of many, especially those who dislike hybrids from the get-go, like Clarkson. The best debunking is this report from the Pacific Institute; check it out.
While it's true that hybrids aren't the end-all and be-all of our automotive future--and I wholeheartedly agree with Clarkson that the hydrogen-powered Honda FCX Clarity is a better look at that future--his screed against hybrids is ridiculous and built on easily refutable false logic. Don't like the car? That's fine. But if you're going to argue against hybrids in general, at least get your facts straight.
For Keith's take on the Honda Insight and other automotive subjects, take a look at the Honda Insight review on his blog, Speaking of Cars.