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Insight On What Could Be Better Than A Prius

2010 Honda HybridHonda is going to start giving Toyota’s Prius a run for its money. The Prius has long been the best-selling hybrid car in North America, but Honda is hoping to change that in 2009 with an as-yet-to-be-named hybrid-only model (update - it’s called the Insight, again). Hybrid-only models are cars such as the Prius or Honda’s earlier attempt, the Insight, which are offered only in hybrid form, not standard fuel.

Hybrid fans have been eagerly anticipating the Paris Motor Show in October 2008 to learn more about this car, including the name (still the Insight), but the announcement may come even sooner. Speculations had been made that the Insight name might be revived, but current rumors dispel this (or not). Will it be the Honda Green or possibly the Honda Eco? Nope…In Sight!

The 2010 Honda hybrid Insight will likely have a similar design to the hydrogen FCX Clarity (pictured above) or the Toyota Prius, but it will be larger while still remaining in the sub-compact category. A few speculations about design are already being made. The car will be a five-door, five-passenger vehicle with the hybrid components tucked under the rear hatchback area, to offer more interior cargo room.  One of the best design features of this new hybrid, currently being called the “small hybrid” by Honda spokespeople, is the reported estimated mileage – upwards of 60 MPG.

The biggest difference from the Prius? Price. The Honda Insight will come in around $18,500 – while the Prius starts around $21,500.  Making the car more accessible for younger buyers is a strategy Honda is really hoping pays off.

This announcement is counter to a rumor that had been swirling in hybrid circles for months: that Honda’s next foray into hybrid cars would be a hybrid version of the popular economy compact, the Fit. However, the auto giant denied that saying that the Fit got great fuel economy as is, so it would be best to offer buyers something a little different for the time being.

The Insight hybrid will launch in 2009 with the 2010 model year and right now, Honda has an annual production target of 200,000, with half of that being sold in North America. Their overall sales goal for hybrids is to be selling 500,000 by 2012, about 10% of its total sales volume. The “small hybrid” is just a small piece of the puzzle. Other hybrid offerings in the next few years will likely include a replacement for the hybrid Civic, a hybrid coupe (the CR-Z), and a hybrid version of the Fit by 2012. And according to Autoweek, it may be a while before we see a hybrid Honda Pilot or hybrid Odyssey.

By Jeff Carey

There Are 6 Responses So Far. »

  1. […] we think of hybrids, most of us imagine the 5 passenger Prius or the recently re-introduced Honda Insight. However, hybrids that can comfortably seat larger crowds are becoming more and more common. Here, […]

  2. […] Honda’s new Insight. Due in the U.S. in 2010, the latest reincarnation of the Insight will again be going head-to-head with Toyota’s Prius. Priced around $20,000, the Insight will be about $3,000 cheaper than the Prius, and will be roomier than the earlier version. Rather than seating just two, the 2010 Insight will hold five passengers. […]

  3. […] need cheaper hybrid automobiles in 2009 and 2010, or the downward trend will continue. Will the 2009 Honda Insight get here fast […]

  4. […] a year from now, Honda Motors will debut the 2010 Honda Insight, with quite a few updates and changes to the original version to be more competitive with the […]

  5. […] with the much anticipated debut of hybrid cars like the next generation 2010 Toyota Prius and the reborn 2010 Honda Insight, hybrids were overshadowed by plug-in electric hybrids, and PHEVs played second fiddle to several […]

  6. […] title of best gas-electric hybrid yet from one USA Today writer. The Insight is expected to be the least expensive new hybrid you will soon be able to buy, possibly starting at less than $20k. And the mere fact that the […]

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