Prepare the funereal wreaths, dig out the black duds, practice those somber facial expressions; it may just be that the Honda Insight is not long for this world. The car that took the hybrid fight to the Toyota Prius – and lost – could be on its way out, if we are reading our tea leaves correctly.
While Honda is still touting the 2014 model year, inside sources have told AutoblogGreen that some usual preparations (like preparing advertising materials) for a 2015 model are not be taking place. If true, this could signal that there is, verily, no 2015 model coming to the US, leaving consumers without a cheaper hybrid alternative to the popular Prius in as little as a year from now. Of course, it could also be that the Insight is undergoing some sort of transformative change. Something, hopefully, beyond the most modest of mile-per-gallon improvements. Something that might enhance the hybrid-driving experience, or at least equal that of its competitors. Somehow, though, we doubt it.
The Insight is getting the squeeze from its stablemates. Honda's own Civic Hybrid has been trouncing it in sales, despite costing a few grand more. As well, budget-minded buyers may soon be able to buy a sweet Fit sedan that returns decent fuel economy figures and is more fun to drive.
We asked, but Honda is not ready to give out any details. Honda public relations manager Chris Martin returned our call to remind us that the automaker doesn't comment on rumors, giving us the old "can neither confirm nor deny" bit. That sure doesn't sound like the message Honda would give if the Insight were sticking around.
The more we think about it, though, the less compelling the business case for this vehicle becomes. Indeed, if the Insight falls from the lineup, we're pretty sure it won't really be missed. If you feel differently, however, let us know in the comments.