• Jan 11th 2009 at 9:00AM
  • 43
Click above for high-res image gallery of the 2010 Honda Insight

2009 is shaping up to be a big year for hybrids as Ford launches the Fusion and Milan hybrids, Toyota brings us the third generation Prius and the new Lexus HS250h and Honda revives the Insight brand. The original Insight was the first hybrid to make it to the US market but it was never very commercially successful. Honda only managed to sell about 18,000 Insights worldwide over 6 years. The new Insight is a whole different story.

This time around, Honda has created a five seat hatchback that it says will be the most affordable hybrid in the world. Honda is targeting world wide sales of 200,000 Insights a year with half of those going to North America. AutoblogGreen spent a day driving the new Insight in and around Carefree AZ just before the holidays. Unlike the Prius which is efficient but has never been particularly appealing to drive, the Insight makes good use of its Fit based chassis for fun steering and handling and still manages to get outstanding fuel efficiency. ABG managed to achieve an average 63.4 mpg on an efficiency drive and 44 mpg on a mountain road pleasure drive. Read all about the new Insight at AutoblogGreen.

Gallery: ABG First Drive: 2010 Honda Insight

Live Photos Copyright ©2009 Sam Abuelsamid / Weblogs, Inc.
[Source: AutoblogGreen]

Autoblog accepts vehicle loans from auto manufacturers with a tank of gas and sometimes insurance for the purpose of evaluation and editorial content. Like most of the auto news industry, we also sometimes accept travel, lodging and event access for vehicle drive and news coverage opportunities. Our opinions and criticism remain our own – we do not accept sponsored editorial.

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Gee! I wonder if they could make it look any more like a Prius?? Oh yeah slap an H emblem on it and call it new. PFFT!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I wonder if it will be like other Honda products lately and have all sorts of squeaks and rattles after 9,000 miles?
        • 6 Years Ago
        You're thinking of Toyota.
      • 6 Years Ago
      ABG should be ashamed of themselves. Saying the Insight gets 63 mpg is ludicrous and midleading. When the real-time figures come out ABG will look stupid; and rightly so. If you get your speed up to 80mph then let it coast for a couple of miles, your mileage would be great. Try driving for 400-500 miles, then check the mileage. I thought the people at ABG were smarter than that. Sorry guys!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Oh c'mon...

      Volt -

      I drive 34 miles BOTH ways total to work. If you don't count the roughly 5 additional miles I travel for lunch on 8 hours days.

      That's 39 miles per day, the Volt is said to exceed that by a nice margin. I can plug it in at work (California Law), no cost. I can plug it in at home (LITTLE COST@NIGHT), so in that sense a Volt would cost more on the front end and must less to operate, simple.

      For those of you with your grand commutes back east and live in Palmdale and work in Downtown LA, an Insight or cars like it (VW Diesel) would make more sense and is more affordable. But for most of the driving I do currently I could live with a Plug-N Hybrid very easily.

      I still would have the fire-breathing SRT-4 too.... What was that Jay Z/R. Kelly album "The Best of Both Worlds"....

      • 6 Years Ago
      IF the insight gets 63 what will the new prius get? How much bigger is this car then the new prius?

      Will the new prius do better since it has a 150hp engine if you live in a place (like long island)where everybody does 80 and the car needs decent acceleration to merge in traffic?

      We need a direct comparison article when you guys get to test drive the new prius.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This and GM's BAS hybrid system seem to be the only ones that can pay for themselves. (although probably none of them do at current US gas prices)

      I wonder how long we have to wait for a BAS Cruze with a six speed auto and an Atkinson 1.4 litre for comparison.
        • 6 Years Ago
        First off, the first belt-alternator mild-hybrid was in the Toyota Crown in the late 90s.

        Secondly, the Mini D does regenerative-braking as well, there is nothing special about the GM's BAS system. On top that, the Aura Hybrid is priced exactly the same as the Ford Fusion hybrid that gets far better mileage.

        The BAS is just a marketing gimmick and shouldn't have even been called a 'hybrid'. It returns no real benefit.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "The BAS is just a marketing gimmick and shouldn't have even been called a 'hybrid'. It returns no real benefit."

        09 Malibu, 4 cyl, 4 spd - 22/30
        09 Malibu, 4 cyl, 4 spd, BAS hybrid - 26/34

        4 mpg city and 4 mpg hwy aint bad for an inexpensive system. A 16% improvement in the EPA combined mpg number.
        • 6 Years Ago
        First of all "like what's already installed" should be applied to GM's BAS. GM's BAS came before the BMW MINI and BMW 120d got start-stop.

        Second, the BAS is very similar to start-stop, but it's not the same. BAS adds batteries that capture braking energy and use it to re-accelerate the car from a stop, thus saving fuel in the city. Start-stop merely turns off the engine at lights, so the only fuel saved is that spent idling. So BAS is a real hybrid (a weak one) and start-stop is not.

        Yes, the BAS doesn't do well on mpg in the case you show. Which is why I wonder who would buy it. I don't feel that at the moment it comes close to paying for itself. But in the case you are comparing, the standard car has a 6-speed auto and the BAS car has a 4-speed auto. If, as Dave says, the BAS car were to pick up a 6-speed auto the fuel efficiency would rise noticeably.

        Maybe the green line sells on performance? Yes, you can always do better on fuel economy by reducing performance, and comparing the smallest engine version of a car to the hybrid version is possibly doing that.

        I would love to see cars turn off their engines instead of idling. But anyone who has driven a start-stop system (including current ones) can tell you they are a hassle because of the delay in starting up again. A hybrid (even BAS) fixes this and makes start-stop a lot more palatable. Watch Fifth Gear's review of the start-stop BMW MINI. They said it was intolerable in city driving and they switched it off.
        • 6 Years Ago
        How does GM's BAS 'hybrid' pay for itself. It really isn't a "hybrid' at all, its a start-stop system like what's already installed in the Mini D, BME 120d diesels without the 'hybrid' designation. Also, the new Kia's Cee'd are suppose to be installed with one.


        The benefit is even more dubious. The 2009 Saturn Aura 22 city/33 highway and costs $23,620, the 2009 Saturn Aura Hybrid Greenline that has the BAS system can only improves to 26 city/34 highway with a starting price of $26,910. That doesn't pay for itself. For comparison a full hybrid like the Fusion Hybrid gets 41 city/36 highway.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The problem with "All-Electric" is that if the masses buy these and we all plug them in every night to recharge them... you have to know that our power grid is not designed to handle that kind of drain or load at those times of the day. That means that power output capacity will need to be increased. That means building more power plants.
      We have enough problems with getting communities to accept sites for new plants but think of the majority of the plants are burning fossil fuel (mainly coal... and there is no such thing as clean coal ! Something else they want you to believe)
      So, I really don't think that all-electric is the answer. I really think that if we are to pursue this it will need to be backed by nuclear power plants and also by hygrogen technology (which also consumes a lot of electricity to produce)
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think that at $4 gas that they would never have been able to build enough of these. As it stands it will probably sell to very practical people. I will stick to a small turbo with direct injection and have fun when I drive
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow. That is awesome. When gas goes back up, Honda dealers are going to be beating customers back w/ a stick @ the 19k price point...
        • 6 Years Ago
        Too bad Honda dealers aren't going to be letting these go for under at least $25k.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I've never seen the Insight from this angle. It looks like a Prius.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Try EPA 40/43 according to Kicking Tires. Civic hybrid is EPA 40/45 and should be more comfortable to drive.

      I think everyone here can make cars beat these estimates if we try.

      However, drive without basing every thought on efficiency and these numbers are usually pretty good.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is awful....Honda FCX Clarity FTW.
    • Load More Comments
    Share This Photo X