• Mar 10th 2009 at 12:29PM
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Click above for high-res image gallery of the 2010 Honda Insight

Ever since Honda announced the revived Insight hybrid for 2010, rumors have swirled that the new model would undercut its chief rival, the Toyota Prius, in price by a few thousand dollars. Now, it's official. Honda's hot new hybrid will start at $19,800 (*plus $670 in destination charges) in base LX trim, meaning that for as little as $20,470, you can get your hands on an Insight with such standard features as power windows, automatic climate control, tilt and telescopic wheel and a sound system with CD player and auxiliary input jack for iPods.

One rung up the pricing ladder lands you an EX model for $21,300 (plus $670 in destination charges) and nets you stability control, alloy wheels, cruise control, paddle shifters for the CVT gearbox, and the ability to opt for GPS navigation. Of course, all models come with Honda's Integrated Motor Assist hybrid drivetrain with a 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine and the ability to travel 40 miles on a single gallon of gas in the city or 43 on the highway. Full press release after the break.

[Source: Honda]


All-new Honda Insight Starts Under $20,000; Becomes Most Affordable New Hybrid Available in the U.S.
Insight targets entry segment as gateway to hybrid technology

The all-new 2010 Honda Insight goes on-sale March 24 with a manufacturer's suggested retail price1 (MSRP) of $19,800 for the Insight LX, American Honda Motor Co., Inc., announced today.

The distinctively styled, five-passenger, five-door dedicated hybrid vehicle is powered by an Integrated Motor Assist™ (IMA™) system comprised of a 1.3-liter i-VTEC® gasoline engine and a 10-kilowatt electric motor that together contribute to an EPA-estimated city/highway fuel economy rating of 40/43 miles per gallonn2. The Insight features the Ecological Drive Assist System (Eco Assist™), an innovation that can further enhance efficient vehicle operation while providing feedback related to individual driving styles.

"The all-new Honda Insight brings the cost of entry for hybrid technology within closer reach of an entirely new car-shopping audience," said Dick Colliver, executive vice president of American Honda. "In addition to making good environmental sense, hybrid technology is now entering a new era where it can also make financial sense for a broader range of customers."

A sleek exterior blends design elements from the original 2000 Insight's highly aerodynamic side profile with a front-end design similar to the hydrogen-powered FCX Clarity, a marquee environmental product for Honda. The interior offers a roomy passenger environment with a configurable rear seating and cargo area that benefits from 60/40 split fold-down seats.

Major features standard to the Insight LX include front, front-side and side-curtain airbags; an anti-lock braking system; a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT); Eco Assist; automatic climate control; tilt and telescope steering column; manual driver's seat height adjustment; power windows; a four-speaker AM/FM audio system with CD player and auxiliary audio input for external digital music players; and much more.

A more premium version of the Insight is also available. The Insight EX, with a MSRP of $21,300, adds to the Insight LX features with Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®); alloy wheels; cruise control; steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters; an upgraded audio system with six speakers; USB audio interface3; a center console with armrest and storage compartment; heated side mirrors with integrated turn signals; and much more. Exclusively available on the Insight EX, the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System4 (6.5-inch screen) with voice recognition provides routing and guidance to individual addresses and more than 7 million points of interest within the continental United States. Models equipped with the navigation system also include Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® for hands-free operation of compatible mobile telephones, along with related steering wheel-mounted controls for voice activation of navigation and hands-free telephone systems.

A 4-cylinder engine with intelligent variable valve timing and a DC brushless electric motor forms the foundation of the IMA hybrid system. The electric motor, positioned in-line between the engine and the transmission, adds power during acceleration and in certain cruising situations, and recaptures energy from the vehicle's forward momentum during braking (regenerative braking).

The Insight's IMA system has the capability to operate exclusively on electric power in certain low- to mid-speed cruising conditions. It can also provide cylinder deactivation during deceleration and an idle-stop feature when the vehicle is stationary. With a 10.6-gallon fuel tank, the Insight delivers an estimated maximum driving range exceeding 400 miles. Models for sale in California and states that have adopted the California Air Resources Board (CARB) ZEV standards receive an Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV) emissions rating.

The Insight introduces Eco Assist to help drivers achieve improved real-world fuel economy. Eco Assist is a feature designed to help drivers optimize fuel efficiency for their given set of driving conditions. Pressing the ECON button can further enhance the efficiency of multiple vehicle systems: throttle control, CVT operation, idle-stop duration, air conditioning and cruise-control operation (EX only). Eco Assist also provides feedback about driving style via a 3D-appearing background within the speedometer. The background changes colors from green to blue to reflect how efficiently or inefficiently the driver is accelerating or braking (green = efficient). The driver's results are continuously tracked as fuel-economy ratings are shown per drive cycle and on a lifetime basis in the form of plant-leaf graphics that appear in the Multi-Information Display (MID). Up to five leaves can be 'earned' as the driver demonstrates a fuel-efficient driving style. A real-time score is shown in the Eco Guide MID screen.

Standard safety features on all Insights include dual-stage, dual-threshold front airbags; front-side airbags with a passenger-side Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS); side-curtain airbag system; anti-lock brakes with electronic brake distribution (EBD); driver's and front-passenger's active head restraints and a front body designed to mitigate pedestrian injuries. All new Insights also feature Honda's Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure, which provides improved frontal-crash compatibility between vehicles of different size and ride height.

Honda is a leader in developing cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicle technologies, including the original Honda Insight, introduced as America's first mass-produced hybrid car in December 1999. Honda is also a leader in the development of advanced alternatives to gasoline, including the zero-emission, hydrogen-powered FCX Clarity fuel-cell car, the world's most advanced production fuel-cell automobile.

2010 Honda Insight Pricing and EPA Data

Model MSRP1 EPA City/Hwy/Combined
Insight LX $19,800 40/43/41
Insight EX $21,300 40/43/41
Insight EX with Navi $23,100 40/43/41

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Do you guys even know what you're talking about before you comment on articles? Do you just read autoblog and that's it?

      If you read other automitive magazines and websites you'd realize that the EPA number is complete BS. Every magazine/website that has driven this car has averaged at least 53mpg. Edmunds even averaged 63. Autoblog Green averaged 70 I believe.

      Everyone knows that the EPA is incredibly bias towards certain car companies, usually American, that's nationalism and that's fine, but we "car enthusiasts" should know this. For some reason they rate the Prius at close to 50mpg, yet every magazine gets below 45mpg.

      In the end guys, read what people are actually getting out of these cars, not just EPA spin.
        • 6 Years Ago
        ...Okay Jamie...except the vehicles with the highest mpgs aren't American ones. You know, that whole thing that's been going on here about people and politicians blasting American cars for being behind the mpg compared against the Japanese?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yeah no sh*t Shawn. Of course the best mpg cars aren't American cars, because they get the worst mpg!

        That doesn't mean they don't inflate their pathetic numbers to near Japanese numbers.

        Look at the new Fusion Hybrid. It gets about the same EPA MPG rating as the Insight.

        However, the highest average mpg for the Fusion is 38mpg and the highest for the Insight is 70mpg. The lowest for the Fusion is 32mpg and the lowest for the Insight is 53mpg. Explain it please.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Yep looks like the same morons who screwed up the interior of the Civic did their number on this one too. That dash just does not flow. I wonder how many more iterations of this dash we will see before someone at Honda does something to fix it. At least they didn't put the parking brake handle next to your knee like on the Civic.

      • 6 Years Ago
      If I was in the market, as an auto enthusiast, I still would prefer something more attractive. The Volt has potential, but the cost difference is not worth it. Insight and Prius are embarrasingly ugly and I like the design of my 4 door Civic. How come Volkswagon can make a car that looks decent and get 42-61 MPG and these hybrids can't? Seems like a real waste of batteries to me. I think the Polo might just wake some of these guys up. I really feel clean burning, fuel efficient vehicles are a good solution until we can figure out how were going to continue to make, and dispose of, all these large batteries.

      • 6 Years Ago
      The sad thing is the milage on these arent really that good. I've heard of people with older civics, crx's, corolla's squeezing up to 50 mpg out of those cars. The Insight has a horrible looking interior. Its way to cluttered and confusing. The exterior isnt horrible looking but sits higher than most suv's now a days. The Prius isnt bad I used one for 2 days. Has enough power, clean simple dash, neat features, smooth driving, and got 60mpg. I'd honestly still stick with my 2 current cars which get 30 mpg and are payed off
      • 6 Years Ago

      enough of the little piston-powered electric enclosed golf carts, and smug-generators. Not even the BMW heat-reclamation thing... You want that... I suggest going further.

      A turboshaft or centrifugal jet turbine with an electric generator, driving a bit of high-capacitance battery surge capacity, and jet-idle minimizing power, driving electric all-wheel-drive with regenerative braking reverse-flow capability.

      Full-torque, wide-RPM electric motors, being driven by an efficient, small jet-compression turbine engine, that doesn't lose inertia like a piston engine does, and has better efficiency under load, although thirsty at idle. (thus electric-only mode to minimize jet idle time, and fuel useage, and not needing to start the turbine just to move the car around just a bit.)

      When that comes in a sports car format... and probably super-car performance... then color me interested. There was that Tramontana R thing a week or two ago... That might be a candidate for jet-power...
        • 6 Years Ago
        What you meant to say was "not lose momentum", inertia doesn't replace momentum, energy replaces lost momentum.

        Turbines have good throttle response. It's only high-bypass turbofans that have bad response. All you have to do is oversize the compressor a bit and you can ramp up pretty quickly. Jet planes avoid this in the name of efficiency. Jet planes that don't do it (military planes) have good response.

        Jet engines in cars came and went in the 70s. Even in a M1A2 with hydrostatic drive, it's unclear that it proves its worth, and it's SURE not good on gas.

        I encourage you to take on this challenge on your own. If you can make it work, you'll make a mint.
        • 6 Years Ago
        'that doesn't lose inertia like a piston engine does'

        As far as current science knows, it's impossible to lose inertia. It's directly proportional to mass.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "But a reciprocating piston engine, the piston sheds kinetic energy every time it comes to a stop. Both at the top, and at the bottom of it's stroke. The more pistons, and more massive the pistons are, the more momentum is shed and wasted, as a percentage of the energy generated."

        That is so horribly wrong but unfortunately so deeply rationalized it can't be fixed. But for the benefit of everyone else...

        You can't just 'lose' kinetic energy. You have to do work. The work done on the piston comes from 3 places. The gasses in the cylinder, the connecting rod, and friction with the cylinder wall. Much of the energy is transfer to and from the gases, especially on the firing cycle. And also to and from the crank through the connecting rod. It is preserved in those two mechanisms (well the gas is a more complicated story).

        The only difference from the reciprocating motion is that there are strong sideloads present that cause higher friction losses over a well balanced turbine engine. The friction forces aren't anywhere near enough to stall out a moving piston. Ironically those losses go to zero as the piston slows to a stop.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I saw this exact blue colored Insight this morning and it really caught my eye.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Here is the main question. What is the warranty on the batteries? If its just 3 years and 75,000 miles, you are better off buying a Toyota Corolla gas engine that gets 35 mpg and has a much better warranty.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Gary - in PA it's also 150,000 miles and 10 years.

        We are 3 years into our Prius just about and 50,000 miles. So at this rate, I expect it to last another 6 years (under warranty)

        After which I can replace the battery for $2000 and I'm sure the battery pack will be lighter, smaller and more efficient than the one that came with the battery. and probably cheaper in another 6 years since it's continued to go down in price over the past 4 years already.

      • 6 Years Ago
      Grrreat, I'll just buy an '09 pkg #2 Prius for under $22000. Driving a midsize instead of compact, electric only upto 40mph, 10% better mpg, & cool features like Smartkey, backup camera. You lose Honda!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Ken if you'd ever driven a Prius you would know that the instumentation is even more of a heads up display than Honda's & if I wanted to slalom race someone I wouldn't drive a Prius or Insight, driving feel my **s!
        • 6 Years Ago
        So you think $2000 for a backup camera and a smart key is a deal? Are you a politician?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Nope, but if you could read you'd know that the pkg 2 equipment is closest to the EX & then some, in a larger, more comfortable, more efficient vehcle at the same price.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Sorry but I'll take the Insight's driving feel and instrumentation in front of the DRIVER over the Prius anyday.

        Enjoy your gas sipping sofa.
      • 6 Years Ago
      That dashboard redefines FUGLY!!!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      good low price you can get nav for under 24 k not bad for a Hybrid, i would rather get the Ex with no nav for 21,300.
      • 6 Years Ago
      VW Jetta anyone?
      • 6 Years Ago
      As much as I like high miles per gallon it is difficult to make a case for hybrid cars like the Insight and Prius. As an example there is a 2005 Mazda RX8 with 25,000 miles on it with an asking price of $14,500. The EX version of the Insight is $21,970, so we have a price difference of $7,470. Figuring 600 miles per month in the RX8 at 17 mpg using premium at current prices against the Insight at 51 mpg using regular unleaded at current prices, it would take something like 11 years to break even with the Insight. This is assuming the person pays cash for the car.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Don't forget to add in the cost of a quart of oil every 1000 miles for that thirsty rotary engine.
        • 6 Years Ago
        holy cow. You've discovered used cars are a better value than new cars. Did you consider writing an expose on this?
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