It looks like Honda may be responding quickly to early criticism of its new Insight hybrid. Recent reviews of the Insight have been particularly harsh, especially when compared to the new Prius. Despite Honda's claims that the Insight is not a direct competitor to the Prius, AutoCar claims Honda engineers are working hard to get closer to the Toyota's mileage. It's not clear how close they can get without some significant changes to the powertrain -- something that could take considerable time and expenditure.
While Toyota clearly has bragging rights in terms of efficiency, one of the primary criticisms of the Honda has been its ride and handling. The Insight works well enough on smooth roads, but is less behaved over rougher pavement. Changes to the suspension could be accomplished pretty quickly and even rolled out as a running change.