• Aug 23rd 2010 at 12:31PM
  • 54

It's no secret that the revived 2010 Honda Insight has been a huge sales disappointment in North America. The once-robust sales of the Civic hybrid have also evaporated in the last two years. Apparently, things are far worse for Honda's hybrids in Canada where higher fuel prices typically cause people to buy more efficient vehicles.

An unconfirmed report from a Canadian web site indicates that both the Civic hybrid and the Insight are being discontinued there. Checking the Canadian sales charts, the Civic as a whole is one of the top-selling cars in Canada with 31,604 units sold in 2010 through July.

While hybrid sales are not broken out by Honda Canada, we can do a little educated guessing. Since only 643 of those Civic sales were imports and the hybrids come from Japan, we can figure that those 643 were the hybrid models. Similarly, Canadians only bought 748 Insights in the same period. When it launched, Honda projected 10,000 annual sales in Canada. Evidently Canadians just aren't taken with hybrids – even the mighty Prius has only found 2,272 Canadian buyers this year.

Honda hasn't yet responded to a request for comment on the cancellation of these two models. Apparently, Honda Canada will still proceed with the launch of the CR-Z there, maybe leaving it as the company's only hybrid. A tip of the hat to Mario!

[Source: Monvolant]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I really like the design of the Insight better than the Prius. I'd choose it over the Toyota any day.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Interesting story. I've been more than happy with my Insight since new, and I've come across very few Insight owners who haven't been. It has a number a shortcomings compared to the Prius, which I'd expect considering it's considerably cheaper.

      If I were to be brutal, the downsides to the Insight are the low-rent plastics in the cabin and the Klingon cruiser style dashboard isn't to all tastes. The 1.3 litre engine is very high-revving and is noisy under hard acceleration, but otherwise it's easy to get along with. As with almost all-B-segment cars, compromise has been made to ride quality by focussing on the handling, which on the Insight is very sharp despite the light steering. European Insights have been improved for 2011 with changes to the rear suspension for a more balanced ride, and several upgrades have been added, including leather trim. But, the Insight is very capacious considering the platform it's based on, has more boot space than a Focus, and is decent to drive on all but the most potholed roads. The fuel economy is extremely impressive considering its purchase price - I can easily average 50+mpg (US) at steady speeds of 30-50mph, and at highway speeds that drops only by 10% or so.

      I disagree with people who claim Honda's IMA system "sucks". You don't buy a hybrid to drive it like a Ferrari; you buy it primarily for fuel economy. To that end, I've found its almost twice as economical as many petrol-engined C-segment models I've owned over the years.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Honda's IMA system is inferior to their competition. It's not a dual-mode system.

        I guess you could say that doesn't mean it sucks. But when your competition is as close on price as they are, it can cause your product to fail in the marketplace. And isn't that all we're talking about here?
        • 5 Years Ago
        "But when your competition is as close on price as they are"

        I'm curious as to the Insight's main competition in the States. The Prius is the closest - as a hybrid - but it uses a) a different hybrid system and b) it's a larger, C-segment car. And it costs $4-$8K more than the Insight depending on trim, which is a significant amount. So it isn't a direct competitor.

        So, what about the rest of the competition in America? Well, there are no B-segment diesels there so count that avenue out. So then you have to look at the Fiesta and Honda's own Jazz/Fit. Both are cheaper, but a specced out Fiesta hatch is knocking on the door of $20K itself. It's quicker than the Insight, and its chassis dynamics are superb making it brilliant to drive. However, its boot space is far smaller than the Insight's. You won't average close to 40mpg (US) in it either, let alone average 50. The 1.6 petrol unit in the Fiesta doesn't come close to matching the Insight's emissions figure either - you'd need the 1.6 Ecokinetic diesel to beat it which can't be bought Stateside. They're not direct competitors, but at the end of the day, it's horses for courses.
        • 5 Years Ago

        You know, thats really not very impressive."

        I'm curious as to what planet you live on. Over the years I've driven many B- and C-segment cars. In the modern B-segment world, a 1.6 is likely to average somewhere in the region of 36-37mpg (US) in real-world conditions, whereas a 1.2 in the same shell would probably achieve 45-46mpg (US) on average. Only if you opt for a small diesel are you likely to see the figures vastly increase to 50-60mpg (US), and even at that, the diesel would unlikely trump the fuel economy of a small hybrid.

        Averaging 45-50mpg (US) in the Insight is exceptionally good for a car of this class when you consider than it also has a) a 5-star Euro NCAP safety rating and b) it emits 100g/km of carbon dioxide - enough to warrant free annual registration in a number of European countries. As an all-rounder, the Insight offers a good blend of space, performance, fuel economy and low running costs for its price. When I bought my Insight, I was interested as much in its low emissions as I was in its fuel economy - and it does the job I ecpected of it brilliantly. That's speaking as a real-world owner with a vast experience of small cars, not some juvenile anti-Honda pillock on a blog.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I've known owners of Civic hybrids in Toronto, and their fuel economy was within 10% of regular ones (had a good sampling within the dept.) very disappointing. Canadians seem much more number conscious than US buyers, and if it doesn't pay, they won't get it. Not to say they don't buy hybrids up there- seems like every other non-CNG taxi is a Camry hybrid
      • 5 Years Ago
      When given the opportunity, Canadians choose diesel for fuel efficiency.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Diesels not popular in Canada? Nonsense. VW's are everywhere, and half of them sport TDI badges.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Um...not true. Living in southern Ontario, I know of precisely two (2) people who drive diesels (other than for farm purposes.) One runs his on vegetable oil, which should tell you something about the driver. The other is a high school student and VW fan boy. Diesels aren't sympathetic to cold starts in the winter, which is one reason they're not popular in Canada. Most people I know of prefer to get either a truck or large-ish AWD or FWD sedan (Impala, Taurus, Passat, etc.)
        • 5 Years Ago
        The difference is ABG wears it's left wing politics on their sleeve. AB is at least more objective...........
      • 5 Years Ago
      The Honda Insight has a cheap econocar feeling to it but costs $23k. No thanks. I'll pay $15k for a cheap econocar, not $23k. The Toyota Prius at only $4k more is just superior in every way from interior quality to technology to fuel economy.
      • 5 Years Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Bottom line is, product is very poor.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree. Not only has Honda become completely boring, but their technology is significantly behind everyone else including Ford and GM. Imagine that.
      • 5 Years Ago
      My personal Canadian opinion on it...hybrids suck. So does the cold weather on batteries and general electronic equipment.

      If Hyundai can get better mileage without hybrid technology, why should I waste my money on a hybrid? Using a simple recipe that Honda started implementing in the past...

      Light weight + power out of a fuel efficient vehicle = best MPG
      • 5 Years Ago
      95% of all Prius' that I see in the Vancouver area have lights on the roof and charge you by time/distance. Not many civilian ones that I have noticed. I think I have seen more Lambos, Ferraris, Austin's, etc then civilian Prius'.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Trishield is right: Canadians prefer buying a car that makes 40mpg that sells for 15k$ than cars that are good for 45mpg and seels for 25-30k$. I'm pretty sure it is better for the environment too since batteries requires A LOT of energy to get recycled due to their acid.

      Don't forget that some provinces, like Quebec, have about 50% of their vehicles sales in budget-car market with small 4 cylinder engine. The best selling cars over there are the civic and the Mazda 3, not SUV and pickups like in the US!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wikipedia: According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 64 million Americans regularly suffer from insomnia each year. In the United States, insomnia is often treated by the purchase of a Toyota or Honda automotive product, the driving of which has been shown to ecourage the production of seratonin in the body.

      There is some debate among automotive enthusiasts as to whether insomnia sufferers finally attaining REM sleep after initial purchase could be the actual cause of "unintended acceleration syndrome" or UAS (need refernence), while others cite the utter lack of any stimulus whatsoever while operating these vehicles as causing a near vegitative myopic trance-like state in which the sufferer is prone to long, pointless ramblings on cellular communication devices, thereby disconnecting the concious mind from all eternal stimuli.
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