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2011 Honda Insight – Click above for high-res image gallery

After two lackluster years, the second-generation Honda Insight is starting to see a surge in sales. Soaring gas prices, along with Honda's "The Really Big Thing" advertising campaign, boosted sales of the Insight to 2,782 units in March, a 62.2 percent increase compared to the same month last year. Furthermore, Ward's Auto points out that the "Insight's sales rise last month outpaced the 52.0 percent increase for the Toyota Prius."

Honda's executive vice president, John Mendel, told Ward's Auto that, "When fuel prices go up, people think of Honda." Mendell admits that $4-plus pump prices isn't the only thing that's driving up sales of the Insight. Mendell says that:
We also have a pretty strong promotion going in terms of advertising. The dealers seem to be getting increased traffic from that. It's a spring market, customers are coming back.
Although demand for the Insight is on the rise, the Prius remains the hybrid heavyweight, with sales hitting 42,779 units in the first quarter of 2011 versus only 6,058 for the Insight.


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[Source: Ward's Auto]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 24 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Less embarrassing to drive than a fugly prius.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I purchased a 2011 Honda Insight about a month ago. I love it. The criticisms from consumer reports are partially true. The engine is a bit buzzy when accelerating hard. The suspension is not soft and cushy. (I used to love a firm suspension but I'm getting older) It's not a fast car but it does accelerate acceptably on highway on ramps. When I drive carefully I get gas mileage of about 50 mpg. When my wife and daughter drive the car they tend to get less miles per gallon. The lifetime average mpg according to the cars computer is 44.2 mpg. (that includes engine break-in period) We do about 50% city driving. Admittedly the Prius is a better car but I spent thousands of dollars less for the Insight. FYI there is a great article on the Motor Trend website about 20 cars that get at least 40 mpg. This article was a great tool while I was doing research on which car to buy. The name of the article if you wish to google it is something like 40 mpg club.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think that stripped down model of their is starting to pay off.

      Hopefully it does not have the same NiMH mismanagement problems as the Civic Hybrid.... which Honda seems like they still haven't made good on..
        • 4 Years Ago
        Hopefully they have fixed their NiMH battery pack longevity issues, but since they didn't do that with the original Insight Hybrid, then the Civic Hybrid, then the 2nd Generation Civic Hybrid (multi-thousand dollar battery packs start "recalibrating" while you're driving as the packs loose their capacity) and the current Insight Hybrid pack is the same capacity as the Civic Hybrid's I would bet that it is not fixed.

        I would not be afraid of a new Insight, but I'd only plan on keeping it through about 60,000 miles and then sell it for sure. Keeping it beyond that and you have to start planning on the battery pack dying noticably, but slowly (and Honda not replacing it).

        If you want a hybrid through 100,000 miles or more go look at a Toyota or a Ford, their packs are big enough that they can manage them to last.

        Just my $0.02 as a 2nd Generation Civic Hybrid owner.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Mhm mhm, Sasparilla. Nothing has indicated that the Insight is any better.

        I personally would not buy one new, not with the Civic Hybrid problem still standing.

        I would buy one used though, for an EV conversion when they are worth nothing!
        • 4 Years Ago
        After nearly 10 years, stupid Honda is still trying to force impotent IMA down the throat of consumers rather than a real dual mode hybrid.

        If only Honda had a real Insight in the hybrid market.
        • 4 Years Ago
        http://automobiles.honda.com/tools/build-price/models.aspx

        Just built me one for $20,000...

        1.) It's a HONDA.
        2.) It's a hybrid [MPG].
        3.) It's not that bad looking if you can "play" with its looks a little bit [cardomain.com].
        4.) Its a reasonable sized reliable car for $20,000 that gets an average MPG in the mid 30's.


        Really, whats NOT to like?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Well, it's got very good handling, surprisingly good when you look at the tires, brakes are excellent, I like the weight distribution, and it feels like a sports car.
      The frame feels rock solid, with no flex.

      The electric motor can act like a supercharger, it's a fun car.
      When you first get it you tend to use the "instant mpg gauge" to get an idea of what kind of gas mileage you can get. Overall 40+, but a few days ago I got 57 with ideal temperature of 70 and light traffic.

      Later you start to use the "battery state" indicator to get some idea when the car will go into regen, and to help you keep the battery as fully charged as possible for big hills.

      And the price is right, you can get a Nav equipped hybrid for around 23,500.
      The Nav system has a "go home" button, which is very helpful when searching for new more interesting routes.

      Econ mode is: quieter with the electric motor doing say 60% of the work, acceleration is like 4x slower, as the pedal takes 4x more travel to get moving. So, it saves on electric bursts in acceleration.
      Also, the regen is weaker in Econ mode with a little more coasting ability.
      Which means you have to be light on accel and look for chances to pick up regen power.

      Or, you can take it out of Econ, you lose anywhere from 3 mpg in cold weather to up to 14 mpg on perfect days, as regular mode seems to: run the engine richer, have stronger regen, use the electric motor for 40% of your power.

      Cold Weather: Regular: 39-42 mpg Econ: 41-45
      Warm Weather, no A/C: Regular 40-44 Econ: 41-57
      That's just my experience in suburban to city traffic and time of day.
      The less traffic the better the mpg.

      This is a fun hybrid, with Honda Handling and Honda Quality.
      I'd buy another, especially as they are improving it every year.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Since when did anyone that knows anything about cars give two craps what Consumer Reports thinks.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Consumer Reports has more credibility than any of the other "buff books", but it wasn't just CR, many places reported it that the car was a noisy, tin can of a crap box.

        Mike is clearly delusional after going on about supercharging. The car takes over 10 seconds ot hit 60. Supercharged??

        After the initial junkets where they were wined and dined by Honda, some places actually did longer term tests like Motor Trend and then they realized what a piece of crap the Insight is, just like Consumer Reports that does long term testing and doesn't get wined and dined:

        http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/oneyear/112_1006_2010_honda_insight_update_4/index.html
        "The joy of driving is absent here," states editor-at-large Arthur St. Antoine.
        "This is the first Honda I've driven that feels unpolished. The hybrid powertrain switches off and on at stoplights with an unpleasant throb that's thoroughly unbecoming Honda's usual high standards for finesse. The engine revs coarsely. On the highway, the Insight hunts in its lane and rides over road imperfections like a manhole cover. The structure sounds tinny -- both via the amount of road noise entering the cabin and when you shut the doors. And the cabin is just tiny, particularly in the back seat. Honda can do better than this -- and needs to."

        The Insight has one saving grace: Gas mileage, other than that it is quite awful as a car.
        Noz
        • 4 Years Ago
        Consumer Reports?

        Don't they also evaluate dentures?
        Noz
        • 4 Years Ago
        Consumer Reports is a joke....seriously
        • 4 Years Ago
        You sir are deluded.

        Consumer reports outright *slammed* on this car and with somewhat good reason.

        They gave it a rating of 55 out of 100.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Here you go Snowdog:


        First, I didn't say it was a Porsche.

        2) Imagine this scenerio: Four lane road, Little old lady in an SUV, doing 30 in a 40 mile per hour zone. What do you do, you Take It Out of Econ Mode, you give it some gas, the engine spins up, but the electric motor kicks in immediately and slingshots you around, for the win.

        Three) Stop-Start: The engine shuts of with a mild throb. Big Deal. Is that important?

        Four: Engine rev's coarsely: Was that in Econ mode, which is Lean-Burn mode? Engine revs fine in econ mode on light demand. Engine rev's like any other engine in Normal and willingly in Sport mode.

        5) Insight hunts in it's lane: The Car has slim tires, in a road with deep grooves it's going to move slightly off center once in a while. I've had a Ford Mustang wander over deeply grooved roads much worse then this.

        Six) Road noise picks up after 45 mph. True.
        Honda could add some sound deadening material. A friend tells me all Honda's are like that.

        7) Not mentioned: Taunt ride / Sport Ride: Let's put it this way: Better then a Mustang GT.

        Did the author write up minor issues with a heavy hand of exxxaaagggguuurrration.

        I have an EX and it handles and brakes very well. I don't know what CU tested, but I wonder if the author chickened out before the car reached it's limits? Not that I'm suggesting anyone push it to it's limits.

        This is a car that has a sports car feel, a hybrid, the frame is firm, with wide structural elements, and 6 air bags. And it's 23,500, with NAV and paddle shifters.

        But, no, I'm not saying this is a Porsche or could compete with a Porsche. It's engine is programmed for economy, a Mini might beat it in a race, but if you're racing an Insight, you shouldn't have bought an Insight.

        Consumer Reports is a good statistical source for Reliability Information.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Officially there will be a Honda midsize hybrid next year and prototype they showed early this year was an (US) Accord. Although cargo space won't be as big as a hatchback and will be bit more expensive. And of course there will be the Prius V this year...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Glad to see Honda is getting some love for its hybrids, finally. Toyota might be getting all the sales, but Honda is a greener automaker in more ways than any other car company. It sells the only natural gas and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and its hybrids, while getting somewhat MPG than Toyota's, are much cheaper and use less energy to build. Also, it ships all its vehicles via rail cars that use a more efficient and lighter structure. Naturally, it has won the ACEEE's #1 Greenest Vehicles for 8 straight years and has won the Union of Concerned Scientists greenest automaker award 5 times, including for 2010.

      Wonder that Honda doesn't do a better job of telling eco-type buyers about its green credentials.
      • 4 Years Ago
      These stories are a laughably sad indictment of shallow consumer behavior. Months back when gas prices were lower, SUV sales were soaring, now a bump in gas prices and Hybrids are soaring. Again.

      We see this happen every time the gas prices move. I wonder if the same people look outside on a rainy day and ditch all their clothes for rain-wear.

      I can't wait for the next temporary reprieve in gas prices to watch the lemmings surge back to SUVs again...
        • 4 Years Ago
        I wonder why you right-wingers troll this site?
        If you think Steven Chu has any control over gas Speculation, you must be off your meds, or a listener of some fat radio "personality" who doesn't know nothing about nothing.

        Goldman Sachs, the Koch brothers have publicly discussed their manipulation of oil prices, in financial publications. Using the right-wing generated fear of inflation, and the crisis in Libya as the current excuse. You're getting played.

        Instead of listening to right-wing-propaganda start reading something like the Financial Times: FT.com And get a grip on reality, the top 1% make the rules here, they buy the votes, they make the voting machines, they flood the air waves with propaganda 60 days before elections.


        • 4 Years Ago
        With current energy secretary Steven Chu at the helm and wanting to triple gas prices, we will not see gas prices drop during this current administration.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Funny... Sales for the Insight here in Germany are close to zero and falling, because it needs *to much* fuel - all those diesels are a hard competition.
        Noz
        • 4 Years Ago
        Only until you realize it's a more difficult and energy intensive to process diesel....diesel is a scam.
        • 4 Years Ago
        In Germany Prius doesn't sell either so that doesn't mean much... Hatchbacks aren't popular in Germany anyway and diesel fuel is (still) subsidized so I can see why not much hybrids are sold there. Ironically CO2 is not being considered though it's a big topic in Europe. Diesel CO2 is bit higher at same mpg than a Hybrid. In couple other European countries you see much higher hybrid sales.

        Look at (German) spritmonitor.de and you see pretty decent real-world numbers. But granted the advantage comes from city/combined driving and not pure highway.

        Maybe Germany will be more open to hybrids once there's a true German hybrid competitor.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think I might be interested in the next gen Insight, which will presumably get the l-ion batteries and upgraded ICE, as per 2012 Civic hybrid. I would personally also like it to be a tad larger (we're tall in this house).
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