Click above for a gallery of the new Honda Insight

When the new Honda Insight and third-generation Toyota Prius go on sale in the U.S. later this year, there will be a bit of battle to see if the lower-priced Insight can topple the third-generation Prius from the top hybrid spot. Now that pricing for the Insight has been announced, we can see a preview of that match-up brewing in the UK, and Honda is staking it's claim for the "most affordable hybrid" title. The Insight will start at £15,490, and go up from there to £18,390. The entry-level Insight SE CVT will cost £2,380 less than its nearest rival, which is, you guessed it, the second-generation Prius T3 CVT. We can vouch that the Insight is capable of 60+ mpg, too. We'll have to see how many miles we can squeak from the 2010 Prius when we get our chance behind the wheel soon. See more details from Honda after the jump.

[Source: Honda]




PRESS RELEASE:

NEW INSIGHT IS UK'S MOST AFFORDABLE HYBRID
Final pricing announced for low-emission 5-door hatch

* Entry-level car priced £2,380 less than nearest rival
* Range starts at £15,490 (OTR) for the SE grade
* High-spec Insight ES priced at £16,790 (OTR)

Pricing for the all-new Insight has been announced, making it the most affordable hybrid on the market, and one of the lowest-priced 'green' cars.

The entry level SE model is available from £15,490 (OTR), appealing directly to C-sector customers looking for a practical, economical family hatch with low-emissions.

The Insight SE, with CO2 emissions of 101g/km and combined economy of 64.2mpg, offers an excellent value-for-money specification with 15-inch alloy wheels, climate control air conditioning, electric folding door mirrors, front and rear electric windows, steering wheel audio controls and VSA as standard.

The generously-equipped ES grade is expected to be the best seller. Priced from £16,790 (OTR) it includes the following kit, over and above the SE grade: 16-inch alloy wheels, auto lights and wipers, cruise control, front fog lights, heated front seats, leather steering wheel and gear knob, paddle shift, privacy glass and USB port for MP3 players.

Hands Free Telephone and DVD Satellite Navigation come as standard on the £18,390 (OTR) ES-T model; a high specification car that's likely to prove popular in the fleet market.

Consumer perceptions
Honda's own research has found that most drivers think hybrids are more expensive and in the past this has stopped them adopting the cleaner engine technology.

In our most recent public survey, of those who wouldn't consider a hybrid vehicle, 40 per cent said price is the main reason they're put off.

For most drivers, hybrid cars have been viewed as an expensive alternative to petrol and diesel models, seen as a status symbol. The Insight – and its lower price position – will make hybrid technology available to more people, including car buyers who would never have considered a hybrid before.

Model

Price (OTR)*

Insight SE CVT

£15,490

Prius T3 CVT

£17,870

Golf 1.6 S Auto

£15,816

Focus Econetic Man

£17,345

Civic Hybrid ES CVT

£17,492

Insight ES CVT

£16,790

Prius T4 CVT

£18,655

Golf 1.4 SE TSI Auto

£17,332

Focus 1.6 Zetec Auto

£17,595

Civic Hybrid ES with leather CVT

£18,372

Insight ES-T CVT

£18,390

Prius T-Spirit CVT

£20,710

Golf 1.4 SE TSI Auto

£17,332

Focus 1.6 Titanium Auto

£18,595

Civic Hybrid EX CVT

£19,972


*Prices current at 20 Feb 09

Running cost savings
In addition to its lower on-the-road price, the Insight offers many running cost savings, too, including reduced road tax (just £15 per year), low company car tax, congestion charge exemption and of course, fewer trips to the filling station.

Company cars
The Insight's low emissions mean it qualifies for the lowest BIK tax bracket of 10 per cent and 100 per cent write down allowance. Combined with its lower price point, these bonuses mean it should appear on more company car fleet lists.

For the companies themselves, not only will the balance sheets benefit from all the savings that retail customers enjoy but by taking a fleet of Insights on board, they can also make a strong environmental statement about their business.


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