March 24, 2009 will see the release of the new 2010 Honda Insight, the automaker's most advanced gasoline-electric hybrid car yet.
The name may sound familiar: The 2000 Insight was North America’s first hybrid. That two-seater was famous for its gas mileage (50 to nearly 70 mpg), but infamous for its sluggish performance. After a few years of hiatus, the Insight is back, this time as a more practical car for the masses.
The 2010 Insight has room for four (or five if you want to be really snug), solid get-up, a significantly more efficient hybrid drivetrain, and informative real-time mpg feedback. The latter makes it easy to achieve good mpg — even better than the early estimates (40 to 43 mpg) of the Insight’s official fuel economy numbers.
Driving the Insight in a variety of terrains and at different speeds, my best runs were 53, 61, and 64 mpg. And the latter was only good enough for seventh best among many media professionals at a press event. Numerous journalists who have driven the hybrid have reported significantly better results than 40 mpg.
The price tag for the new Insight hybrid is $19,800 for the LX trim level. The new Insight was originally scheduled for release on Earth Day 2009 (April 22), but Honda moved that up to late March given the enthusiastic interest in the car.
To see more of the Insight watch the video tour of the Insight's hybrid system.
John Rockhold is a green car enthusiast and Contributing Editor for MOTHER EARTH NEWS. Find him on Google+.