The 2010 Honda Insight: 40+ MPG for Less Than $20K

The launch of the 2010 Honda Insight marks the return of North America's first commercial hybrid gas/electric car, but with improved technology and performance.
By John Rockhold
April/May 2009
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The original Insight (2000-2006 model years), a teardrop-shaped two-seater, was a landmark achievement in gas mileage (nearly 70 mpg) and ushered in the hybrid era of green cars. The new 2010 Honda Insight features expanded seating capacity and improved road performance.
PHOTO: HONDA USA
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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 .








Post a comment below.

 

MC_2
7/20/2009 9:37:10 AM
Oh yeah and I do believe that the reason you can't get those HE cars here is demand. If we stop subsidizing gasoline and fuel prices go to European levels, people will want them. Just take a look at what happened with all the giant SUVs when gas went to $4/gal... and what happened when it went back to $2/gal... and what will happen again when it goes right back up. It's all about turning a profit, carrying what will sell. Footing the fuel bill will have to get hard and stay hard before people want them, but when people want them, they will come. Too bad so many people are so enculturated to profligacy that we don't even seem able to see it for what it is.

MC_2
7/20/2009 9:31:46 AM
Chalk up another reader who's only half-impressed by 40 mpg. I can get that out of a conventional compact ('05 Cavalier, open highway, 60-65 mph, 43 mpg avg over 900 miles flat/hilly terrain). I am impressed by the price tag-- accessible once it hits the used-car market-- and by the fact that I can get 5 people in it if 3 of them are small. Now they need to do that in a plug-in hybrid... ...and provide the ability to recharge it at rest stops while I spend an hour letting 3 kids take a tinkle and stretch. Still more sustainable to re-create a society where you don't have to move 900 miles from most everyone you care for just to put food on the table.

James_91
4/26/2009 12:06:13 AM
The original Insight was infamous for its sluggish performance? Where on earth did you get that idea? I've owned one for about six years, driving mostly in the Sierra Nevada, and I've found mine far less sluggish than the oversized V8 gas-guzzlers I so often get stuck behind on those mountain roads.

Michael_81
3/27/2009 8:27:20 AM
I am sorry but I do not get the hybrid hype? City driving is the advantage maybe. The eco footprint of say a Prius vs. a Honda Life (that gets same if not better miliage from a turbo 660cc engine) is probably double. I am all for the direction but 40MPG is crap. I have been driving cars that could do that for over 20 years. We need to get the simple 8,000.00 to 12,000 cars available in Europe and Japan that use tiny displacement engines and turbos to sip on the fuel tank but have adequate power when needed. Michael

Kev_2
3/24/2009 9:23:42 PM
I was on vacation in Italy and they have super efficient cars over there and some of them were made by Ford so when I returned I contacted Ford and asked why they dont sell the 60+ mpg cars in the US and the reply was "Ford has no plans to offer the high efficient cars that you saw in Italy in the US"

Devin_2
3/22/2009 12:37:07 PM
It has always been amazing to me how we thing it is good that we can now get 40mpg on a hybrid car but i had a 1995 honda civic that got 40 mpg without any changes to the engine....Dont get me wrong i think we are going the right direction but we need to look at what wee use to do and learn from that and improve on it

Karen H.
3/21/2009 11:19:18 AM
I love seeing these articles on more efficient cars and hybrids. I recently purchased a 2009 Honda Fit with manual transmission, and am averaging 40.3 mpg with this car (mostly highway driving).

Aaron T
3/18/2009 3:51:02 PM
Actually, on-road testing by several automotive magazines on the Insights that have been on the road in Japan for about a month now are showing real-world 60+mpg numbers. The 2010 Prius gets near 55mph by those same testers.








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