Honda Motor Co. began selling the 2010 Honda Insight last week at a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of only $19,800, making it the most affordable hybrid vehicle available in the United States.
Unlike its earlier two-seater namesake, the new Insight is a five-passenger hatchback sedan that combines a four-cylinder engine with a 10-kilowatt electric motor.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates the Insight’s fuel economy at 40 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city and 43 mpg on the highway, for a combined fuel economy of 41 mpg.
The Insight’s fuel economy features include a continuously variable transmission and a cylinder deactivation system. The base model Insight LX comes with plenty of bells and whistles, but for those people who want extra features, the Insight EX has an MSRP of $21,300.
Perhaps the biggest attention-getter for the new Insight is its driver feedback system, which changes the color of the speedometer from green to blue as your driving habits become less fuel-efficient. The vehicle will literally keep score on drivers as they head down the road, and the car’s dashboard will display up to five green leaves, with the number of leaves proportional to the driver’s “green driving” score.
Honda doesn't say, however, if you can separate your score from that of your lead-footed spouse.
Reprinted from EERE Network News, a free newsletter of the U.S. Department of Energy.