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.

| April/May 2009

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.

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.

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.

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.

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