6 New Hybrid Cars


2010 Honda Insight hybrid. Photo: Honda

Second Generation Honda Insight


The original Honda Insight hybrid was king when it came to MPG (one hypermiler won a competition using his Insight to get a 124 MPG average), but it was never a commercial success, probably because it was a two-seater and because it was launched back when gasoline prices were very low.

The new Honda Insight hybrid is a whole other beast. It's kind of a cross between the Honda FCX Clarity hydrogen car and the Civic Hybrid.


2010 Honda Insight hybrid. Photo: Honda

The new Insight does quite compete directly with the new Prius when it comes to MPG (at least not with the EPA methodology - we'll see if the numbers are better with real-world driving): 40 MPG city/43 MPG highway/41 MPg combined.

onda will be using a new version of its IMA system, which can also be found in its other hybrids.

The 1.3 litre [i-VTEC engine] Insight is powered by Honda's acclaimed IMA system, which has been extensively modified to reduce its cost and weight. With careful engineering of key components and refinement of manufacturing processes, the cost of the hybrid system has been significantly reduced. This ensures that Insight can be sold at a very competitive price without compromising ability, quality, environmental performance or profitability.

So far it has been selling well in Japan, even outselling the second generation Toyota Prius hybrid in February. Honda has announced that the new Insight hybrid will be sold for $19,800 in the US.


Interior of the 2010 Honda Insight hybrid. Photo: Honda

Here's a picture of the interior of the Honda Insight hybrid. Like the Ford Fusion hybrid, the instrument cluster can give you feedback to help you drive more efficiently and save gas. But on top of that, Honda's Eco-Assist feature also has an ECON button that changes the driving behavior of the car slightly to make it more efficient (that 2010 Prius also has that).

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Tags: Fuel Efficiency | Hybrid Cars | Transportation