2012 Honda Insight

When the current generation Honda Insight was introduced in March 2009 as a 2010 model it was hailed as a “Toyota Prius fighter.” Making the best use of the most cost-effective Honda hybrid technology, the Insight was touted as a 40-mpg-plus compact car for less than $20,000 – a figure designed to undercut the least expensive Prius by about $2,000. But Toyota countered with a lower priced Prius. With around $1,500 difference in price, combined with the Prius’s 51 mpg city and 48 highway versus the Insight’s 40 city/43 highway, the projected Insight sales of 70,000 per year didn’t happen.

Last year, to be more competitive and jump-start the sluggish sales, Honda added a new entry level Insight hybrid model to its 2011 lineup. Named simply the Honda Insight, the $18,200 price gave it a walloping $4,610 price advantage over the base Toyota Prius II. (Toyota relegated the Prius I for fleet sales only.) The result? The same as the previous year – Honda’s little hatchback hybrid never came close its yearly sales goal. In fact, since its March 2009 introduction Insight sales have tallied only 57,083 units.

For 2012 It’s Try, Try Again

Like the little hybrid that could, Honda’s 2012 carries over with updates in hopes of increasing sales. The company has given the car minor changes to the exterior styling, interior and a slight increase in fuel economy. Traditionally, these changes – what the industry calls a refresh – come after a vehicle has been on sale for three or four years, but the Insight’s situation called for faster action.

2012 Honda Insight Hybrid Action Front

The sub-model designation nomenclature, however, is still the same as it was in 2011. The lineup begins with the base Insight starting at $18,350, a $150 increase over 2011. Next is the LX with a $225 price bump to $20,125. The top EX trim starts at $21,815, $325 more than the 2011 model. There’s also the EX with Navigation, which is priced at $23,540, a $275 increase. Of note, the 2012 Insight’s price increases are relatively small compared to the 2012 Toyota Prius’s $480 to $1,045 jump.

Under The Hood

Increasing the fuel economy of an existing vehicle is not an easy task, particularly one that is already one of the most fuel-efficient available. But that’s what Honda accomplished on the 2012 Insight, with some tweaks under the hood plus an exterior nip and tuck. This latest edition posts EPA mpg numbers of 41 city/44 highway and 42 combined; a one-mpg increase in each category.

The design tweaks start with a change to the aerodynamic shape of the engine bay underbody cover. Next, minor revisions to the engine and transmission cut friction to reduce fuel consumption.

The Insight continues with the hybrid system that Honda calls Integrated Motor Assist (IMA). It’s an apt name since the electric motor assists the gasoline engine rather than working in tandem with it. The assist occurs when passing or climbing hills and in certain situations, namely low-speed driving, it can even move the car on its own, though the engine always turns.

2012 Honda Insight Hybrid Engine

The Insight’s IMA system is comprised of a 1.3-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and an electric motor paired with a nickel-metal hydride battery pack. The gas engine generates 88 horsepower and 88 pound-feet of torque, while the electric motor chips in 13 horses and 58 pound feet. Due to varying torque peaks, the maximum combined output is 98 horsepower and 123 pound-feet of torque. Power is directed to the front wheels through a continuously variable transmission (CVT), which provides infinite ratios to keep the engine operating within its most efficient range.

On the upscale EX model, Honda offers paddle shifters mounted behind the steering wheel that give the driver the experience of a seven-speed gearbox. A CVT doesn’t actually have gears, so the system uses electronics to direct the transmission to up- or downshift in specific ways when a driver hits a paddle.

Exterior

For the Insight’s design, Honda uses a shape that’s coming to define hybrid and electric vehicles: a four-door hatchback with a smooth front and a high, abrupt tail. You can add the Insight to a list of similarly shaped cars that begins with the Toyota Prius and includes the plug-in Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicle as well.

2012 Honda Insight Hybrid Left

The nip and tucks of the exterior include a new grille design that introduces a thin, blue accent bar, blue light surrounds inside the headlamp casings and a restyled front bumper. The rear bumper is also redesigned with diffusers added to smooth airflow while the aerodynamic strakes forward of the front wheels have been extended. These two changes, along with the engine bay’s underbody cover, reduce the drag coefficient by two percent, helping to improve highway fuel mileage.

The low nose, swept-back windshield, and long, gently arched roof let onlookers know that the Insight is a gas-electric car. That’s a message that is important to many hybrid buyers.

Interior

Despite the small platform, the Insight feels spacious, airy, and somewhat futuristic. Like the Honda Civic, there’s plenty of forward space and a clean, multi-level dash. Standard tilt/telescoping steering wheel and manual height-adjustable driver’s seat assures a comfortable driving position.

2012 Honda Insight Hybrid Interior

In response to owner input, for 2012 the center-console beverage holders have been reshaped to accommodate larger drinks and the front armrest (not available on the base model) is more supportive. The available navigation system now includes a rearview camera and a 16-GB flash memory system replaces the 4.7-GB DVD-based system used on the prior model.

In back, changes to the rear headliner shape and deeper sculpting of the rear seat cushion result in 0.6 inches more headroom. (Hey, every 10th of an inch helps.) The 15.9 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seats is sufficient – maybe not for a family of four, but certainly for a couple taking a road trip. When more carrying room is required, the 60/40-split fold seats can open up to a fairly generous 31.5 cubic feet.

Driver Controls And Feedback, For Max MPG

The electronics in the control system let Honda offer what it calls the Eco Assist system, which tells the driver how economically he or she is driving by changing the background color of the speedometer. Green means good, blue means you’re a lead-foot. There’s an ECON mode that enhances fuel economy further by resetting the control logic, so the car accelerates more slowly and backs off the gas engine quicker.

The dashboard Eco Guide accumulates data on driving patterns, so hypermiling drivers can analyze their history to improve driving strategies. Honda even shows up to five green leaves in the display – similar to graphics in the Ford Fusion Hybrid – to reward drivers who display the most economical behavior over time. Wilted leaves means more practice is required for driving economically.

On The Road

The Insight can feel labored when accelerating rapidly off the line or overtaking fast-moving traffic. In ordinary driving conditions, however, the powertrain absolves itself well enough and the car is stable on the highway. Our take is the Insight’s handling leans toward its cousin, the Honda Fit – which is to say, it is fairly nimble and responsive. Steering feel is good and contributes to a generally rewarding drive. The ride is firm and reasonably well damped but the suspension’s tuning makes known even the smallest road imperfections.

Cabin noise intrusion has been an issue with the Insight since day one. The low-rolling resistant tires have been singled out as the major noisemaker – as they are with all hybrids – and a bit of buzziness from the engine during periods of stronger acceleration is another contributor. Interior noise sees improvement for 2012, thanks to thicker noise-insulation materials and additional insulation panels in the cargo area.

Bottom Line

If you are a prospective hybrid car buyer, there’s no question that the price of the 2012 Insight will get your attention, plus until the Prius c arrives, it has the highest fuel economy rating of any vehicle under $20,000. Additionally, even the entry-level Insight is well equipped with standard features that include: automatic climate control; remote keyless entry; power windows, door locks and outside mirrors; tilt-and-telescoping steering column; manual driver’s seat height adjustment; AM/FM/CD audio system with two speakers; auxiliary audio input; and unique seating fabric.

And when it comes to standard safety features, the Insight has all the biggies: front, side and curtain air bags; front active head restraints; four-wheel anti-lock brakes with electronic brake distribution; and electronic stability and traction control.

2012 Honda Insight Hybrid Action Left

The 2012 Insight has lots of compelling reasons to place it on or near the top of hybrid shopping lists. But, it will soon be overshadowed by the 2012 Prius c when it arrives in March. Slightly smaller than the Insight, Toyota says the Prius c will start under $19,000 with an estimated mileage rating of 53 city/46 highway and a combined 50 mpg.

If fuel economy and price are important criteria in the new car purchase, there are a host of gasoline-powered alternatives with fuel-economy ratings in the mid 30-mpg range in city driving and an even 40 on the highway. That’s within sniffing distance of the Insight at lower prices. Might be worth checking out the Ford Fiesta, Chevrolet Cruze, Hyundai Accent or Mazda3 before committing to an Insight.

Still, the Insight has something the others don’t have – it’s a Honda.

Prices are Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) at time of publication and do not include destination charges, taxes or licensing.


Pros
  • Rear-seat split and hatchback provides generous cargo space
  • More responsive driving and handling than many other hybrids
  • Most affordable hybrid
Cons
  • Engine noise and buzz during brisk acceleration
  • Affordability emphasized over maximum fuel efficiency
  • Uncomfortable and cramped in back seat

Price quote for Honda Insight

2012 Honda Insight
Base MSRP: $18,300
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  • Justin Thomas

    The Honda Insight is amazing!!! Who could do ANY better tan that. If you know of a car with better mileage than that e-mail me at j_thomas16@hotmail.com … Greetings…..Justin Thomas

  • Harvey Mushman

    I just bought a 2002 Insight with 13,000 miles on it last week. I cannot believe how well it drives. Even though it’s a CVT I get over 50MPG combined. That’s wintertime driving in a very hilly area. Some of my friends on Corvetteforum laughed when I told them about it but how can anyone ignore this kind of “performance”? BTW- My 2004, 6 speed Vette gets 32 MPG highway. Not bad either.

  • Ryan Washington

    A Corvette and an Insight…very opposite combination, wouldn’t you say? lol I like it

  • Lauren

    Hey, my folks have agreed to help me buy a new car but are really apprehensive about used hybrid batteries. They would rather buy me a new prius than trust a used insight. But I insist that I really want an insight.

    Can anyone tell me anything about their battery life? When will I have to replace it, will it be hard to find, and will it cost an arm and a leg?

    Thanks for any advice

  • iamian

    Lauren,

    All Honda Insights in the U.S. have the hybrid electrical parts such as the Batteries all covered for the first 10 years or 150,000 miles by Honda… so anything in that period is no cost to you.

    My 2000 model year Insight has 118,000 miles on it and no issues with the original Hybrid battery.

    After the 10 year / 150,000 mile Honda warranty, you have many options.

    Remember that the local Honda dealer is privately owned and is not Honda the Company…. Honda the company has given discounts to good customers even when there is no warranty or legal reason that says they have to.

    Cheapest… $ only cost the time of a qualified person… it has been shown that unlike other hybrids the Insight can be modified to run without the NiMH Hybrid battery pack… without it you loose the electric assist and the regenerative braking… but the car can easily be made to do everything else.

    2nd Cheapest… $ only the time of a qualified and properly equiped person…. the most common issue that happens with the Insight battery packs is that the sub-packs in the car get out of balance with each other over the years … the Insight does not have the ability to correct this on its own so it just gives a error code… a qualified person can remove the battery pack and repair most imbalances.

    3rd cheapest… $250+ …. the Insight battery pack can be rebuilt using the salvaged / used batter packs from other more mass produced hybrids… the 2005 and earlier Civic Hybrids use 20 sub-packs that are 99% identical to the Insight’s 20 sub-packs …. other Hybrid battery packs require more modification to work properly…. In 2008 I bought a 2005 with under 30k miles on it civic HEV battery for $250, to experiment with.

    4th cheapest… $600 + …. buy a salvaged / used Honda insight battery pack and the Honda Service Manual and replace the pack yourself.

    5th cheapest … $1,200 + ….. buy a new / reconditioned battery pack from Honda and install it yourself.

    6th cheapest / most expensive… $2,000+ …. pay a Honda dealer to replace the battery pack with a new one for you.

    good luck and enjoy.

  • jay thomas

    Hey Justin Thomas:

    There is a vehicle that you will be able to buy that not only gets about 55 mpg, but it doesn’t have the negative environmental impact the honda insight does. You will not feel responsible for hundrends of pounds of unrecyclable battery material being dumped in our landfills. Also, you don’t have to concern yourself with how much of our natural resources are being used to create the hundreds of pounds of batteries either.

    Check out the new VW diesels that will be coming out shorlty. It takes about 1/3 of the raw material to make a gallon of gasoline as opposed to a gallon of regular unleaded. The new TDI technology has less greenhouse emission then even some of the newest Hybrids and best of all, no huge battery packs to replace.

  • lanzdale

    THis blog is about a vehicle that’s been running since the year 2000. Now VW is coming out with a vehicle that, if you can ignore the stink, pollution (the “clean” is relative to older diesels not not close to Insight’s ULEV/SULEV ) and high price of diesel fuel might do as well. I’m going to wait until Honda comes out with their new hybrid.

  • Jim Isbell

    I didnt know what an Insight was a year ago when I turned down the offer of one for free. A month ago I found out what it was and had to buy my own, a 2000 model with 172,000 miles on it for $13,900. Sure wish I had researched it earlier! BUT, its the greatest car I have ever owned in many ways. I get 65 to 75 mpg and it will drive at 85 mph all day if I want to (top speed is 110 mph) while also giving me a great ride and AC. Of course, getting 75 mpg at 85 mph and with the AC on and two passengers with luggage, is NOT possible.

    But by slowing down to the speed limits, getting 65mpg with the AC on and a full car (as above) from Corpus Christi to Tyler TX (400 miles) last Tuesday, was possible.

  • neil

    This is in response to Jay Thomas’ comment about the diesel Jettas.

    Firstly, I am excited about high mileage diesel cars coming to the market again in the US. Having Ultra Low Sulfer Diesel Fuel along with stricter emission requirements makes these diesels cleaner than they have been in the past. Although the emissions are not as clean as the cleanest regular gasoline cars, they are definitely “part of the pack” now as opposed to flat out pollution machines.

    Jay erroneously asserts the Diesel TDI gets 55 MPG. This is simply not true. The EPA numbers are 29/40 city/highway, which are admittely low. VW claims 38 city/44 highway; even so, this is a far cry from 55 mpg.

    Jay also overlooks the fact that because diesel fuel has longer hydrocarbon chains than gasoline does, a gallon of diesel has more energy than gasoline. Consquently it also produces more CO2 per gallon than Gasoline. So there is no way the Diesel Jetta produces less greenhouse gas than the current leading hybrids. To do so, it would have to post mileage numbers that are at least 15% higher than the Prius – this would be in the range of 55 city and 52 highway.

    This is a great topic to discuss. I look forward to a few responses.

  • sn

    I’m holding out for Honda to release their hybrid DIESEL car. Now THAT should get some awesome MPG. I currently drive 2 VW diesel TDIs (a wagon and a beetle), and they get 43mpg on average. I fuel them with Biodiesel (B100), so they are definitely cleaner than any gasser on the road.

  • GR

    The new Insight looks really nice! Sign me up!

  • Bryce

    It looks a little better than a Prius, but not substantially different. The nose is pretty appealing. Hopefully the interior will not make me think of my 8th grade science project. Then again, I suppose that is part of the appeal of this market segment now. The low anticipated price should be nice too. I can’t wait to see it on the streets. : )

  • sean t

    sn,
    Fancy a diesel hybrid? Look at this:
    http://www.autoblog.com/2007/09/03/frankfurt-preview-citroen-c-cactus-concept/

    3.4l/100km, 78g/km

    It was a concept in 2007…

  • RKRB

    -Let’s hope Honda’s integrity is better than Toyota’s.

    -Three years ago, we shopped for a hybrid, and our local Toyota dealer slapped several thousand dollars onto the base price of a Prius and even tried to sell us a “heavily discounted” used one at above market price. No, we didn’t do this in Nigeria. We also drove the Prius and were less than impressed with its credentials — cheesy interior, poor visibility, poor handling (especially in the snow). Mileage is wonderful but integrity counts. We still remember this.

    -Result? We no longer trusted this dealer and no longer trusted Toyota (we bought another hybrid).

    -We hope Honda does not succumb to Toyota’s outright scammery.

  • RKRB

    Lauren:
    No one can tell you how long your batteries will last, but based on New York City taxi experience and input from various websites (including this one) the batteries seem durable and a fairly negligible longevity issue.
    The factory-advised maintenance on a hybrid may actually be less than a gas model, because they are more efficient. Oil changes are less frequent, the wear and tear on the engine and brakes are less, and hybrids seem to have better durability based on consumer reports data.
    The weak point may be the transaxle assemble, which is fairly complicated and quite expensive to repair (one Prius owner reported his transaxle assembly had to be replaced out of warranty at $7000+).
    Honda’s hybrid system, unlike Toyota’s, can run on the gas engine alone (although with much less power), so the Insight may be a better bet if you are paranoid about the batteries.
    Hope this helps.

  • jezkie

    Probably the Insight would be more successful than its predecessor. Honda’s improving hybrid technology would be much more promising since hybrid cars mostly got into real businesses today. I bet you that this could be one of the several reasons why Honda is trying to innovate theirs into more stunning vehicles. Auto Expert thus provides updated news regarding this one. The Insight does bear a strong resemblance to the larger FCX Clarity fuel cell car.

  • fredmurr

    Hy Prius is the biggest piece of crap I have ever owned! Make me an offer.

  • SteveStevens

    @Jay Thomas

    Where did you come up with the idea that lithium-based batteries are “unrecyclable” and thus will end up in landfills?

    Just the opposite is true!

    I don’t know whether Honda is using lithium-ion or lithium-polymer batteries in these new cars but both are highly recyclable with today’s technology.

    In fact, scavengers would pull them out of landfills because recyclers pay more for the depleted batteries than the cost of transport…the valuable materials are cobalt, iron, aluminum, copper, and of course lithium as lithium carbonate.

    Jay is maliciously spreading FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) around. Rest assured, these batteries won’t be in landfills, they’ll be recycled. Simple economics will ensure that since the recovered materials are worth more than the transportation + recycling costs.

  • MichaelManning

    I read that the batteries in the new Insight will be the older nickel metal hydride technology. But the same recycle argument holds, those batteries are also more economical to recycle than to throw away.

  • JNX

    fredmurr, enough people disagree with you so that you could probably sell it at near or above your purchase price. You shouldn’t have any trouble at all unloading it.

  • wentzr

    After pushing my 2003 insight over the 100,000 mile mark, I’m excited they’re finally bringing the model back to life, but to me a two door hatchback is more practical..

    I guess the definition of “practical” is highly subjective. I’m a city dweller, single passenger with no kids, none on the way and don’t need backseats, never have never will. Smaller car = better gas mileage, period.

    Too bad they didn’t just make this the new civic as it looks more like a prius’ identical twin than the old insight anyway. Oh, well.. the CR-Z is on it’s way as well.. I’m anxious to see the efficiency claims and the pricetag for the CR-Z, which to me looks more a replacement for the insight than what they’re calling the new insight.

    I believe the poor insight sales were because of one thing: the fender skirts. If anybody would have given the car a shot they would have not been complaining 5 years later.

  • HydroMan

    Everyone should buy the most fuel efficient car on the market to bring the demand up for these cars. Then in turn the car companies would start an efficient competition biding for the auto market. Anyway no matter what the cost of gas it is never cheep enough or free so no matter when you bought your Insight it is always great to be able to drive by you local gas station for 5 straight weeks without the need to fill up.

    Buy this car!!!

    If you don’t like hybrids look at the Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit, Smart, 2010 Ford Fiesta. Hypermilers report 49 mpg for the Yaris 5-spd hatch. See mpgomatic.com for the Yaris test.

    Wish VW would make the 1-Liter 235mpg tandem car.

  • Bryce

    tandem car=motorcycle

  • Silver Armadillo

    There is so much incorrect and misleading information about these incredible little cars. For those who are worried about the battery packs there’s now plenty of information to be found on the web that will attest “empirically” to the longevity of the Insight’s batteries. Just google it. If you follow the web and the Insight blogs you’ll see where most Insight battery packs are exceeding 150K miles and still holding an excellent charge. There were apparently some problems with the ’00 and ’01 years due to different charging algorithims but this was corrected via a factory upgrade. I have seen the inside of the easily accessable battery packs. There are twenty stacks of six typical “D” size NiMH batteries. A total of 120 standard Panasonic NiMH “D” cells. I’ve seen equivalent D size NiMH batteries on eBay for a little as $3 each. With very little effort you could actually replace the batteries yourself. SO DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF. As far as this cars other qualities I can give you some insight from the perspective of someone who has owned a silver 2002 Insight since new and has now placed over 102K miles on it. EVERYTHING STILL WORKS AS NEW. Typical Honda engineering, every switch, every adjustment, every system, indeed, every damn part seems to be functioning just like the day it rolled off the lot. I do have a little squeak coming from the suspension now and then. The mileage is’nt the 68 MPG that I thought it was going to get but rather only 62-64 summer and 58-60 winter. I will say this however, these cars were not designed to get high mileage in city driving. The mileage will drop drastically in stop and go driving. If I get into heavy stop and go situations my mileage will drop to the low 50′s and even the 40′s if it’s too bad. That said I can now tell you that given ideal conditions, (wide open, flat highway with no stop and go, and no head wind), will get me 65-67 over an entire tank of gas. I have the CVT tranny and I suspect that if I had the 5 speed I’d get well over 70 MPG.
    They are a bit on the noisy side (wheel, road and suspension noise), and the suspension is quite stiff but the handling is great.
    Also, the sound system/radio is absolutely horrible. Get an aftermarket stereo. Finally, this car has never needed anything but routine service. This is a good thing because Honda service is deplorable. They will find ways to get money out of you. Find a reputable repairman and keep him.

  • Dana

    I am the proud owner of a 2009 VW Jetta TDI sedan. Since Jay Thomas’ obvious over exaggeration of things, I feel the need to state my opinion as well.

    First, I have to say that comparing a car like the Jetta to a car like the Insight is like comparing apples to oranges. They are each designed for different purposes ultimately. The tiny compact hybrids we have seen in the past were designed to get nothing but the best possible MPGs available. Initially, the stated capable MPG were fabrications of these first hybrids as well. If all you are looking for is the highest mpg possible, then you may have found your car. However you also have to give up certain elements of comfort, quality, and convenience.

    I certainly hope this new Insight takes big steps in those three areas too. However, moving from 2 to 4 seats and increasing the maximum load allowed, the days of almost reaching 70 mpg are gone with this car. But hopefully the trade off will be worth it.

    With my new Jetta, I feel it fits what I was looking for in a car quite well. 4 (very comfortable) seats, excellent stock sound system, countless convenience features (such as heated seats, mirrors, washer nozzles (I am a snowboarder so heading up into the mountains, these features will be invaluable)) on top of excellent safety ratings (I believe 8 airbags total?) made this car very appealing to me.

    To top it off, the mpg capabilities were the final selling point. While no, it won’t get up to what the Insight will probably do, it also is much better than what the ridiculous EPA rates it at. I can also vouch that it gets even better mileage than the retesting VW had performed by an outside organization (I forget the name at the moment). On its inital voyage home from Seattle, after I pulled off the freeway and onto the final 10 mile stretch of local highway, I was getting just under 50mpg going about 58 miles per hour! This is my first TDI but I have heard that the mpg gets even better after the engine has been properly broken in. So far I am loving my new car and can’t wait to find out what it is capable of!

    (I also just talked to another Jetta TDI owner a couple days ago, this one a 2002, who told me his car gets steady 53-54 mpg, and actually can get up to 63 mpg when really trying hard to keep a light foot!) My car might not get quite that good, but I think the trade off is worth it with the quieter engine than the old, no more diesel smell/smoke, and better emissions with the new clean-diesel engine. Yes diesel prices are higher than unleaded but in my area (Spokane) the margin of difference lately has actually been getting considerably closer to unleaded prices. *fingers crossed*

  • Dana

    Sorry- One more thing I forgot to mention….

    My new Jetta has a 140 hp engine providing 236lb-ft of torque.
    vs.
    Insight has a 67 hp engine providing 66lb-ft of torque.

    Anybody wanna race? ;-D

  • Phil McDonald

    This new Insight seems to be about the same size as the Honda Fit, which is similar in size to the Toyota Matrix or Echo, but Toyota so far has not introduced hybrid technology for its smaller sized cars, atleast not here in the USA, perhaps because their marketing testing tells them such smaller subcompact hybrids would not sell well here.

    But I think this may not be the case, with gasoline prices likely to spiral ever higher. In Germany, the cost this summer for an equivalent US gallon there, in US dollars, is about $12.50!! So with many parts of the world already paying much higher fuel prices, Honda’s timing on the USA introduction of this new 4 passenger hybrid Insight is none too premature, infact, may turn out to surpass the Toyota Prius, if the gas mpg is much more impressive (due to the lower total car mass). I think they will give Toyota very good competition, so that both companies will strive even harder to get better fuel economy in future models. When/as soon as it costs $8/gal here, SUVs will be history. Money talks, BS walks.

    I also heard something about Toyota coming out with a new form of battery which will tremendously boost the car’s mpg, especially in city driving, but this remains to be seen. Some have said closer to 90 mpg may eventually happen if more powerful batteries get developed, as this is a big choke point right now.

    One advantage with the Insights is that the replacement battery is much less, usually < $1K, whereas the Prius replacement battery can run up to $2500 or more. Hopefully this will come down, if it hasnt already, but even then the dealers will rip you on the installation labor charges.

    Most important, the new Insight will force even greater innovations as both Honda and Toyota go neck and neck in stiff competition.

  • Hasib

    I am planningto buy the new Honda 2009 insight.
    As this will go on sale in April 2009, I am going to have to wait few more months. My question to the forum is, do you guys think there will be high demand for it when it hits the showrooms? am I going to have to pay MSRP to get one or shall I have some bargaining room?
    Thanks in advance for any responses.

  • Bryce

    Sadly, there could be a lot of dealer mark-ups given its newness and a high anticipated demand. There may be bargaining room, but only to bring it down back to MSRP. In all likelihood, you will not get this thing for below MSRP.

  • Greg

    I like the older styles better than this one coming up…something about the 4-doors just makes me not like it.

    I can race, an ’84 Camaro SS with a 400hp engine! lol. That one’s a blast to drive and is surprisingly not as gas guzzling as it sounds. It goes about 20 mpg, though I never bothered to see exactly how much it takes.

  • Leon Vaughn

    Unfortunately, diesels are noisy, smelly and diesel fuel is more expensive than gasoline.

  • GGD

    The car of the future will be the all-electric plug-in. There are already are a few versions out on the road including the ZENN (Zero emissions, no noise) car. The main limitation is electrical energy storage limitation with existing battery technologies. That may be about to change soon with the introduction of mass-produced high-efficiency ultracapacitors which, if successfully produced, will make existing battery technology obsolete for the most part. With ultracapacitor technology, we are in a whole new ball game with all-electric vehicles having range and speed comparable to internal combustion engines and not using any carbon based fuel. Tesla cars has an all-electric sports car but it is going for $100K which limits access to it for most people. But Zenn is proposing to produce an ultracapacitor based all-electric plug-in within the next few years with a range of 250 miles on a charge and maximum speed of 85 mph. If that vehicle materializes, it will be a game changer.

  • Dave Ellis

    Our 2002 Insight has 120K miles on it. We bought it in 2003 with 25 K miles and reset the overall trip mileage. Now it reads 61.3 mpg. Zero unexpected maintenance, NiMH battery continues to perform flawlessly, great handiling; we drive 820 miles one-way in one day to visit relatives. Love this car!

    The old Insight, Prius, Chevy Volt, and new Insight have the same basic body shape. This is not an accident — it is all about physics and aerodynamics.

  • Dave Ellis

    Oh — I forgot to mention that I’m 70 years old, and my wife is 69.
    We chuckle at the other old folks driving Lincoln Town Cars that we routinely pass.

  • David Miller

    What about a hybrid Accord based on a four cylinder powerplant?

    I of course realize that the headlines are made by the very high-mileage cars, but I am very tall, and the hybrids (other than Camry and Highlander) that can comfortably accomodate me are just not there.

    We have a 2005 Acura MDX that was purchased for my wife’s work and as our main transportation, after finding that the then-avaialble Highlander was somewhat cramped foprme.

    I really like the car, except for its mileage and don’t particulalry like the Camry style. As I move toward considering a new car, and I am committed to a “greener” future, i’d love the option of an Accord four cylinder hybrid. I suspect they could tweak oneto get 35-40 mpg. Honda has the technology for sure, witness my daughter’s new Civic hybrid, which is great but too cramped for my needs. Anything on the near horizon?

  • Marc Mullinax

    My 2006 Insight has 52K mostly-highway miles. It’s taught me how to drive for maximum mileage.

    I recommend everyone getting their next car with a “real-time” gas consumption meter on it!!

    My current lifetime average is 69.7 mpg. Best I’ve ever done is 91 mpg for two hours, driving with a tailwind, behind a truck (legal distance, of course!).

    Too frickin’ bad that no car maker is willing to dare approaching 100 mpg with a car.

  • RKRB

    Regarding the diesel VW’s, their Consumer Reports-based reliability and maintenance costs are not terribly encouraging. The engine durability and economy may be great, but beware of total ownership costs too.

  • Libor

    Diesel? Well it’s more complicated, as we Europeans found out recently. See, the diesel is a product dependent on what you call “unleaded”, because their production is connected pretty much as chicken breasts and chicken wings. If people start to buy wings because their cheaper (hypothetically, of course), then producers will have plenty of breasts and shortage of wings, so prices of wings will rise and prices of breasts will fall, so that price motivates customers to buy the less loved part of the chicken; it wouldn’t be economic to thrown the breasts to bin…
    So, the diesel. Don’t forget that all trucks and buses, many locomotives, a lot of machinery, etc. are already using diesel. In Europe, a popularity of small diesel cars was growing overt the years, finally reaching it’s tip sometimes in the end of last year. The producers struggled to supply market with enough diesel but they had enough “unleaded”. So although diesel is generally easier (understand: *cheaper*) to make than unleaded, it’s price went up, crossed the unleaded and continued to rise and disappoint the diesel owners. See, the main reason why they bought the cars was the price of fuel and a bit lower mileage. Today, to run a diesel in Europe is as expensive as to run ordinary car and the diesel is much less ecological.
    I have an ordinary gasoline Toyota Corolla, but I believe in EVs and plug-ins and if I have had the chance I would have already bought it.
    I love this concept (only) though: http://www.carbodydesign.com/archive/2008/07/01-tatra-903-concept/ It’s a dream based on previous models from a manufacturer who brought many auto dreams to reality…

  • Anonymous

    Almost a decade since the original and this car gets less mileage. Am I missing something?
    Honda needs to take lessons from the old insight. Small efficient wheels, wheel skirts
    and better aerodynamics.
    And for all those people that think this car is ugly there is only one shape for low cg and that is a teardrop. Anything other than this is wasting energy.

  • Vann

    We own a 2001 insight with about 125000 miles on it. I am getting 50 plus mpg in town – Torrance, Ca – and between 60 to 64 mpg on the freeway between Torrance and San Diego, Ca traveling at legal freeway speeds, i.e. hovering between 65 and 70 mph. I am a conservative driver. I am interested to find out what the new Insight will be delivering.

    So far we have found that the 2001 Insight is reliable and it has given us much satisfaction. It still drives like new and we’ll probably drive it until it turns to dust.

    If others want a lot of horse power and get-up-and-scat, go for it. However this little car still travels at the same speeds all others do and costs us much less than almost any other car on the road. Imagine traveling from Los Angeles to El Paso and back on less than 4 tanks of gasoline. We travel from Torrance to San Diego and back on 1/2 a tank. This does give us a good sense of satisfaction.

  • Joe Paterson

    I went the cheap route and bought the Honda Civic EX Coupe with the 5 speed automatic. I was worried about depreciation because I put so many miles on it. I get right around 42 on the highway at 70 and love it. I am really thinking that the new Insight might be the way to go for the family car and run the high miles on the Civic.

  • Sarah

    I love the new insight look! I’m really curious to what the fit hybrid will look like. I guess if you are looking for a 2 seater you can go with the fit or crz otherwise the insight.

    I can’t wait to get the new insight.

  • Eric

    Hasib, you can get the new honda insight for 18,500 price tag. Here’s the link:

    http://jalopnik.com/5045333/new-honda-insight-hybrid-revealed-expected-18500-price-tag-to-make-it-worlds-cheapest

  • Bill in Mesa AZ

    My Prius regularly makes 51MPG locally with a 20 mile commute mostly on freeways. Returning from Payson AZ to Mesa I managed 1.5 gal. of gas over nearly 90 miles. This thing likes the mountains. I have been up to 8,800 ft on Arizona roads and the hills seem to help with improved mileage (down hill the engine stops). I can watch the battery charge state and maximize the usage going up hill. The California people introduced “pulse” driving to me and it works. On my 9 mile commute to work I have managed 96.5 MPG on back roads and low speed limits. I’ll provide a screen shot of the display. The display helps to teach high mileage. It matters not to me if you like the Honda or the Toyota. Just buy into hybrids and go.

  • Ed in California

    My 2000 insight has less than 100 thousand miles on it and recently had its main battery replaced, under warranty. Other than getting now brake pads and rotors turned and a new oxygen sensor, my car has been trouble-free otherwise.

    Running with air conditioning when outside temps were hitting tripple digits, and doing only short trips of stop and go driving in town, my mileage dropped into the low 40′s. Now that the weather is cooler and I can run without air conditioning, and also running more freeway miles, I’m back up to 50mpg range in normal (read keeping up with the rest of the jackrabbits on the freeway) driving mode I am usually in.

  • Sing

    i love this car it looks cool..

  • Bryce

    An improvement over the current and next gen Toyota prius. have you seen the spy shots???? Craptastic. Go Honda Insight and Go Chevy Volt!!!

  • Julius Huguenin

    Please tell me they will have some decent colors for the new Insight….like red and black. And perhaps some options….like leather! What was Honda thinking with their Civic Hybrid with their eco-neutral colors and almost NO options. It’s like they said “We ain’t selling many of these so why bother”. Honda….are you listening?

  • Derrick Campbell

    God bless all of you who have bought hybrid vehicles. I have a 1995 Toyota Camry with 160,000 miles on it, as that is what I can afford, but by driving the speed limit, I get 30 mpg on the highway and 24 combined between city and highway driving.

    I dream of the day I can own a hybrid car.

  • mike p.

    Thats about the same mileage (low 40s – about 50) got with my 1987 Honda CR-X HF that i bought used for $3000 a few years ago and drove for 200,000 trouble free miles. Can’t believe how little progress we’ve made

  • databekker

    Honda goes to copy Toyota.

    Honda thinks that the Prius sells good becouse of the exterior design. Wrong!
    The imago of Toyota’s extreme quality is right.

    Ofcourse the aerodynamic shape is important for the fuel economy and that’s why the Prius looks like a drug capsule.
    But i wil pay for a worse fuel economy and drive in a beatifull car! That’s why muscle cars are beauties for your eyes.

    Honda copied. I like the way Honda cars drives and accept the copy drift. In History the Prelude was a nice Honda original.
    We will see what future brings.

  • Bryce

    rofl….Toyota quality…..lol

    Honda blows them out of the water in every survey and study….hell, so does Chevy. I really don’t understand peoples infatuation with them. they havn’t made a good car since the 90′s. A car for old folks I say.

  • miss genius

    kristen and sing loves this car…………. woot woot………!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    :)… :)…

  • gorgeous……..

    o really thats cool…………..

  • ted johnson

    I have a 2000 Insight 5 spd with 230,000 miles on it, still running great and getting 70 mpg or better in the summer. Honda replaced for free the battery pack when it died at 180,000 miles. The only sign of age is some piston slap when cold . I do not ever expect to part with this car. I love the handling, the 2 seat design, I can carry 2X6X8 ft boards with the hatch closed. It has been across the country twice. It runs great in the snow with 4 studded tires. What more could you want? I put in a sunroof and a solid 4 spkr stereo with Ipod input, its a perfect car.

  • kentrda

    It’s not about racing!

  • kentrda

    Hondas and Toyotas are at the top of all lists. “Blows them out of the water” is an exaggeration, and exaggerations don’t help anyone make a point when dealing with reasonably informed people; such as the people on this forum.

  • Kentrda

    Bill, Like you, my wife and I use our Prius to commute to our mountain house (in Colorado) each weekend. The round trip is 200 miles. On the trip, we go up 3,500′ in elevation, and of course, go back down the same 3,500′ on the return trip to Denver. Our average mileage (in our Prius) is 55 to 58 mpg. Like you, we have learned ‘pulse driving’ which can produce mileage averages in the 80′s & 90′s (mpg). After having a Prius hybrid, I would say that the vast majority of hybrid users (of all brands) do not know how to maximize the mileage of a hybrid. For instance, hardly anyone uses the “Regenerative Braking” lever/function on the Prius. Not only does it more than double the charging rate, but it also saves CONSIDERABLY on the brakes. Another way to save fuel on a hybrid (or any car for that matter) is to turn off the air-conditioner or heater at stops. (Doing so in a hybrid allows your engine to turn completely off!)

  • Joe Sixpack

    This discussion seems to mostly consider the environmental implications of recycling spent NiH batteries. What about the environmental impact of assembling these cars and their batteries in the first place? The aforementioned heavy metals that go into the batteries must come from somewhere. I’m guessing it’s from the scrap yards and the mines of China. If so, the net environmental impact might be greater from the Insight, compared to a high-efficiency diesel of gasoline engine. IJS.

  • aussieinsight

    I never really understand how stupid people really are. They never research and pretend to be experts on hearsay. The Original Insight was produced on a total life cycle, ease in manufacture and recycling – something no other car maker can attest to. Honda has stated and achieved stringent ecological goals and is amongst the leaders in this area.
    The Insight is without doubt one of the greatest modes of personal transport ever conceived and put into production what we need from Honda is more of them.
    Purchasing an I.C.E either petrol or diesel without a hybrid drive train is like purchasing a 386 computer – old fuddy-duddy stuff for the old economy, get with the program the future electric vehicles are fun and fantastic or the Insight is a brilliant appetizer

  • Bryce

    Actaully, Volvo has the highest recyclability rates in the industry….just to let you know.

  • John Salvador

    Volkswagen’s Jetta TDI Named 2009 Green Car of the Year(R)
    Green Car Journal Announces Winner at the Los Angeles Auto Show

    interesting article:

    http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/Volkswagens-Jetta-TDI-Named-2009/story.aspx?guid={62939B87-2D36-4DDE-A5C0-83F1D4F59DBD}

  • Insightowner

    My 2000 Honda Insight is still running beautifully at 143,000 miles. The battery is still good, and I believe Honda has extended the battery warranty to 150,000 miles. I have not looked into the cost of replacing it, however.

  • Tyler Durden

    The Green car of the year competition did not include the new Honda Insight.

  • Bryce

    I don’t think it is out yet, which is why it wasn’t included. It will be included next year probably. Might even win if nothing else comes out that can beat its potential high mpg and affordability.

  • J. Robert

    I have test driven the VW TDI. It is a marvelous vehicle, BUT the cost of diesel fuel clearly offsets the advantage of the TDI vs. a hybrid–period! The national average of diesel vice gasoline (week of 24 November) was approximately 90 cents more for diesel. In So. Cal. today (11-28-08) diesel is on average about 60c more. It does not compute–advantage to hybrid, and diesel fuel stations are not nearly as available as gasoline. COSTCO, where you can enjoy up to 5% per gallon discount below their pump price does not carry diesel. End of discussion. Plz convince me otherwise–I like VW and I like the TDI, but ……………………………

  • J. Robert

    Incidentally, to Dana who is a VW TDI fan–you concede that the Insight will get better mileage yet you do suggest that the TDI will get better mileage than it’s advertised EPA numbers. Are you equivocating relative to the Insight mileage advantage over the TDI? If the TDI were to get better mileage than the Insight by 10-15% (and it will not) that better mileage is still offset by the diesel cost per gallon of easily 25 % more than gasoline, and on a national average an exceedingly greater disparity. You talk about apples and oranges comparison (VW TDI vs. Insight) yet I assume you bought the VW TDI while considering miles per gallon. Afterall, isn’t that what we are talking about here? Clearly the TDI is a great improvement over other diesels of similar class, but it does not match the economy of ownership of the newer generation hybrids. The price point of the Insight is also less than the TDI. In Europe diesel, on aveage, is about 20 Euro cents cheaper than gasoline (verified–just returned from a 3 wk. driving trip in Europe while driving a diesel). That price advantage does not exist in the US, and if it ever does it will be years. I wish it were different because the TDI is a great car, but just not economically competitive.

  • Bryce

    nice analysis roberts. : )

  • matthew gallagher

    Ford, GM, and Chrysler be damned….. Go bankrupt, go away. No more excuses, no more crying for handouts. Make a car better than this Honda and I’ll buy one. Otherwise, just become extinct like all the rest of the dinosaurs.

  • Bryce

    you may get your wish……….

  • James Anderson Jr. the 5th

    The cars are hideous looking, can’t they work a better looking design?

  • Tom

    Leon, are you talking about one of those GM clunkers from 1981? Thought so.

    I just sold my ’99 Beetle TDI and bought a new Accord (sure do wish they’d kept the Hybrid model!). I bought the Beetle because at highway cruising speed it was far quieter than a comparable gas-powered VW!! That previous-generation diesel had gobs of torque, was clean (as long as you maintained it properly) and was a blast to drive. The new VW diesel provides more power and torque than that of my Beetle.

    As far as smell is concerned, have you gotten a good whiff of gasoline recently? Diesel smells different, perhaps, but to say it is smelly and gasoline isn’t is, well, silly.

    Finally, you are currently correct concerning the price of diesel vs. gasoline. Oddly enough, when I bought the Beetle, diesel fuel was actually about .10 cheaper than gasoline. Its price fluctuates to a different drummer than gasoline’s so, while this may be true today, it might not be tomorrow.

    BTW, I looked at the Camry Hybrid but didn’t like the light show on the dash and felt that the Accord was far more comfortable and fun to drive.

  • Roberto

    Honda should be bringing their existing diesel engine to North America starting next year, and are working on a V6 diesel. They’ve stated that they will continue with hybrids in one or two of the small vehicles (the new Insight, and probably the Civic or Fit), but will likely produce the larger diesel for their large vehicles (Odyssey, Pilot, etc.). Diesel’s have a lot of low end torque, which is useful for towing and moving weight, as well as accelerating in city traffic. Anwyay, Honda claims that the V6 diesel will get 30% better mileage than their gasoline engine.

    The existing Honda i-CTDi diesel engine is impressive. Excellent mileage, quiet (low compression ratio for a diesel), and the amount of carbon emitted per mile driven is less than any of their gasoline engines. Check out the records they set with this, including 92mpg (UK gallons) in an Accord.

    http://world.honda.com/news/2004/4040506.html

  • Roberto

    One other comment.

    The price of diesel has risen for two reasons. The first is demand, primarily from Europe. The second is the requirement for clean diesel. Diesel used to cost less to produce, but it also had something like 500ppm sulfur content. The new requirement for ULSD is 15ppm, and estimates put the cost of decreased the sulfur content diesel at up to 25 cents per gallon.

  • EdG

    The one advantage the VW TDIs have is that they can be bought with a manual transmission and get excellent fuel economy. I really don’t like automatics. Additionally, I’d argue the VWs are better handling and more fun to drive than the current hybrids.

  • Anonymous

    There’s a lot of misinformation about the batteries in hybrids. They don’t have the pollution you think they do.

    http://www.cleanmpg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9463

  • Mario Frosio

    Owned a honda insight 2 seater loved it. I will wait for the new honda insight 2010. 70 miles per gallon seems the way to go.

  • Bill A.

    Don’t blame Toyota for the actions of a few unscrupulous dealers. I bought my 2005 for exactly the retail price ($24,042, I think) with no hassles, add ons, etc. This was from the only Toyota dealer in Charlottesville, VA. The salesman was great and kept his promise that the price quoted would have no additonal dealer charges.

  • Jeddy

    What will the size of this be compared to the Prius?

    Second, why no mention yet of the Camry Hybrid for 2010. I’m buying this spring and am deciding between the Prius, Camry, and maybe, maybe if it’s of a decent size, the Honda Insight …

  • Bryce

    Sir, if you are considering the Toyota Camry, I would recommend looking at the Nissan Altima hybrid and the Ford Fusion hybrid. Both offer better fuel economy than the Toyota Camry hybrid at lower price points. The new Ford Fusion has been rated at 38/41 mpg, rivalling that of the smaller Honda Civic and Toyota Prius, while simultaneously not giving up on comfort, style, and horsepower. These are EPA ratings of course, so you can actually get mileage beyond this if you are kind to the accelerator. Just something to mull over, if you are an individual looking for a good buy.

  • Rookie60

    “A Corvette and an Insight…very opposite combination”.
    That’s me. At least it will be.
    I have had my 2003 Corvette now for 5 years.
    I have put money down on a 2009 Honda Insight.
    I think by May 2009 I will have both.
    Can’t wait. Sportiness and economy.

  • rookie60

    Harvey,
    I have a 2003 Corvette. I have ordered a 2010 Honda Insight. By the end of April I will have both. You and I are similar characters. Corvette and an Insight. What a combination.

  • Mr. Fusion

    The auto industry, especially Honda, is capable of creating more efficient engines than it is giving us.

    I own a 1996 Honda Civic HX 5-speed. Real world commuting shows 36/40mpg, and I have achieved over 45mpg when driving carefully. If you look up the HX, you’ll see it’s not a stripped down vehicle. It has AC, power windows, steering and mirrors, aluminum wheels and a 1.6 liter engine producing 115 horsepower. I picked this car up for $3,700 in 2005 with 68k on it. Currently it has 133,000k. It’s paid for itself.

    Why does a 13 year old gasoline vehicle get close to the economy of the new hybrids? I can imagine what my mpg would be if it were a hybrid in the same configuration.

  • Bryce

    basically….the answer to your question is….safety standards that have made cars relatively heavy to their older counterparts. You may get 3-5 mpg better than a modern car….but the modern car driver would survive a crash that would kill you in your car. That’s the difference.

  • Bill W

    I bought the first 2000 Honda Insight off the Dobbs Honda lot here in Tucson. We did mostly city driving with occasional trips to west LA (550 miles). The overall mpg for 75,000 miles was 59.2. On one run to LA and back (1100 miles) in winter with no a/c but steady 70-75 mph we averaged 70 mpg. I loved that car, but being a two-seater we couldn’t take the grandkids anywhere in it. Our dog loved the shelf in the back, however. In 2004 I traded it in for a Civic Hybrid. I’m getting about 45-46 mpg, mostly city driving in winter, and in summer with a/c about 40 mpg. I can’t wait to test drive the new Insight. Driving a hybrid since 2000 has made me a much safer driver because I’m always trying to better my mpg record from place A to B, which means staying at or below the speed limits, no racing starts when the light turns green, braking sooner for red lights and letting the engine turn off automatically at red lights.

  • Anonymous

    Bruce: I checked out what you said. Today’s Civic is much larger than the 1996, so comparing them wouldn’t be fair. I looked at the Fit instead, which is a better size comparison between my old Honda and a modern Honda.

    1996 Civic HX: 1.6 liter/ 117 hp /2313 lbs 33/41 mpg
    2009 Fit: 1.5 liter/ 117 hp / 2615 lbs 27/33 mpg

    Does 300 lbs make that much of a difference in mpg?

  • Bryce

    Bruce……are u talking to me….Bryce???

  • Stephen

    Is there any reason to NOT have the Econ mode on?

  • Redbeard

    Bryce, Sorry about that. I meant Bryce.

  • ME

    COOL AND CHEAP

  • The_Swede

    Hey,

    All valid comments and information here, thanks for sharing. Have a look at information that Honda UK has to provide about the new Insight Hybrid. It’s coming to here at the other side of the pond us in February.

    http://www.honda.co.uk/cars/insight/

  • Victor Sasson

    The 2010 Prius has been unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show. It will have a solar panel on the roof that will turn on a fan to cool the interior and radar to control distances to other vehicles when the cruise control is on, among other new features. Is the new Honda Insight a full hybrid like the Prius? Will it operate in electric-only mode like the Prius? Has its mileage rating been revealed? The new Prius will be more powerful than the current car but get better mileage, according to Toyota. It is rated at 50 mpg.

  • Silver Armadillo

    Now where have all those diesel loving Jetta owners gone? I think the new Insight will remove any doubts concerning perceived compromises in comfort, quality, and convenience created by the 1st edition Insights. I have owned a Honda Insight since 2002, replacing my 22 mpg Ranger. With nearly 25,000 miles a year being put on the clock I figure I’m saving over 500 gallons of gas annually. Why are we even considering these Damn Dirty Diesels? Especially when the price premium on the fuel costs you more than the few extra mpg you get. Leave the diesels for the people who need to do real work with their vehicles. Having tens of thousands of drivers converting to diesel for simply commuting back and forth to work will only drive up the cost of the fuel and make life more difficult for the people who really need the stuff. Hybrid technology works and has proven itself for nearly a decade to be incredibly robust and dependable. For six years and 105,000 miles I have had ZERO maintenance issues with this vehicle and the battery pack still holds it’s charge like it did when new. That may be because it’s a Honda but I suspect the technology is sound enough that any manufacturer could achieve this. And don’t kid yourself, that little electric motor gives quite a kick out of the hole. Zero to 50 I can keep side-by-side with most small, stock, (non hi-perf) 4 cylinder vehicles and that includes 4 cylinder diesels. Beyond 60 mph it’s a bit lame but hell it’s got a 1 Liter gasoline engine, it’s not a race car. It will however, still top 100 mph given enough time. Granted it only holds two people but it will easily carry a 250 lb passenger along with 10 full size bags of groceries in the back without straining and still get over 50 mpg. Trust me, I do this twice every week..
    Dana, you stated that the comparison of Insights and Jettas was like comparing apples to oranges . I agree with you however, some of your comments implied that one would have to give up “comfort, quality, and convenience”, to own an earlier model Insight. Comfort to some measure sure, but quality and convenience? When making comparisons to the Jetta one has to ask themselves if they really need GPS, heated seats, steering wheel mounted climate and stereo controls, cruise control and stalk mounted shift paddles, just to get back and forth to work? How important (or practical), is that 140 HP engine in over 99% of our daily drives back and forth to work.. How practical, or even useful, is it while sitting in traffic? You also implied that the stated MPG figures for hybrids were fabrications. This may have been true for the Toyota Prius which, as many unfortunate owners have since discovered, were inflated (We have several engineers here at work who were seduced into getting a Prius only to see MPG figures that averaged in the low 40’s and which rarely exceeded 45). In the Insight’s case the stated 68 MPG figures may actually have been low for the 5-speed. These cars really can exceed 65 MPG consistently. The only bad rap that they may have received was after people, who were ignorant of the technology, purchased an early model Insight for city, town or other high stop-n-go traffic scenarios. I believe Honda was a bit misleading on this and did not properly inform customers that Honda’s hybrid technology was optimized for the open road and not the inner city. These cars were still capable of getting high 40’s to low 50’s in the city but after being told that these cars were capable of 68 MPG most buyers felt that they had been deceived. For high stop-n-go scenarios they should have purchased the Toyota Prius which seems to be able to get around 45 mpg consistently. When used within what I believe is their true design envelope, the Insight will exhibit extraordinary mileage. If I can get over 65 MPG on a flat open highway with a CVT then I’m reasonably confident that the 5 speeds are routinely getting over 70 MPG. Again, under ideal conditions but even if you’re losing 5-10% from slightly less than ideal conditions you’re still in the high 50’s or low 60’s. Try getting consistently over 60 MPG (or even over 45 MPG), with that Jetta especially under less than ideal conditions. I’d bet your stop-n-go or city mpg is probably high 30’s. I think you hit it on the head, apples and oranges…………..So Ditch those Damn Dirty Diesels. Get a hybrid. You’ll thank yourself everyday for the next ten MAINTENANCE FREE, GAS SAVING,
    NON-POLLUTING years.

  • hot

    i like cheese squares

  • Anon

    Although I think all these hybrids are great, unless I get one for free, I’m not giving up the comfort, safety, and size of my 1985 Mercedes Benz 500SEL, which I bought dirt cheap from a family member. The money that I save on monthly car payments alone makes up for loss of mileage compared to these hybrids, and this car was built so well that I don’t have any costly repairs, except to replace what is needed on a car this age, which again is dirt cheap due to an abundance of used parts. And I know most people are in my same boat: we can’t afford these hybrids even if we wanted them, and we are just going to hold on to our older cars until they fall apart. Sure, you guys in your new hybrids may laugh at those of us in our older cars, but when we go home and notice we don’t have a high monthly car payment..which means we have more money to spend on life’s little pleasures like going out to a nice restaurant more often..we will make sure and lift a toast to you and your new hybrid. =)

  • AGT

    Don’t forget the JD Power Quality award the Insight picked up last July. Add to that the 42 mpg COMBINED and a starting price $1,000 less than the Prius C, and you’ve got a compelling case. The author cites other subcompacts like the Fiesta, Cruze and Elantra, but the only time those cars come close to 40 mpg is cruising on the highway. Combined mileage for those is more like 35 mpg–and they have no price advantage.

  • hybridhybrid

    “Still, the Insight has something the others don’t have – it’s a Honda.”

    very true. its a honda and their half-A55 hybrid design. honda never learn their mistake on why insight is overshadowed by the prius. its not because it can’t achieve 50 mpg. it is as i said, a half-A55 hybrid.

  • Anonymous

    My insight has been great. I have reached over 500 miles for tankful on several ocassions. It also has more room than I thought I did put four suitcases in the back with no problem.

  • TV Guy

    I just found this blog and am amused by all the comments dissing the latest generation of the Insight. I have had mine for over 2 years now, a 2010 EX. I live in Denver and commute into downtown. I just moved and my former commute was from south of Denver, including hills and heavy traffic. My take? I get 48-55 mpg in the summer on the highway and 43-48 in the winter. I never have believed EPA ratings…had a 97 Civic that got 40 mpg after 14 years! I got an Insight because I wanted a hybrid for the future. The Honda Insight gives me a perfect blend of performance and style. I never even thought of getting a Prius because it is designed so poorly inside, I just laugh at the dashboard. Why would you put the display in the middle so you take your eyes off the road ahead? Goofy for sure.

    I already have 54,000 miles on my Insight and love how it handles. Not one problem yet. When the hybrid batteries to fail, which I hope is inside my 120,000 extended warranty, I doubt I’ll have the dealer do it. They quoted over $2000.

    I recommend anyone looking for a hybrid to check out the Insight. It may not be as roomy as a Prius but it drives much better. And with the right driving manner, you can get 50 or more mpg!

  • Beta

    I have a Honda Civic Hybrid 2005 model, 100K (mile) in it, but it must be some bad batch: 50K – CVT transmission died, headlights plastic both side got “foggy” after 4 yrs, IMA was causing problem since 80K service, now totally dead, no idea how to repair, control box here in AU cost 3000 Au$, but the problem has to be somewhere else, ordered a IMA battery from Japan(!)… I wouldnt go even close to the Honda again… used to be it was a term “Honda quality” but seems its gone.

  • Beta

    I have a Honda Civic Hybrid 2005 model, 100K (mile) in it, but it must be some bad batch: 50K – CVT transmission died, headlights plastic both side got “foggy” after 4 yrs, IMA was causing problem since 80K service, now totally dead, no idea how to repair, control box here in AU cost 3000 Au$, but the problem has to be somewhere else, ordered a IMA battery from Japan(!)… I wouldnt go even close to the Honda again… used to be it was a term “Honda quality” but seems its gone.

  • Beta

    I have a Honda Civic Hybrid 2005 model, 100K (mile) in it, but it must be some bad batch: 50K – CVT transmission died, headlights plastic both side got “foggy” after 4 yrs, IMA was causing problem since 80K service, now totally dead, no idea how to repair, control box here in AU cost 3000 Au$, but the problem has to be somewhere else, ordered a IMA battery from Japan(!)… I wouldnt go even close to the Honda again… used to be it was a term “Honda quality” but seems its gone.

  • Tidus

    I bought a 2012 Insight and I love it, I’m getting in the upper 40′s mpg in mixed driving, love the design, handling, interior…I would take this over a Prius any day. Plus it was thousands less.

  • John sciria

    I have a 2006 Insight with California Emissions. I have a Honda Press Release stating that the warranty on the Ima Battery is 10yrs/150k. I am within the warranty period. My battery died last week. Cost $3,000. Honda wouldn’t cover.. Why? Because I moved out of California. I won’t ever look at a Honda again. Coming soon…. http://Www.dontbuyahonda.com. And yes I’m suing Honda. And if you’ve gotten the “flash” recall, you’ll never see 60 mpg again!

  • tapra1

    ut that’s what Honda accomplished on the 2012 Insight, with some tweaks under the hood plus an exterior nip and tuck. Host News

  • klebinek

    Is it because most americans are too fat to fit in them? duh

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  • sweet water photo studios

    I just got home from town. I filled up in Grand Rapids, MN and drove home to Togo, MN via highway 169 and highway 65. My gas milage was 60.7 m.p.g. for the 60 miles trip. Beat that if you can!

  • BABATEE88

    hi guys am in nigeria and am dying to have the new honda insight, kindly give me infos on how i can and the price. please affordable price pls. thank you.

  • SO AUNG

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  • Deb Rosles

    I have owned my 2010 Insight for approx 18 mo. I bought it used with 10,000 mi and now have 47,000 mi. LOVE IT. I avg 44 to 51 mpg avg.It only needs the oil change when the oil is 30% and for me that has been about every 10,000 miles. Still drives like new.No Problems. I have had other Honda’s so I know they are quality vehicles and this is no different. I commute to work and the navigation system is a pleasure to drive. :)

  • RSC

    Better fuel economy? My 1999 VW Jetta TDI gets 1200kms on a tank of diesel…..

  • Anna Lozano

    did anyone email you?

  • Victoria

    Owning a 2012 Insight I have to say that my MPG run about 48mpg per tank. The noise is much less than the 2010 Insight. The back up camera is great!!! The traffic on the navigation map is absolutely awesome!!! Honda did this one right!!!

  • Tin Moe Nyo

    How to change English Language for Honda Insight (Japan Domestic 2009) May I know Please,
    Thank you very much.

  • New 2010 insight owner

    I’ve had my insight now for a month. I drive 43 each way to work, almost all Highway driving and I’m getting an average of 55-58 mpg. I reset my trip each time I fill my tank. I’m as cheap and frugal as they come but I’ve never been happier to make a car payment in my life. Best bang for your buck, in my opinion…And I looked at all the high efficiency vehicles out there…This is by far the best…In terms of what you pay and what you get in return…

  • Thushara Sampath

    my honda insight hybrid car in dash bord are indicating light(like key logo)may i know what is this indigation???

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  • jimash

    I don’t know why the EPA shortchanges Honda this way.
    Consistent with other posters here, My wife’s 2010 Insight II delivers 50-60 mpg consistently .
    Furthermore we have had it for nearly 3 years and it has needed a couple of oil changes and the tires rotated.
    She loves it.
    I have driven it twice on long trips , Its a fine car. 60 mpg on the highway at 70mph.
    I do not get what is wrong that they cannot or are afraid to sell this car.

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  • Anonymous

    The air-con system is suck, whenever you stop the car by pressing brake in front of the trafic light, the air-con will shut down (Honda said to save energy). This idea is good but when the temperature rises, the air-con should restart to reduce the heat especially under the hot sun.
    But the Japanese think that they are smart, in fact the design is XXX!!!

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  • Sitense

    No, the Insight is not a Prius. It’s cheaper to buy, and better to drive. Why is that supposed to be bad? Don’t we like having choices in the marketplace? http://freecarads.com

    This car is rated 40/43 MPG and starts under $20K including freight. It has a good record of reliability. If Honda can make the interior quieter and stay close to the current pricing, then the 2012 model will be an even better buy.

  • Matteor

    No, the Insight is not a Prius. It’s cheaper to buy, and better to drive. Why is that supposed to be bad? Don’t we like having choices in the marketplace? http://freecarads.com

    This car is rated 40/43 MPG and starts under $20K including freight. It has a good record of reliability. If Honda can make the interior quieter and stay close to the current pricing, then the 2012 model will be an even better buy.

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  • ExTexan

    “… it has been shown that unlike other hybrids the Insight can be modified to run without the NiMH Hybrid battery pack… ” excusse me? What the heck would be the point of doing that.

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  • Kembek

    I test drove a 2010 the other day. I drove a 2010 because I can’t find a 2012! Why are there so few, or none, at the dealerships? I’m considering dumping my Toyota Highlander for an Insight because of gas prices, but this has turned out to be a challenge. BTW, I REALLY liked the 2010. I’m assuming the 2012 is even better.

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  • cadbury

    I just bought a 2010 Insight and I love it! That said, I don’t understand why this car is dissed by the EPA and professional reviewers. We also own a Prius and, parked side by side, they are almost exactly the same size. Comparisons to the Fit are just silly! And with just a few days of driving I’m already flirting with 45-50 mpg. This seems fairly typical based on comments I’ve seen on insightcentral.com and elsewhere. What are we all doing that is so different from the EPA testers? Furthermore the stereo is just fine and the 2010 at least does NOT have only two speakers as the writer here suggests.

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  • Shelley Nathan

    I own a 2012 Honda Insight EX with Navigation. I am about to put it on the market to sell once we receive the title. It has been a good car with great mileage, but I have always wanted the Prius and that is what I am going to buy. There are a few things about this car that I have not liked. Foremost, when I have the ECON button on and I am idling, the AC compressor goes off and in this hot Texas heat, that is just awful. I am very committed to keeping the ECON on, but lately, I have just had to turn it off because I begin to sweat during the day when I am driving around for my job. There are a few other little things I dislike about this car, but mostly it is the AC issue.

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  • TOdd P

    These new Honda Insights are not as good as the Original ones that came out in 2000, The original ones gave you around 75mpg but these new models go backwards giving you less by almost half.
    Yes they have all the bells and whistles but the millage just is not there.Plus the original was much more affordable at around $12,000.
    I can not see paying $20,000 for something with terrible gas millage compared to the original.
    I know a guy who has had his car since it was new in 2000 to this day and never had any major problems.
    If i get a hybrid i will get a used original Insight.
    I Honda wants to help the environment then they need to get back to the proven technology and not sell out to the oil companies.

  • Todd P

    These new Honda Insights are not as good as the Original ones that came out in 2000, The original ones gave you around 75mpg but these new models go backwards giving you less by almost half.
    Yes they have all the bells and whistles but the millage just is not there.Plus the original was much more affordable at around $12,000.
    I can not see paying $20,000 for something with terrible gas millage compared to the original.
    I know a guy who has had his car since it was new in 2000 to this day and never had any major problems.
    If i get a hybrid i will get a used original Insight.
    I Honda wants to help the environment then they need to get back to the proven technology and not sell out to the oil companies.

  • Anonymous

    what is the number of gas(gallons) that the 2012 honda insight can hold?

  • ted

    the original 2000 Honda insight 5 speed was $19,000 MSRP. Mine went 262,000 miles and was running fine when I sold it. Honda replaced the battery pack for free at 180,000. It needed 1 cat & Exhaust, and 1 set of brakes and 2 EGR valves, and I minor 2nd gear replaced in all those miles. Great car.

  • Janifer

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  • Anonymous

    medical assistant job description medical assistants are very int….. Workers that strive to ensure the good health of medical assistants medical and all that stuff. Great. Last year, to be more competitive and jump-start the sluggish
    sales, Honda added a new entry level Insight hybrid model to its
    2011 lineup. Named simply the Honda Insight, the $18,200 price
    gave it a walloping $4,610 price advantage over the base Toyota
    Prius II. (Toyota relegated the Prius I for fleet sales only.) The
    result? The same as the previous year – Honda’s little hatchback hybrid never came close its yearly sales goal. In fact, since its
    March 2009 introduction Insight sales have tallied only 57,083
    units.

  • Anonymous

    medical assistant job description medical assistants are very int….. Workers that strive to ensure the good health of medical assistants medical and all that stuff. Great. Last year, to be more competitive and jump-start the sluggish
    sales, Honda added a new entry level Insight hybrid model to its
    2011 lineup. Named simply the Honda Insight, the $18,200 price
    gave it a walloping $4,610 price advantage over the base Toyota
    Prius II. (Toyota relegated the Prius I for fleet sales only.) The
    result? The same as the previous year – Honda’s little hatchback hybrid never came close its yearly sales goal. In fact, since its
    March 2009 introduction Insight sales have tallied only 57,083
    units.

  • Anonymous

    medical assistant job description medical assistants are very int….. Workers that strive to ensure the good health of medical assistants medical and all that stuff. Great. Last year, to be more competitive and jump-start the sluggish
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    2011 lineup. Named simply the Honda Insight, the $18,200 price
    gave it a walloping $4,610 price advantage over the base Toyota
    Prius II. (Toyota relegated the Prius I for fleet sales only.) The
    result? The same as the previous year – Honda’s little hatchback hybrid never came close its yearly sales goal. In fact, since its
    March 2009 introduction Insight sales have tallied only 57,083
    units.Sir, if you are considering the Toyota Camry, I would recommend
    looking at the Nissan Altima hybrid and the Ford Fusion hybrid.
    Both offer better fuel economy than the Toyota Camry hybrid at
    lower price points. The new Ford Fusion has been rated at 38/41
    mpg, rivalling that of the smaller Honda Civic and Toyota Prius,
    while simultaneously not giving up on comfort, style, and horsepower. These are EPA ratings of course, so you can actually
    get mileage beyond this if you are kind to the accelerator. Just
    something to mull over, if you are an individual looking for a
    good buy. View user profile Bryce Senior Member

  • David

    Ummm…hmmm, what can I say? No, it’s not like comparing apples to oranges because both of those are fruits. It’s like comparing apples (Honda) to steak (VW). One is good for your health and the other causes heart disease. There is no comparison.

    1. Reliability: The VW reliability index doesn’t come close to Honda. VW’s are notorious for mechanical problems and repairs, as with most European cars. Eat steak and you can expect to make repeated trips to the hospital (aka mechanic).
    2. Pollution: Are these diesel cars really that much cleaner? According to carsdirect.com “while diesel fuel generally produces more energy or miles per gallon than gasoline, it also has a much higher carbon content. In fact, diesel fuel produces approximately 13 percent more CO2 gas per gallon of fuel burned, compared to gas engines.” The website also states:

    Creates More Oil Dependence

    In addition to creating more CO2 gas, diesel fuel can also lead to greater oil dependence than fuel-efficient gasoline engine powered vehicles or hybrid vehicles. A joint Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy study showed that about 13 percent more raw crude oil is needed to produce a gallon of diesel fuel than is needed to make 1 gallon of gasoline. Therefore, unless the MPG difference between a diesel and gasoline engine powered vehicle is significant, a diesel powered vehicle will actually consume more crude oil.

    Increases Carbon Footprint

    Because even clean diesel powered vehicles create more CO2 gas than fuel-efficient gasoline powered vehicles or hybrid vehicles, they also have a larger carbon footprint. The carbon footprint of a vehicle provides the best estimate of how much greenhouse gas pollution a particular vehicle will produce. For example, popular Honda Civic hybrids produce about 4.4 tons of CO2 gas per year. On the other hand, a clean diesel powered Volkswagen Jetta produces about 6.4 tons per year, or about 45 percent more carbon-based emissions than the gasoline hybrid vehicle.

    3. Depreciation: VW’s do not hold their value over the long-term as well as Hondas.
    4. Fuel costs: Expect the costs of diesel to continue to rise disproportionately to regular fuel.

    I am not knocking VW’s but merely pointing out there is NO comparison. You might enjoy diving you VW but your wallet and the environment will suffer a whole lot more than if you chose to drive a hybrid Honda.

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    Honda insight is good car ,but not good with folks with weak backs or spine problems .The suspension is over stiff and you get lot of lower back sprains all over and can feel the road .The seats also are two sporty and not good for long drives .Neither is there any option for the same .If Honda fixes /or gives this options it can easily beat the Prius or its variants.Else the ride quality is not good except it gives a great mileage

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  • Heidi Wilhelm

    How do I find the lifetime gas mileage for my 2009 Insight? I have a calculations for the two trip odometers (A & B), but don’t know how I can find out the lifetime efficiency over the total ~25K miles. Any help?

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