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Report: Honda Fast-Tracking List of Updates to Improve Insight

Fuel-economy to be main focus, but ride and handling also expected to be improved

 |  Jul 23 2009, 11:04 AM

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According to the U.K.’s Autocar, Honda is fast-tracking a list of updates for the Insight originally scheduled for a mid-cycle makeover that’s still several years off. The focus of the changes will be to further improve fuel-economy, which while impressive at 40/43 mpg (city/highway), lags significantly behind the 2010 Prius and its 51/48 mpg rating.

How exactly Honda plans to improve fuel-economy are not certain, as the automaker’s IMA hybrid system simply can’t complete with Toyota’s more sophisticated two-mode Hybrid Synergy Drive.

Honda is also expected to address the general consensus that the car’s handling and ride quality is sub-par.

Initially the Insight looked to be a serious threat to the Prius, and priced several thousand dollars lower than the Toyota it also launched first in Japan, helping it list as the monthly sales leader in April. With the launch of the Prius (not to mention the Insight’s less than glowing reviews), it fell to third place in sales in its home market with the newly-launched Prius taking first.

[Source: Autocar]

  • Jeff Smith

    Bought the 2010 Honda Insight Hybrid after test driving several others including Prius. Handeling and response was better than Prius. Larger interior that outside appearance would appear. Specs confirm it had relatively same room as Prius. I liked the look which was a bit lower and sleaker than the Prius, tight handeling in turns. I’m getting better mpg than their EPA rating (betwen 47 and 49) without much effort. Edmonds confirms that whereas Prius gets less mpg than advertised, INsight gets more so the real difference over long distance is just a few mpg. To me, the 3 to 4 mpg better mpg did not justify the $4k to $5k more cost than the Insight. Bottom line: ROI on the Given the cost, the ROI on the gas savings is a year or two, depending on milage you drive, rather than 8 to 10 years as in the Prius. Along with that, you get a better more responsive ride.

  • Robert Barcelona

    I bought the 2010 Honda Insite Hybrid 10 days ago. Part of my driving is residential my best so far is 35mpg 1 block between stops. part of if is on boulevards 35 to 55mpg depening on traffic. Freeway driving I get about 42mpg. The downside so far, is when the engine stops at intersections the AC stops working, if I am in a parking space and stopped and want to move foreward just a little the jerk from the engine restart is a little bit of an issue.

  • Marshall

    I bought a 2010 Insight off the showroom floor 1 month ago and so far the best COMBINED 70% city/30% highway gas mileage has been 47.5 MPG driving responsibly (no jack rabbit starts, heavy foot, ect). This is in the city and winding country roads/hills sometimes using paddle shifters and sometimes not. There is nothing wrong with this car and the MPG rating is modest. $5K more for a Prius isn’t worth it and it’s ugly. I mean what’s the deal with the headlights? Are they supposed to be arrow heads or something? XD I’m happy with my Insight and yes I would buy another Honda again and again. Not cutting corners deserves much respect.

  • Bob Abernathy

    I agree. I bought a fully loaded Insight a month ago for $21,900. A comparably equipped Prius is $8K more. Also, I am averaging slightly over 50 mpg to date. So far, I am very pleased and much prefer the look of the Insight over the Prius.