Next-Gen Insight Will Beat Prius in Fuel-Economy Says Honda CEO

Next-Gen Insight Will Beat Prius in Fuel-Economy Says Honda CEO

Honda‘s newish Insight hybrid had a lot of buzz when it first launched, but in just a year it has since faded into oblivion. Sure it undercut the Prius in price, but it didn’t get near the mpgs, and wasn’t the sort of dynamic drive that people have come to expect from a Honda. We didn’t hate the car, but we did find it to be lacking in the sort of engineering prowess Honda prides itself in. Our feelings were echoed by the industry and consumers, who opted for Toyota’s more efficient (if more expensive) Prius at a 5 to 1 rate.

Honda CEO Takanobu Ito has recognized this issue and an overall complacency at the Japanese automaker and has vowed to do something about it. Stating quite frankly that he’s not “satisfied,” with the efforts of the company, he has vowed that the next generation Insight will top the Prius in fuel economy. Currently the Insight gets just 40/43 mpg (city/highway) compared to the Prius at 51/48 mpg. Ito is also urging haste, telling Honda’s engineers to bring the car to market quickly – suggesting that the current Insight may not last for a full four or five year cycle.

To out-do the Prius in fuel economy Honda is working on a two-mode hybrid system (like the one found in the Prius), and will likely do away with the out-dated Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) setup it currently uses. In addition,

In addition, Honda is developing a new hybrid system for large cars, involving two large electric motors, one which charges the battery, the other which gives the gasoline engine a power boost. The system will be used on an upcoming Acura hybrid, as well as minivans and mid-size cars.

[Source: HybridCars]

  • Honda lover

    All of this speculation can only hurt sale of Honda’s mild hybrid cars as potential purchasers await arrival of a pure hybrid system, possibly even plug-in with lithium ion battery packs. If the upcoming Fit hybrid employs Honda’s existing mild hybrid technology, it will have to compete with Toyota on fuel economy numbers if it is going to sell in significant numbers. Otherwise, the upcoming sub-Prius will do to it what the Prius did to the newest Insight’s sales, and continue to erode Honda’s hybrid market share. However, don’t count Honda out quite yet. It’s not always first with innovation, but it usually does it better and gets it right more often than not when it introduces new features and products. The newest Insight really isn’t that bad. It’s just that everyone was expecting much more from Honda, given how late in the game they decided to compete with the Prius.


    I ordered a new 2010 Insight EX w/navigation, added leather interior, 8yr/100K zero deductible warranty,carpet mats and door edge film, due in by the 7th of this month. This is really making me think, did I make a good decision. I got a great deal from the dealer about $8,000 less than the Toyota dealer wanted for a comparably equipped Toyota Prius.


    Re the pure hybrid system. A pure hybrid, electric only, is fine if you are just going to use it as a commuter vehicle for short runs, but if you intent to go further than fifty miles one-way you better have time to get a recharge which is app. six hours for the new Nissan Leaf that also has an estimated 100 range. I’m sure they will improve greatly on the mileage on a single charge and a faster charge rate, but for now a hybrid that would get upwards to 50 to 60 mpg would me just fine.

  • Darren Demoran

    I have had my 2010 Insight for 5 months now and could not be more pleased. This car IS a Honda in every definition of the word. I have had 3 Hondas now and the Insight is solid, quiet, nimble, drives way better than a Prius and the cost may be much lower, but the mileage is right up there with Prius. I average 48-54 mpg and in Colorado, that’s quite a feat. But the Insight also is roomier than many people give it credit for. And the materials may not be high class but remember, this is a hybrid and the Insight weights 400 pounds less than the Prius. All in all, I am surprised sales have not been better, but this Honda exceeds my hope for a hybrid and a Honda. Buy it, you’ll love it!

  • Juan Arango

    GKDUTCH: I have had my Insight for 4 months now, and I am as happy as I can be. If I drive it very conservatively I get 51 m/g. When I drive the way I drove my prior cars, I get 42 m/g.

    For reference: I live in Dallas (flat all over), and by conservative I mean accelerating more slowly than most cars around me, and keeping speeds at posted limits. When I drive the way I like it, I disable ECO mode, start faster than most cars around me at traffic lights, and drive about 5 m/h faster than posted limits. I would use paddle-shifting about 5% of the time, and really live everybody behind.

    Not bad at all, considering how the Prius handles, the fact that there is no paddle-shifting to allow you to push the engine, and the features that add thousands to the base price if you want to have it as well equipped as the Insight.

  • Cedric May

    We have had our Honda Isight for 13 months and6000+miles now, and are very satisfied with the preformance. We had a Rover 45 for 5years and overall returned 34mpg on a combination of short town trips and longer ones.
    With the insight we have average 46.5mpg (English gallons)overall and have regulary got 60-64mpg on longer journies. Have found the exceleration from noticably better than the Rover. To date the savings or fuel and Road Tax are £420.00.

  • john prugh

    My Insight gets good mileage. True, I drive conservatively, with the Eco enabled and watching the accerleration/braking meter, but I have always tried to accelerate carefully, and coast to stops. I regularly get > 55 miles to the gallon. So I am very please with my Insight…and I don’t think it needs to be any bigger. (I don’t like backing up, though)

  • E F Billups

    Hey, Honda, how about a Insight Station wagon.