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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Jul 30 2014, 8:07 PM

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Two of Honda’s electrified vehicles are being discontinued.

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 |  Feb 26 2014, 9:02 AM

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Honda is discontinuing its Insight hybrid after more than a decade of lackluster sales. 

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 |  Dec 05 2013, 5:05 PM

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The Honda Insight might not be long for this world with decreasing sales and stiffer competition.

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 |  Nov 18 2013, 8:45 PM

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Honda has announced pricing for its 2014 Insight hybrid, which will start from $19,515 including destination, keeping it the most affordable hybrid in the U.S.

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 |  Oct 15 2012, 8:31 AM

Worldwide sales for Honda‘s hybrid vehicles have reached one million units as of the end of September 2012, according to the Japanese automaker.

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 |  Nov 17 2011, 6:00 PM

 

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Believe it or not, hybrids are safer in a crash than their gasoline-only counterparts, according to a new study by the Highway Loss Data Institute.

“Hybrids on average are 10 percent heavier than their standard counterparts,” Moore said in a statement today. “This extra mass gives them an advantage in crashes that their conventional twins don’t have,” said Matt Moore, Data Institute President and author of the study.

The study didn’t include cars like the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight, which are only available as a hybrid. The study also counted other factors like who drives hybrids and how they generally behave on the road.

While the drivers and hybrids themselves may be contributing to improved safety inside the car, a separate study also conducted by Highway Loss Data Institute suggests that these cars are 20 percent more likely to hit a pedestrian.

The reason, they say, is that while running in electric-only mode they are too quiet, making them less noticeable to someone crossing the street.

Earlier this year, Congress gave the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration three years to decide on a standard for equipping hybrids and electric vehicles with a sound device to alert pedestrians.

Japan is the only country to currently enforce such a standard, according to a CNN article Moore sighted.

Despite that, it seems Nissan has already equipped their Leaf with a system to catch pedestrian attention. Toyota started including the feature on the 2010 Prius in Japan, and will add it to the 2012 North American Prius V.

[Source: Automotive News]

 |  Nov 02 2011, 6:56 PM

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While perusing through the Central Hall of this year’s massive SEMA Show, we came across this little gem tucked away in AirREX’s booth. There was a bit of information that was lost in translation, but AirREX is an air suspension manufacturer out of Taiwan and decided to use a Honda Insight to show off their product.

It probably sounds strange to hear of a Honda Insight sporting air bag suspension, but AirREX also equipped with sleek black Insight with a custom widebody – that’s surprisingly done well – and an aggressive set of Volk Racing TE-37s in a brilliant, bright red shade. Matte gray was applied to the body to give it some contrast, but we feel that the Insight would have looked a lot better without it. Nonetheless, this is one of the nicest and coolest Insights we’ve ever spotted and kudos to AirREX for finding a way to get people to their booth.

GALLERY: Widebody Honda Insight

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 |  Oct 19 2011, 2:15 PM

 

California told 85,000 hybrid drivers to move over, literally. Now everyone is feeling the sting.

Starting last July the yellow stickers allowing hybrid owners to drive alone in the high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane expired. The move came in preparation for an anticipated increase in electric vehicles on the road that will be allowed to retain the privilege. Though it may be the case that EVs are gaining popularity, pushing hybrids into regular traffic is causing problems for everyone.

According to a study released Monday by the University of California-Berkeley, the change had the effect you might expect: regular traffic speeds decreased and HOV speeds went up.

That isn’t all though, traffic actually slowed in HOV lanes at points where drivers try to merge back into regular traffic because of the slowdown. In other words, drivers in both lanes are noticing new slowdowns.

The report was based on six months of roadway sensor speed and congestion data, and written by Michael Cassidy, a civil and environmental engineering professor, and Katae Jang, a doctoral student in that department.

Cassidy said there is still plenty of space for hybrids in the HOV lanes, even with the new EVs on the road.

The only new production cars available that meet the standard are the Tesla Roadster and the Nissan Leaf. The Chevy Volt doesn’t qualify because of a specific California emissions law, though Gm says it will be addressing the issue soon.

If they don’t, they may find fierce competition. Toyota will be releasing the 2012 Prius Plug-In soon, which qualifies for the sticker. So does the 2012 Fisker Karma.

[Source: Green Car Reports]

 |  Sep 03 2011, 5:15 PM

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Honda may be a little low key for this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, but the Japanese automaker has announced a refreshed version of its Insight hybrid will make its debut. For the newly updated model Honda has fine-tuned the aerodynamics of the car, reduced engine friction, made improvements to the Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT) and incorporated a better air conditioning system.

All of these changes are combined for better fuel mileage, with Honda claiming that the 2012 Insight will produce 96 g/km of CO2 or about 57-mpg in the European cycle. Typically speaking, the European cycle yields around 10- to 20-percent higher than the U.S. cycle, so don’t look for numbers quite that impressive when it comes here. Currently the Insight is rated at 40/43-mpg.

Regardless, we hope the exterior improvements do make their way here, with a more aggressive front end and a slimmed tail spoiler. In addition, tweaks have been made to the engine and the suspension for overall improvement to the ride quality and stability. Lastly, Honda claims the interior has been enhanced for “a superior quality.”

Look for more with AutoGuide’s Frankfurt Auto Show coverage starting September 13th

 |  Mar 21 2011, 9:29 AM

From the “Entirely Too Predictable” files, the ongoing crisis in Japan has spooked dealers wary of car shortages to raise their prices.

Instead of the time-honored car buying traditions of haggling and deep discounts, buyers are paying sticker price on cars that may suffer from delayed shipments from Japan, such as the Toyota Prius, Yaris, Honda Fit, CR-V and Insight, and a few Acuras and Infinitis. Where consumers could expect small discounts of 10-15 percent, they are now paying the full $18,200 on a Honda Insight, for example.

The affected cars are usually hybrids or compacts, and the price increases could last months. As hybrid parts trickle in and dealer lots aren’t getting new shipments, expect to pay full price for a new Japanese car for a long time. Hey, the laws of supply and demand are a fickle mistress.

[Source: ABC News]

 |  Jan 15 2010, 10:58 AM

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Honda is hoping to build a following with its line of Modulo parts in Japan, in a bid to replicate the the success that Mugen has had. On display at the Tokyo Auto Salon, Honda showcased three different Modulo-equipped versions of its Insight hybrid.

First up is a mostly stock looking Touring Modulo Insight, featuring a short list of Modulo parts than can be purchased through dealerships. Up next is the Modulo Touring race car (yup, a hybrid race car), which Honda is using to build awareness and credibility for its Modulo line of parts.

Finally, Honda displayed its Insight Sports Modulo Concept, which takes a look at where Modulo parts may go in the future. The Modulo Concept carries a theme of “Exciting Eco” and is equipped with a new front bumper, lower grille, diffuser and LED lighting. The wheels are certainly interesting, looking like some of the aerodynamic designs currently used in Formula One.

GALLERY: Modulo Equiped Honda Insights

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 |  Jan 14 2010, 11:31 PM

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Not to be left behind with all the other Japanese aftermarket manufacturers that have taken to the trend of modifying hybrid/green cars, Tommy Kaira not only impressed with its GT-R at the 2010 Tokyo Auto Salon, but with its Prius and Insight offerings too. Earlier this month both vehicles were released to the public and onto the Internet but this was our first opportunity to get up close with the vehicles in person and we’re quite impressed.

Both Eco-Sports Edition vehicles, part of the new Tommy Kaira Eco Spo line of aerodynamics for hybrids, carry a mixture of light weight carbon fiber and fibreglass body accents that are both conservative and appealing.

GALLERY: Tommy Kaira Eco Spo Honda Insight and Toyota Prius

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 |  Jan 14 2010, 11:05 PM

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While many Japanese aftermarket tuners are taking on the newest models including many of them turning towards European applications, J’s Racing has stuck to what they know best: Hondas. The company’s booth wasn’t overwhelmingly large, but it was clear that J’s Racing is aware of the new Hybrid-tuning craze, displaying its own version of a tuned Insight, complete with light-weight RAYS wheels, an aero kit, lowered suspension and some nice Recaro seats inside. It even featured a unique combination of decals that gave it a widebody look.

Next to this Insight sat a car that represents the other extreme at Honda, the now out-of-production S2000. This model featured the J’s Racing widebody kit that is anything but subtle and has appeared on more than a few cars and more than a few magazine covers on this side of the Pacific.

GALLERY: J’s Racing Honda Insight and S2000

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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]

Consumer Reports Trash Talks Honda’s Insight

Latest Honda model won't get "Recommended" status

 |  Jun 30 2009, 11:11 AM

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In the latest issue Consumer Reports tests 22 small cars and hatchbacks and Honda’s new Insight only rates a “Good.” That might not sound all that bad, but CR usually gives all Hondas an “Excellent” or “Recommended” or “Top Pick” rating.

Out of 22 cars, the Insight is just 21st. The only car to rate lower is the Dodge Caliber… ouch!

“The Insight is the most disappointing Honda Consumer Reports has tested in a long time,” said David Champion, senior director of CR’s Auto Test Center. “The Insight is a noisy, stiff-riding car with clumsy handling that is nothing like the Fit on which it is based. Also, Electronic Stability Control is only available on the highline EX version.”

Still CR did highlight the Insight’s fuel-economy at a tested 38 mpg. Honda officially claims 40/43 mpg (city/highway). The car’s braking was also cited as a high-point.

The car did not, however, live up to Honda’s handling standards, which we suspect has a lot to do with the only semi-independent rear end.

As a result of this the Insight will not receive the Consumer Reports “Recommended” stamp of approval, which is based on test data, predicted reliability and crash testing.

Read AutoGuide ‘s review of the 2010 Honda Insight at the link below:

http://www.autoguide.com/manufacturer/honda/2010-honda-insight-1126.html

Official release after the jump:

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Honda Insight Sales Lower Than Expected in U.S.

Company execs warn Insight may not hit forecasted sales goal

 |  Jun 16 2009, 9:42 AM

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Honda is warning that it may not meet its forecasted sales target for the all-new 2010 Insight hybrid and is citing both the worldwide recession and the low cost of gas as factors.

The Japanese automaker set an ambitious target of 200,000 units for the car’s first year, with almost half of those vehicle sales being in the U.S.

“Given some dramatic change in things, I don’t think we’ll get to 90,000. At 50,000 to 60,000, we will be just fine,” said Honda America VP John Mendel to Bloomberg. Despite this news Honda is not updating its forecast.

According to a Reuters report Honda is also concentrating on sales in Japan right now, as unfavorable exchange rates with the U.S. mean that profit margins are slim for cars sold in the U.S.

In Japan, the Insight was the best selling car in the month of April, but Honda lost that title in May to the 2010 Toyota Prius.

U.S. Insight sales may get a significant boost in the second half of 2009 if the Cash for Guzzlers legislation comes into effect. With an average fuel-economy rating of 41 mpg, the Insight will be an ideal candidate for those looking to get a deal as they trade in their high-mpg car or truck.

The Cash for Guzzlers bill gives as much at $4,500 for new vehicles that exceed the traded-in vehicles’ fuel-economy rating by 10 mpg. And at a starting price of just $19,800, there are a lot of 31 mpg cars that can be traded in to make that total just $14,300.

[Source: Automotive News]

Honda Insight Tops April Sales in Japan

Never before has a hybrid ranked highest in sales

 |  May 11 2009, 11:50 AM

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The month of April marked an important milestone for both Honda Motor Co. and hybrid cars. Last month the new Insight achieved the status of being Japan’s most popular vehicle with more units sold than any other model – marking the first time a hybrid has ever been the monthly sales leader.

In April, 10,481 Honda Insights were registered for road use in Japan.

The runner-up was another Honda, the sub-compact Fit with 9,443 vehicles sold, marking the first time Honda has ever held the top two positions. The Fit has been a continuing success for Honda, holding the top monthly sales for the previous four months, as well as the top sales for the past calendar year and past fiscal year.

Official release after the jump:

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 |  Apr 21 2009, 10:03 AM

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Toyota is expected to release pricing for the new 2010 Prius tomorrow and the cost of ownership will be 21,000. This is $1,000 less than the current model.

Bloomberg is reporting the drop and citing an unnamed source.

This news comes several weeks after Japan’s Nikkei newspaper reported Toyota made a similar move in it’s home market of Japan. At that point, doing just the basic Yen to dollar comparison showed a Prius priced at $20,750 – so the $21,000 price expected to be released tomorrow isn’t far off.

The cost is still above the Insight, which starts at just $19,800, but the Prius does offer superior fuel-economy with 51/48 mpg (city/highway) compared to the Insight at 40/43 mpg. The Prius is also roomier as it is technically classified as a mid-sized vehicle as compared to the Insight, which is a compact.

[Source: Bloomberg]

 |  Apr 02 2009, 10:53 AM

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Toyota is taking Honda’s Insight threat seriously… very seriously. In fact, the world’s largest automaker will price the new (third-generation) Prius directly in competition with the Honda’s Insight in the Japanese market.

Set to go on sale on May 18th, the new Prius will cost just $20,750 (2.05 million yen). The number isn’t official from Toyota, but that is the price that dealerships have been given.

The Insight has a starting MSRP of $20,470 ($19,800 before delivery), which is well below the expected Prius price of $24,000.

If the Prius does in fact get it’s U.S. pricing set at just over $20,000, it will be an attractive package as it is not only a larger vehicle than the Insight (with more interior room) but it also gets significantly better fuel mileage with 51/48 mpg (city/highway) compared to the Insight at 40/43.

Higher trim levels of the Prius will, however, raise the price significantly with the top level model coming in at 3.27 million yen (or $33,100). The fully-loaded Insight, on the other hand, will still only cost 2.21 million yen (or $22,370) in Japan.

Meanwhile Toyota, which has sad that it will keep selling the current Prius model in Japan, is discounting its MSRP to 1.89 million yen ( or $19,130).

[Source: AutoWeek]

 |  Mar 27 2009, 4:52 PM

Honda is hoping to recreate some of the success of it’s Accord commercial a few years back with a new innovative commercial to introduce the world to its new Insight Hybrid. Called “Let it Shine” the ad runs to the tune of “This Little Light of Mine” by Berend Dubbe and is directed by Erik van Wyk.

What is so fascination about the commercial is that it appears as though the sequence of positive messages, shapes and patterns is being played out on a screen made up of LEDs, when it is actually a field full of Honda Insights, which create the patterns by flashing their headlights. In total it took almost 1,000 cars to put this short tv spot together.

Watch the full ad below and be sure to check out “The Making Of” underneath that.

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Official release after the jump:

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2010 Honda Insight World Premiere

New stand-alone hybrid model from Honda to get 40/43 mpg city/highway

 |  Jan 14 2009, 12:18 PM

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Honda may have beat Toyota to the hybrid game, but Toyota has certainly been beating Toyota AT it. It is for that reason that Honda has created a stand-alone hybrid model, the Insight.

Unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show without fanfare – or even without a press conference, two different Insight models sat in the Honda booth.

Marketed as a Hybrid Compact Car (the Prius is technically large enough inside to no longer be considered a compact car) the Insight is a five passenger five door vehicle powered by a 1.3-liter four-cylinder i-VTEC motor, an electric engine and a battery pack. Honda calls this system IMA for Integrated Motor Assist and it produces a combined 98hp at 5800 rpm and 123 ft-lbs of torque at 1000 rpm.

Honda will apparently continue to sell the Civic Hybrid which makes 110hp and is a larger vehicle with a 6-inch longer wheelbase.

The Insight will feature a CVT transmission, which helps the vehicle tro achieve an estimated 40 mpg in the city and 43 mpg on the highway.

A unique feature of the Insight is the Eco Assist system, which will change the background color of the speedometer to let drivers know how economically they are driving.

Honda also includes an ECON mode that can be activated by a putton on the steering wheel. Once pushed the vehicle will take steps to preserve fuel, including: increasing when the gasolie engine will stop under idle; reducing the climate control fan speed; reducing the throttle inputs and optimizing the CVT operation; and by limiting power and torque by four percent.

2010 Honda Insight

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Official release after the jump:

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Honda Set to Unveil Insight Hybrid in Detroit

Insight will look like and compete with the Toyota Prius

 |  Dec 31 2008, 4:49 PM

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Honda already makes a Civic Hybrid, but Toyota has a stranglehold on the Hybrid market do to the clever idea of building the Prius as a standalone platform. Named the “greenest automaker” by the Union of Concerned Scientists in 2007 for the fourth straight year, Honda is eager to make sure the world sees it as an environmentally responsible company. Enter, the Insight Hybrid, set to debut at the 2009 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit.

Obviously, Honda is also interested in selling more cars and the Insight Hybrid might just do the trick. Annual sales are expected to be as high as 200,000 units with 100,000 Insight Hybrids being sold in the U.S.

We expect the Insight Hybrid to use a 1.3-liter gasoline engine paired to an electric motor. Honda says it will also use the company’s new and interactive Ecological Drive Assist (Eco Assist) System.

Honda Insight Hybrid Concept:

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Official release after the jump:
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