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.