The Honda Insight is being reintroduced to the North American market a third time, as the previous models did not have the expected impact. Honda brings fresh ideas to the new model, sure to impress. The Honda Insight hybrid is back once again and this time it is dressed as a large, premium four-door sedan. The previous two generations of the car – manufactured from 2000-2006 and 2010-2014 – did not have the desired market impact Honda had anticipated. Honda’s latest Insight hybrid is meant to have a more traditional look and attract customers with a number of new features that put it in the sweet spot of the value-for-money spectrum.
The Third Generation
The company’s latest generation was designed to be a sedan with mainstream looks, as opposed to the previous versions that attempted to stand out by being quirky economy hatchbacks. Conventional wisdom suggests that a hybrid has to "look" like a hybrid or no one will know that it is a hybrid otherwise. This was the philosophy applied during the designing process of the first two generations of the Insight and was likely what led to the discontinued production due to poor sales. Honda has changed gears when it comes to the third generation, and it is most obvious with respect to looks, price and available features.
The idea behind designing the car with the recognizable Honda coupe-like roofline and flying-wing grille was to make the appearance more mainstream, hoping it would lead to increased appeal and sales. The new car is rumored to be a part of Honda’s initiative to have electrified vehicles make up two-thirds of its global sales by 2030.
In terms of the price, the third generation Insight is a stylish and upscale five-passenger sedan positioned above the Civic. In fact, the new car is slotting between the Civic and Accord, meaning it is aiming slightly up-range in terms of luxury. This is where it differs from the previous generation Insight, which tried to undercut rivals like the Toyota Prius on price.
The vehicle will feature a 1.5-litre Atkinson-cycle engine, mated to an electric motor powered with a lithium-ion battery pack. Designed to run mostly on electric power, drawing energy from the gas engine that will operate as a generator, expect to get around 4.7 L/100km of fuel economy. Moving to the interior, you’ll see an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with over-the-air system updates, as well as best-in-class passenger volume as a result of a split folding rear seat. All of this makes the new generation Insight a promising contender.
Regardless of whether or not you happen to be an electric car advocate, you will definitely find no trouble appreciating the new Honda Insight. A production version of the car hit the market summer of 2019 and will be a great car in its own right, completely independent of what is going on underneath the hood. Boasting a more spacious interior as well as a more premium feel, the Honda Insight is definitely a force to be reckoned with in the future.