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New Honda Insight 5-passenger Hatchback

larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
Let's talk about the new Insight, coming in April 2009 to the USA.

Will it give the Prius a run for it's money?

The Honda Insight is back, this time with room for three more passengers.

Honda has revived the model name for the long-awaited dedicated hybrid vehicle tasked with taking on the Toyota Prius. And like its rival, it will be a five-door, five-passenger hatchback.

A concept version of the new Insight will debut at the Paris motor show in October, the company said on Thursday. The car is expected to hit U.S. showrooms next April.

The name is a carryover from Honda’s first crack at the hybrid segment. The first generation Insight was billed as the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle sold in the United States.

But the first generation had just two seats and sold only 17,001 units from its launch in 1999 to 2006, when production ended. It was easily eclipsed by Toyota’s Prius, which has sold more than 1 million since 1997 and remains the world’s best selling hybrid vehicle.

“The name Insight was chosen to denote Honda's ‘insight’ into a new era in which hybrid vehicles come within reach of most car buyers,” Honda Motor Co. said in its release.

Honda has bigger ambitions for the second generation Insight. It is eyeing annual sales of 200,000 vehicles worldwide, with about half being sold in North America.


  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    More info on the new Insight

    Honda has just released the first official photos of its eagerly-anticipated new dedicated hybrid car that will debut early in 2009. The car that until now had been referred to by Honda officials simply as the "Global Hybrid" will revive the popular Insight name from the company's first hybrid model. Although Honda is officially calling the car that will be shown in Paris next month a concept, these concepts tend to be extremely close to the final production version. Given the similarity to the spy photos we've seen already we shouldn't expect much to change before launch next year. The Insight does bear a strong resemblance to the larger FCX Clarity fuel cell car although as with most hybrids, the current Honda three bar grill design is actually a solid piece for optimized aerodynamics. Honda has already said that it has cut the cost of its IMA hybrid system in half for the Insight and the new Insight's price is expected to start in the neighborhood of $18,500. Honda is expecting about 200,000 world wide sales of the Insight with half of those going to the U.S
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    That thing looks like a current gen Prius!!

    I am not a big proponent of the IMA, because the engine has to run to propel the vehicle. I think Honda should come up with a dual mode hybrid. Plus, I think their CVT still used an actual belt, which is not as reliable (IMHO) as the Ford and Toyota eCVT planetary gear systems.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    I'm pretty sure you cannot patent the "shape" of a vehicle. If you could, then no two vehicles could be remotely similar because the carmakers would be constantly suing each other.

    It would be nice for Honda to have an "electric only" mode somewhere in their line.

    Maybe they are saving that for a plug-in hybrid later?
  • this is great, move over Toyota you've got company ...
  • focusjcfocusjc Posts: 10
    Just saw the new pictures of Honda Insight in Paris Auto show and I am excited. I am always a Honda fan and thinking how appropriate to name it after the Honda's first, innovative, but seems mostly enjoyed only by their die-hard loving owners, hybrid. I almost bought the Prius last year but decided to wait for the next generation thinking it would be a plug-in. I agree that with IMA, it is not possible to modify your Insight to a plug-in, like some people did to their Prius. But modification is not for me and since even Prius could not come up the plug-in version yet, the bottom line of MPG is most important for me to chose a car, at least for now. I still like to see the 2010 Prius when it comes out next January(?), but the $18,500 price of Insight sounds very attractive.

    A foot note about the dealer's mark-up: With its MSRP at $18,500 and expected high demand, I guess most of dealers will mark up the price of Insight for maybe $3000 or more, just like they did(and still doing) to Prius. We as consumer should have the solidarity to refuse to pay the mark up and walk away, be it Prius or Insight.
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    For certain the new Insight is going to see a lot of ADM stickers attached to it's MSRP sticker. Honda has a winner with the Fit so up go the prices as they do with any good economy vehicle right now.
    The sad fact is even VW is charging big $$$ over sticker for their new diesels even worse if it's the wagon.
    I think Honda has a real winner with this new Insight but they need to stop dealers from price gouging. Unfortunately that's an impossible task.
    So the new Insight will sell over MSRP as long as they can get it.
    That's why I'm looking at other options.
  • If gas continues it trend downward up through April 2010 then I doubt there will be any price gouging by dealers on the Insight or the Prius. The panic buying will be over and since they are both going to hit the market at the same time (early April) there will be plenty of them available. With the credit crunch on there will still be many folks who will not be able to get loans to buy one. I curretly have a 2008 Prius and I am first in line at my local Honda dealer to have the option to purchase an Insight for my Wife.
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    If gas continues it trend downward up through April 2010 then I doubt there will be any price gouging by dealers on the Insight or the Prius. The panic buying will be over and since they are both going to hit the market at the same time (early April) there will be plenty of them available. With the credit crunch on there will still be many folks who will not be able to get loans to buy one. I currently have a 2008 Prius and I am first in line at my local Honda dealer to have the option to purchase an Insight for my Wife.

    You could be right, but for now the dealers still can't get a Prius here at all. They just don't even bother to return phone calls unless you chase them down.
    I'm wavering on the fact that it's good to get a Prius. I wasn't impressed before and now with gas dropping it's less of an issue for me now. The high prices along with no discounts and super limited availability mean I'm looking elsewhere. Trading in/Selling my 2008 Honda Civic Si and getting anywhere near it's value is all but impossible.
    If my wife didn't have an issue with driving a manual we wouldn't have this problem.
  • dweiserdweiser Posts: 288
    Traded in my Honda Element (loved it) for a 2009 Honda Fit Sport and am really enjoying the Fit. I am #1 on a list for the 2010 Honda Insight at 2 dealers here in NC. I expect long waiting lists for April 2009 but, as someone mentioned, if gas prices keep sinking, that will affect the demand.
    p.s. I'm even more interested in the upcoming CR-Z hybrid.
  • It is already starting to happen in my area. Gas prices are way down and my Toyota dealer has 5 2009 Prius's on his lot. Let's hope gas stays low until April of next year. If so you should be able to make a deal on the 2010 Insight.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,966
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  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706

  • rexfrexf Posts: 20
    To see more details about this vehicle. Does anyone have any inside information or additional pictures?
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,042
    The problem is that people who are in a position to have "inside info" are generally people who would be fired if they revealed that inside info. Spy shots are a different matter entirely, but the vehicle would pretty much have to be in production for that to happen.


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  • scottlscottl Posts: 109
    Has anyone actually put their name on a waiting list for a new Insight? I'm going to call a few Denver dealers today to see if any of them will agree to sell me a car at MSRP when it arrives. Knowing the Denver market, I suspect I'll be laughed at.

    Does anyone in any part of the country have such a guarantee? I'm willing to travel if it means saving thousands.

    Any suggestion on the best Denver area Honda dealer?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Rather than calling the dealer I would suggest getting quotes from several dealers via the internet.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    With the economy down, I don't think MSRP plus type pricing will stick around long on the Insight; plus, it's designed to be a volume car.

    If your local dealers aren't willing to sell at MSRP, or even below MSRP, I'd look into traveling a bit to get a better deal.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Point Missed = Oops Gary Did It Again

    Lowest cost high-mileage hybrid available, at $22.5K LOADED, but only $18K very well-equipped.

    And as far as mileage: Well, it hit 51.5 in the Edmunds Test Drive, so my guess is that it will be in the "real-world" about neck and neck with the Prius and the HCH.

    And at about $5K cheaper than the Prius when comparably equipped at the high end.

    Will allow more people to try the hybrid experience.

    Hasn't that been one of your gripes from Day One, Gary? Hybrids too expensive for Joe Public?

    Now you can get a gas engine car for about $10K less than a Jetta TDI which will give it a run for it's money in highway mileage and trash it for sure in the city.

    No other hybrid or non-hybrid can say THAT.

    Can it?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,179
    If it is a race to see who can build the ugliest cars, Toyota and Honda are neck and neck. C'mon you got more class than to give this joke a thumbs up. It did not even beat the bigger Civic on the EPA mileage test. You know what a stickler you are for the accuracy of the EPA tests. There are people getting consistent 50 MPG with the new Jetta TDI though it is rated for only 34 MPG by the EPA. But that is your bible. I guess until they rate a hybrid lower than you want.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    This vehicle is to be the LOWEST COST HYBRID on the market. Not the most efficient, most luxurious, nor the most advanced, not the most high mileage.

    They were smart enough to NOT create an almost unusable and impractical ( however super-efficient ) experiment like they did with the first Insight, which because of it's oddity sold low volumes to only the most eco-conscious.

    They are going for a larger sales base and a more usable vehicle in the hopes of actually getting some market share.

    I think it's a great idea. A hybrid that even lower-middle-class Joe Public can afford.

  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    The EPA is not MY bible. It's good for what it does, which is produce a lab-repeatable result.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    Is the Insight any better of a deal than a similarly-equipped Fit?

    Insight LX at $18,500ish vs. Fit base automatic at around $16,500?

    Insight EX at $20,000 ish vs. a Fit Sport automatic at around $18,000?
  • dweiserdweiser Posts: 288
    I don't have the answer but as a 2009 Fit Sport w/Navi owner and my name #1 on the Honda Insight EX list, I can offer one opinion. I really like my Fit and will probably keep it even if I get the 2010 Insight. You have to get Navi with the Fit Sport in order to get Vehicle Stability Control. However, the EX Insight comes with VSC so you don't have to spend the extra $$ to get the Navi if you do not want it. I would also think the Insight will get better mileage than the Fit. I'm getting 34 m.p.g. with my Fit Sport auto but I live in the mountains of western NC and never drive on a major (i.e. 4 lane) highway. In my humble opinion the Fit is a very cool car, the Insight will be even more so. Hope this helps. I was told tonight by a Honda dealer that the 2010 Insight EX w/o Navi will sell for between $22,200 and $22,400 with no dealer markup. The LX for around $20,400.
  • I was told tonight by a Honda dealer that the 2010 Insight EX w/o Navi will sell for between $22,200 and $22,400 with no dealer markup. The LX for around $20,400.

    Those prices are about $2K HIGHER than what has been discussed elsewhere. The "No Dealer Mark-up" line is crap. A load EX w/Navi is supposed to be $23K. An LX should be $19K.

    Make sure you shop around.
  • dweiserdweiser Posts: 288
    I was given incorrect info on MSRP for the 2010 Insight. The person who shared the prices I posted couldn't possibly have them as Honda hasn't released them yet and may not (if the Insight release is like other Honda vehicles) until the vehicles actually arrive in dealerships late April or May. Sorry, thought I had a "scoop" for you all but it turned out to be "crap" as dodgeman07 so eloquently put it.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I think the dealer you spoke with is going to "front-load" all the cars with a bunch of accessories to bump up the price of the LX model to $20,000 and the EX to $22,000.

    At those prices, Honda loses the price advantage it has over a Prius, IMO.

    All reports I've seen say that Honda is going to price the LX model around $18,500 and the EX model right around $20,000, with the EX-NAVI at $22,000.
  • ...but I remember the days of Honda's "Adjusted Market Value" pricing when many dealers tacked $500 to $1,500 on top of the MSRP for no reason other than they could get it.

    Thankfully those days are gone but I'm sure some dealers will have $20K prices on $18.5K Insight LX's because they added pinstripes and fabric protection.

    The Insight has great potential for Honda to grab some market share in a very down 2009 market. If they keep the price where it's been rumored to be, they can do it.

    I'll leave the eloquence to our Chief Justice at the swearing in ceremonies. :P

    Faithfully Yours, (or is it "Yours Faithfully"?)
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I will agree that Honda dealers are notorious for "Adjusted Market Value"
    Although, on a side note, I did see a Kia dealer one time slap "Adjusted Market Value" on every model they had on display at a local mall.

    I think Honda dealers will quickly find out though that if they front load a $18,500 Insight LX up to $20,000, they'll begin losing a lot of buyers to Accords, Camrys, and Altimas at that price point.

    Either that, or consumers will try to get a deal on the last of the '09 Priuses...
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