Say goodbye to the Honda Insight. Its claim to fame was its low starting price and distinction as the least-expensive hybrid among 2014 model-year hybrids. That nod will soon go to the Toyota Prius c as Bloomberg News is reporting that Honda will discontinue the Insight by the end of this month.
The 2000 Honda Insight was the first gasoline-electric hybrid for sale in the U.S. The then-two-seater production ran until the 2006 model year, where it vanished until a redesigned 2010 debuted in its more traditional four-door hatchback form, with seating for five. However, being inexpensive wasn’t enough to compete with the modern Toyota Prius brigade.
Even at just $19,515 (including destination), the 2014’s lack of a standard USB input or Bluetooth in its entry-level trim level isn’t much a value statement considering the Toyota Prius c, which at $19,890 offers all of those features plus an 8-mpg advantage in combined EPA ratings. The Insight is rated at 41/44/42 mpg city/highway/combined compared to the Prius c’s 53/46/50 mpg.
Sales numbers show Honda’s struggle in selling the Insight. Sales dropped 17.8 percent to 4,802 sales in 2013 from 5,846 units in 2012. To add some perspective, Toyota sold more units of the original Toyota Prius (not the v or c trims) in January (7,205 units) than all of the Insights that Honda sold in 2013.
There’s no word of an Insight replacement at the moment, though Honda’s green collection now includes a 2014 Accord Hybrid, Accord Plug-In Hybrid, a more-efficient 2014 Civic Hybrid as well as an all-electric Honda Fit.