Looks like: The new Honda Insight model borrows many design cues from the Accord and Civic sedans and looks a lot classier than the previous Insight hatchback, which screamed “I’m a hybrid!” with its awkward, wedgy profile
Defining characteristics: Honda expects the Insight to get a combined EPA fuel-economy rating above 50 mpg.
Ridiculous features: The production-intent prototype has decidedly un-ridiculous features like Honda’s 8-inch Display Audio multimedia system and LaneWatch safety feature.
Chance of being mass-produced: It’s a done deal; Honda says it’ll be a model-year 2019 vehicle to go on sale in late 2018.
We know it’s coming, we’ve seen pictures, and today Honda gave us a few more insights (sorry!) about what will power its upcoming Insight hybrid.
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Power will come from a version of Honda’s two-motor hybrid system; in the Insight, it will use a 1.5-liter engine, an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack. Honda says the Insight will be able to operate solely on electric power in most driving conditions but did not provide specifics.
The previous Honda Insight, which was canceled in 2014, was EPA-rated at 40/42/41 mpg city/highway/combined. The automaker expects the new Insight to get a combined EPA fuel-economy rating “in excess of 50 mpg” — but will that be enough to draw shoppers away from hybrid heavyweight, the Toyota Prius? Base versions of the Toyota Prius are rated higher at 54/50/52 mpg.
Honda didn’t release full specs but said the sedan will slot between the Civic and Accord in the automaker’s hybrid lineup, and it will offer seating for five. Honda also said the Insight will offer a competitive amount of cargo room in the class thanks to the hybrid batteries’ placement under the rear seats so as not to encroach on trunk space.
Available features include leather seats, a 60/40-split folding backseat, and an 8-inch Display Audio multimedia system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability. In terms of occupant protection, the Honda Sensing suite of safety and driver assistance features is standard; it includes auto emergency braking, lane departure warning, road departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow and new traffic sign recognition. The LaneWatch camera-based system is standard on EX and above models.
Although Honda calls the Insight a prototype, the concept has gotten the green light; the automaker says it’ll arrive in late 2018. We’ll get to take a closer look at the new Honda Insight on Jan. 15 in Detroit, when it bows at the 2018 North American International Auto Show, where we’ll be bringing you all the new-model debuts straight from the exhibit floor — so check back often for updated information on the new Insight.
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