Honda dropped some major fire on the car world today by announcing that they’re bringing back the Insight name for a third generation.
While the first generation Honda Insight was known for its efficiency and the second generation known for being slightly cheaper than the Toyota Prius the third generation Honda Insight will be known for being a luxurious alternative to that spaceship appliance we all know as the latest generation Prius. According to Honda in their latest press release they dropped earlier today (Dec. 19,2017) the Honda Insight is back for model year 2019 and they’re combining the best from every part of their lineup to make a Hybrid juggernaut (that looks smashing by the way) to possibly dethrone the Prius as king of the hybrid mountain. Check out a couple of official pictures that Honda dropped for us below.
— NetCarShow.com (@NetCarShow) December 20, 2017
First, there are the mileage claims. Honda says that,
the all-new model will be powered by Honda’s two-motor hybrid system offering fuel economy that is competitive with other compact hybrid models.
Simply put, Honda will tune their already available two-motor hybrid system, possibly already in the 2018 Honda Accord, to get similar MPG when compared to the Toyota Prius. That means expect MPG numbers to be around 58 City and 53 Highway. Compare that to a woefully inadequate 40 City and 43 Highway for the second generation Insight.
Right now, the previous generation Honda Accord Hybrid managed close to 50 MPG combined utilizing a 2.0-liter engine mated to an electric motor paired with a 1.3 kWh battery. Combined power output was 212 HP. Honda might utilize that same motor but will most likely retune a naturally aspirated version of their 1.5 L series engine and pair it with a slightly smaller battery.
The kicker will be the Honda Insight’s styling. Honda has already unveiled their prototype and we know that what we see at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show will be 95 percent of what we get at the dealership. By all accounts, it looks like they’ve grafted the Honda’s Accord front end on a 10th gen Civic body and that’s not exactly a bad thing. It looks nothing like a Hybrid does right now.
Honda is making a gamble and isn’t in some ways. By utilizing an existing chassis and similar design elements they’re keeping the costs down. But by going for a more premium approach and feel, they’re going for “Not a Prius buyer.” Perhaps Honda’s number crunchers have read the market and realized the United States has reached peak Prius saturation. According to Good Car Bad Car Prius is having one of its worst sale years in a decade.
Maybe the new Insight will be the nail in the Prius coffin.