New Honda Insight hybrid previewed ahead of New York motor show debut
Honda has revealed the latest version of its compact, Toyota Prius-rivalling hybrid saloon – the Insight. Based on the same underpinnings as the current Civic and using the latest iteration of Honda's Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) powertrain, it looks set to rival some of the biggest-selling hybrid vehicles in the world.
The jury's still out on whether Honda will offer the Insight on the UK market, though – after dropping the previous model and the smaller Jazz hybrid, the only electrified model the brand offers here is the bonkers NSX supercar. The next CR-V, however, will be offered in Europe with a hybrid powertrain option.
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Honda claims a combined fuel economy of more than 50mpg from the strict American Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). That's neatly in between the Kia Niro, which achieves a combined figure of 49mpg, and the Prius, which achieves 56mpg. These are all based on a US gallon measurement – just over 15 per cent smaller than a UK one, so those numbers are lower than the figures that would be achieved on this side of the pond.
The Insight features Honda's latest corporate 'face', with a wide chrome bar across the grille, flanked by slim LED headlights. A sloping roofline gives a coupe-like profile, but a boxy rear luggage compartment promises good luggage space.
According to Honda, one of the Insight's main appeals will be a spacious interior. It's now a full five-seater, the brand says, and has a large boot with flat-folding rear seats.
Expect to see the latest in infotainment and driver assistance technology. Senior vice president of Honda in America, Henio Acangeli Jr., said: "The Insight signals we are entering a new era of electrification with a new generation of products that offer customers the benefits of advanced powertrain technology without the traditional trade-offs in design, premium features or packaging."
The new Insight will go on show in full at the New York Motor Show on March 28-29.