The Honda Insight has been seen driving around the United States for about a decade now. Although the Insight was out of production for a few years, it is back on the market now. This article will speak on several subjects such as the transformation of the Insight over the past decade and give some “insight” into the Honda Insight’s gasoline-electric power.
The first generation of the Honda Insight was introduced to the market in 1999 (model year 2000). Edmunds’ opinion of the 2000 Insight is, “Some cars make you feel like a champion. This one makes you feel like a hero.” Consumers even gave the 2000 Insight a rating of 9.1. The Insight was the first gasoline-electric hybrid sold in the United States, even North America as a whole. The first generation Insight is only a two-seater and available in three different models: one with a manual transmission and no air conditioning, one with a manual transmission and includes air conditioning, and finally one with a CVT (continuously variable transmission) and includes air conditioning.
The Insight has a key feature known as Integrated Motor Assist under its hood. Integrated Motor Assist is special because it is composed of both a gasoline engine and an electric motor. The ECA series, gasoline engine in the first generation Insight is a one liter, three-cylinder engine with about 70 horsepower. The electrical motor assist gives the Insight a little extra power, adding an additional 13 horsepower. Another positive of the Integrated Motor Assist is that when the car is not moving, the engine can shut off and the car can still operate with the electric motor acting as a generator.
Despite these positive features, the Insight had problems with sales. In the 2005, Honda sold less than 2,000 Insights. The sales in 2006 were worse, as Honda sold fewer than 1,000 Insights through September of 2006, and at that point, Honda decided to pull the plug on the Insight. In 2008, Honda revealed that it would be selling the Insight again. Since the beginning of this year (market year 2010) the Insight has been back on the market and is available in two options: LX and EX. This marks the second generation of the Insight, and the first noticeable improvement in this generation of the Insight is that it is larger. It now is a four door vehicle that is considered a mid-sized vehicle based on its interior and now appears to seat up to five people. Under the hood of the current Insight there is now a 1.3 liter engine with four cylinders. The current engine now has about 98 horsepower and the electric motor still adds an additional 13 horsepower.
Honda is hoping that the improvements that it has made to the Insight will spark huge sales. In the United States, Honda is expecting sales of around 100,000 vehicles. Despite these sales forecasts, the current Insight has not received all positive reviews. Consumer Reports has the Insight ranked 21st out of 22 tested comparable cars. Edmunds, which as stated earlier, said the initial Insight would make a consumer feel like a “hero” in 2000, but now, it is stated that the 2010 vehicle did not perform well in Edmunds’ opinion, although Edmunds is still performing tests in an attempt to develop a better opinion.
Overall the Insight has shown to be an innovative vehicle. As the first gasoline-electric hybrid in the United States the Insight burst onto the scene with blazing reviews. After about six years on the market though, the Insight’s lack of sales caused Honda to stop producing it. Almost three years later, the Insight is back on the market with a larger, more up-to-date look and a little more power. With these improvements, Honda expects big sales but the experts are not quite sold on the Insight. It looks as if only time will tell whether this version of the Insight will succeed or fail
Popularity: 5% [?]