The Insight is the most affordable hybrid around, and that's a difference that will catch a lot of people's attention who once aspired for that other hybrid.
Scott Burgess - DETNEWS
- June 25, 2009
Finally a reviewer who doesn't insist the Insight and Prius are direct competitors! --Ed.
The 2010 Honda Insight is that other hybrid.
Sure, there are actually more hybrids on the road than just the 2010 Honda Insight and the 2010 Toyota Prius, but these two hold billing for the Battle Royale of the originals. The Insight arrived a decade ago, then left the U.S. in search of a backseat, while the Prius grew to become the iconic hybrid of America. So the comparison between Honda's newest family member and Toyota's third-generation hybrid seems natural.
But don't be fooled by similar wedged-shaped vehicles. They are not the same, neither are their customers.
Both Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. say the two cars won't compete against each other as much as many experts predict -- suggesting "experts" can be wrong. In my expert opinion, I agree.
The Prius, which costs more and is larger, will attract one crowd. The Insight will attract another, apparently a more frugal and thinner group. They should, really; these cars are as different as Southern California and the rest of the Golden State -- at least everywhere north of the Grapevine.
The Insight and Prius may take different roads, but they end up in similar places, providing much of the same things: Excellent gas mileage, low emissions and a well-made daily driver.
But now come the differences: The Insight, which uses a different type of hybrid system, known as parallel hybrid powertrain, lets its electric motor assist its little 1.3-liter inline four-cylinder engine, instead of providing "electric only" drive at school zone speeds.
The combined powertrain provides 98 horsepower and 123 pound-feet of torque, which is enough to... [Read More]