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New Honda Insight Hybrid - more details and images
12 January 2018, 12:12 | Lucia Cruz
First Look: Honda's sleek new Insight compact hybrid emphasizes style as much as it does efficiency
In fact, Honda says that the Insight will be positioned above the Civic as a "premium compact", offering a roomy interior and civilized road manners. The front will adopt Honda's aggressive new styling theme, with a metallic strip running the full width, tying in with Honda's other US-market models.
Inside, Honda is promising best-in-class passenger space, along with a more upscale cabin than most compact cars. The second-gen Insight that debuted in 2009 was a five-passenger hatchback with a raised, elongated tail that made it hard to distinguish from the Toyota Prius. The lithium-ion battery pack is also located under the rear seat, allowing for a 60/40 folding rear seats. Honda has received a fair bit of flak for its infotainment system lately, but it promises more intuitive, smartphone-like features and functionality this round, including customisable app tiles and home-screen shortcuts, along with available Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and WiFi-enabled over-the-air system updates.
A number of driver assistance and safety systems have been introduced into the new vehicle which include Honda LaneWatch and the Honda Sensing suite. A blind spot monitoring system would be better, paired with rear cross-traffic alert. The Insight powertrain is similar to that of the Chevrolet Volt, meaning that the auto is powered by the electric motor most of the time, with the gas engine generally acting as a generator to charge the lithium-ion battery pack found under the backseat. Arriving later in 2018 as the fifth electrified vehicle launched by Honda over the past year, Insight will join the Clarity series (Clarity Fuel Cell, Clarity Electric and Clarity Plug-in Hybrid) and the all-new 2018 Accord Hybrid, arriving at dealerships nationwide early this year.
Honda says the Insight will offer "class-leading" power, but does not define what that is. Therefore, if Honda fully implements this drivetrain in the new Civic-based Insight, which is likely 700-800 lbs. lighter, performance should be robust.
Launching this summer, the production version of the 2019 Honda Insight hybrid will be built in the company's appropriately named Greensburg, Indiana plant along with the Civic and CR-V.
Honda will release trim levels, features and options, specifications, and pricing for the 2019 Insight closer to its on-sale date sometime between July and December this year.
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