Honda Insight gets the ax MSN Autos

29 Май 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Honda Insight gets the ax MSN Autos отключены
Honda Civic Hybrid (3rd gen)

Slow-selling hybrid sedan won’t be returning.

Let’s pour out a kale-kombucha green tea smoothie for the dearly-departed Honda Insight. whose demise was announced back in November. Honda dealers were asked to stop taking new orders for the slow-selling Insight, and production finally ended this month.

How slow is slow-selling? In 2013, Toyota sold 145,172 Prius five-doors. Honda sold 4,802 Insights, or just 3% of Prius sales .

The Insight was the second slowest-selling car in Honda’s lineup, in fact. The first is the other dedicated Honda hybrid, the CR-Z — 4,550 out the door in 2013. CR-Z fans must feel the same way French aristocrats felt when the guillotines sprung up.

When the Insight came out, we said that Honda has a reasonable chance of reclaiming the hybrid mantle. Undercutting Toyota on price shouldn’t hurt either. In our hands, the Insight returned an average of 37.8 miles per gallon. We were mixed on what it felt like to drive. some said it was a fun little ride, while one said it was not an overall pleasant driving experience.

Some also prefer Reese’s Pieces to Reese’s Cups and Dave Matthews’ first album to his second. We’re not ones to judge.

Compared to the Prius, the Insight and its five-door, five-passenger footprint looked like reaction instead of revolution — a revolution promised, in part, by Honda’s groundbreaking original. That first Insight was a car worthy of adulation because of its sheer honesty — a simple two-seat commuter pod, as slippery as a teardrop, a car Honda engineers threw everything at. There was no rear seat so the bodywork tapered to a point, cut off by a Kamm-tail.


The rear wheels, seven inches closer to each other than the front wheels, hid themselves under spats. Its 0.25 coefficient of drag was among the lowest ever. It weighed under a ton.

Honda Civic Hybrid (3rd gen)

It returned the highest fuel economy of any car in America at the time: 48/60 mpg, city/highway. It looked weird. It could fit in the back of any number of pickup trucks. It also made a pretty decent tire hauler .

But we’re losing the point here, admittedly — and equally lost are those who can point at the second-generation Insight as example of how Honda lost its way, a tiresome epithet for the post-Soichiro era. In reality, the second Insight accomplished something the first Insight never did: it sold in five-figure numbers. and not just to the type of nerds who optimize their Birkenstocks for lightweight efficiency. Even in the past two years, the Insight sold more in a year than the two-seater did in three.

What’s more, the Insight sold the strongest in Japan, with a whopping 157,275 cars in 2013. That wasn’t enough to save it from uncaring Americans and Europeans .

Honda has 237 days’ worth of Insight inventory hanging around, almost four times more than the 60-day inventory average. Those looking for a Honda hybrid can spring for the Accord Hybrid. a fine vehicle, or the new Fit Hybrid. They can also buy an Insight or CR-Z. either of which we suspect are going for fire-sale prices.

With a few more dollars on the pump prices, we wrote back in 2010, Honda will be overrun by over-reactive Americans looking for the latest solution to their latest crisis. In the end, neither condition came to pass.

Honda Civic Hybrid (3rd gen)
Honda Civic Hybrid (3rd gen)
Honda Civic Hybrid (3rd gen)
Honda Civic Hybrid (3rd gen)
Honda Civic Hybrid (3rd gen)
Honda Civic Hybrid (3rd gen)
Honda Civic Hybrid (3rd gen)

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