Honda showed a prototype for the third-generation Insight in January, and the production version revealed today looks pretty much the same. But now Honda is dropping a few more details on its reinvented hybrid, which will make its public debut at the 2018 New York auto show.
The original Insight launched in 1999 as a streamlined two-door hatch and the first hybrid to reach the U.S. After discontinuing the nameplate in 2014, Honda is bringing back the model as a premium five-passenger sedan. We learned today that the new 2019 Honda Insight makes a total output of 151 hp and 197 lb-ft of electric motor torque. Based on internal certification testing, Honda estimates the Insight can hit up to 55 mpg in the city. Official EPA estimates have not yet been released.
To achieve these numbers, the compact sedan utilizes a 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder engine and two-motor hybrid system. In most scenarios, the gasoline engine, connected to the generator motor, produces electricity that feeds the electric propulsion motor and/or the lithium-ion battery pack. Honda says the Insight can drive for short distances of roughly a mile on electricity alone. This applies if the car is in Normal mode; drivers can also choose Econ and Sport driving modes.
By now you’ve probably noticed the Insight looks a lot a Civic, and that’s no accident. It sits on the same basic architecture as the 10th-generation Civic. However, the Insight gets a unique aluminum hood that cuts weight, and additional sound insulation has been put into the engine bay, front fenders, and other areas to keep the cabin quiet. The Insight boasts a fully independent suspension system with Macpherson struts up front and a multi-link setup in the rear.
Three trim levels will be available: LX, EX, and Touring. Some standard goodies include a 7-inch instrument cluster screen, six-speaker audio system, LED headlights, heated side mirrors, and a rear seat that folds. Honda Sensing technology is also included, which bundles together collision mitigation braking, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, road departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow, and traffic sign recognition.
Upgrading to EX brings along additional features such as two more speakers, SiriusXM radio, and an 8-inch touchscreen with smartphone integration capability. Touring models receive LED foglights, a power moonroof, rain-sensing wipers, perforated leather seats, heated front seats, navigation, a 10-speaker audio system, dual-zone climate control, 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, and Wi-Fi-enabled over-the-air system updates. Both EX and Touring models have seats that can fold in a 60/40 configuration.
As we reported earlier, Honda will build the Insight alongside the Civic and CR-V in Greensburg, Indiana. Honda will make the hybrid battery unit separately in Marysville, Ohio, and the 1.5-liter engine in Anna, Ohio.
Honda hasn’t revealed exact prices for the new Insight, but says they will fall somewhere in between the Civic and Accord. The model goes on sale nationwide early this summer.