New hybrid will resurrect a previous nameplate but won’t come to the UK or Europe
Jimi Beckwith
20 December 2017

The Honda Insight is to return in 2018 with a hybrid powertrain, as Honda revives its Toyota Prius rival for the US market. 

A full suite of images image accompanies Honda’s announcement, showing that the car will take a more conventional saloon shape than its more Prius-like high-reared predecessor. 

The front will adopt Honda’s aggressive new styling, with a metallic strip running the width of the front, tying in with Honda’s other US models. 

2018 Honda Insight hybrid prototype revealed 

For its third generation, the Insight will not be sold in the UK, but the IMA - Integrated Motor Assist – system will find its way into later UK cars such as the CR-V due in 2018, as well as future hybrids, as Honda continues its push for electrification. 

Where previous hybrids have been compromised by their electrification, the new Insight will be “a great car in its own right, independent of what’s happening under the hood”, said Honda’s American boss, Henio Arcangeli. 

“The all-new Insight embodies Honda's approach to creating electrified vehicles without the typical tradeoffs.”

Honda’s original Insight in 1999 was rated the most fuel-efficient petrol car certified by the EPA at the time. Honda has not yet announced how fuel-efficient the next Insight will be, but Arcangeli described the car as having “best-in-class performance”, suggesting it may be more frugal than its rivals. 

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Our Verdict

Honda Insight

The Honda Insight is more affordable, but no better than other hybrids such as the Toyota Prius

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Comments
12

19 December 2017

Honda has been trying to be a rival in the dedicated-hybrid segment for a long time after 2 failed attempts. Let's hope that this version is more appealing.

20 December 2017

I think its because they were misunderstood. A lot cheaper and less complicated than Toyota hybrids, the ima in the jazz, civic and insight were meant to give the performance of a 1.6 with the running costs of a 1.3, effectively a 1.3 with an electric supercharger for mild boost. If pursued it could have been a great alternative to the modern 1.0 turbos out there. They were quite good sellers outside of Europe which was/is diesel obsessed. I have an insight that performs as well as my mates same age 1.6 petrol golf, is similar in size to an octavia but is cheaper to run than petrol superminis of a similar age.

20 December 2017

"electric supercharger" I thought it was just an eletric motor adding forward motion. It couldn't accelerate on electricity alone and there wasn't a plug-in version.

That's why it's not as good as Toyota's Hybrid system, in fact AutoExpress said of the 2011 Civic IMA "The Honda feels half-hearted. The weedy electric motor means the engine is used too often, and that ensures fuel economy is poor. The Toyota Prius is a more intelligent solution."  

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

20 December 2017
xxxx wrote:

"electric supercharger" I thought it was just an eletric motor adding forward motion. It couldn't accelerate on electricity alone and there wasn't a plug-in version.

That's why it's not as good as Toyota's Hybrid system, in fact AutoExpress said of the 2011 Civic IMA "The Honda feels half-hearted. The weedy electric motor means the engine is used too often, and that ensures fuel economy is poor. The Toyota Prius is a more intelligent solution."  

A turbo or supercharged car can not accelerate on turbo or supercharge alone, the electric motor provides boost to support the engine though can power the car alone with the engine still turning with no fuel flow, like I said it was a cheaper alternative that in my experience and opinion works well, I get great economy, more or less matching that of my wifes mii for the same sort of urban driving which for a bigger car that is also not a diesel is impressive, that it performs as well as my mates golf for cheaper running costs is also impressive to my mind. The toyota hybrids are also very impressive but beyond my reach price wise unless I want a mega mile ex taxi. There should be a market for both but I really think honda themselves didnt pursue and advertise their hybrids enough. I still think they could have been a viable alternative to downsized turbos, but each to their own and that is just my opinion.

20 December 2017

Whatcar gave the Honda Insight IMA  the worst review I've ever read mostly one star no less in performance, handling, refinement, cost and verfict. It only got 2 stars for realibity. 

Truely one of the worst reviews I've ever read. They didn't pursue it becase the Toyota was better in every department, a plug-in to boot

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

21 December 2017

How is that relevant, I dont read what car as I often find them biased, but that aside my comment was alluding to the fact that it was a cheap mild hybrid that was designed to boost a smaller engine as opposed to toyotas synergy drive of effectively 2 larger powertrains, and that if pursued could have been a viable alternative to downsized turbos, infact a similar mild hybrid is in use by suzuki, it is even milder than hondas ima but is a motor that adds boost to the engine. It was completely different to toyotas hybrid and not really comparable, the two could exist beside each other as diesel and petrol do. You are more than welcome to hate it but in my opinion it makes a great low emission and low running cost alternative to a normal petrol car for someone like me who has no need for a diesel and cant afford electric or full hybrid. But each to their own. 

20 December 2017

Would be interesting to know if this applies to Europe as well, or is it that Honda UK doesn't want to sell it for fear of cannibalising sales of the UK built Civic? This model will surely be built as a RHD model, and would be well placed to take advantage of the market shift from diesels to hybrids. 

20 December 2017

I'll save Autocar the trouble of writing their review by doing it for them as all their hybrid reviews are pretty much the same:

The Honda Insight is fine around town, but take it on the motorway and you'll soon get fed up with the drone of the CVT. Real world economy comes nowhere near what is claimed and  most drivers would be better off with a diesel.

All their hybrid reviews say that. Go on, prove me wrong. I had a 2nd generation Insight and loved it. Now enjoying an Auris Hybrid, which has a better-still drive train but I miss the Insight's sci-fi looks.

"There's a fine line between wrong and visionary. Unfortunately, you have to be a visionary to see it." - Dr Sheldon Cooper

20 December 2017

Agree they and other motoring mags seem to miss the point of hybrids and that diesels dont suit everyones needs, maybe people doing town driving should have bought more hybrids instead of diesels, then maybe air quality issues would be lessened?

20 December 2017

Looks rather bland. Honda's styling is just awful these days. You either get this, or the gawky Civic. 

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