Ahead of Honda’s planned EVs offensive for the United States, the automaker has announced a deluge of hybrid variants of existing products. However these new vehicles will come at the expense of the Insight, which the company had just confirmed will be discontinued after 2022. In its stead will be new hybrid trips for the CR-V, Accord, and Civic — the latter of which served as the template for the passing model.
That effectively makes the approaching (returning?) Civic Hybrid a direct replacement, giving those in the market for a compact hybrid an obvious alternative. But it’s still a little sad to see the Insight departing after seeing the model hang in there for so long without ever really being a hit with consumers. Despite this, your author frequently suggested it to people who were seeking cheap, reliable transportation and lacked any strong opinions about anything other than fuel economy.
Later examples of the Honda Insight shared some of the best aspects of the Civic. But even the earlier models competed admirably with the Toyota Prius and it being far-less popular meant dealers were often eager to see them taken off the lot. Throughout most of its lifespan, the compact struggled to break 20,000 annual deliveries in the United States. By contrast, Toyota’s hybrid reliably cleared 100,000 units every year it was on sale until 2018 — and even broke 200,000 U.S. deliveries in 2012, 2013, and 2014.
Honda’s offering probably wasn’t ever quite as good as the Prius, even though it landed on our market first. It sometimes felt like the second-generation Insight struggled bit more at highway speeds — especially when crosswinds became a factor — and the first-gen model’s automatic stop-start feature left a lot to be desired. But it could frequently be found tied to lofty discounts back when dealers still offered such things simply by it being the tougher sell.
The manufacturer doesn’t seem to have any nostalgia for the model, so it’s to be quietly done away with in June. From there, Big H said it plans to continue focusing on increasing hybrid volume of its core models. Honda will introduce all-new models of the CR-V Hybrid this year, followed by the Accord Hybrid, which will allegedly make up 50 percent of the sales mix of each model in the future.
“Hybrid-electric vehicles are effective in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and are a critical pathway toward Honda’s vision for 100 [percent] zero-emission vehicle sales in North America by 2040,” said Mamadou Diallo, vice president of Auto Sales at American Honda Motor Co. “Making the volume leader of our core models hybrid-electric will dramatically boost electrified sales in the Honda lineup, a strategy that will be augmented by the arrival of a Civic Hybrid in the future.”
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