New Honda Micro-Hybrid Could Be Eurohottie

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
new honda micro hybrid could be eurohottie

Honda's Insight was America's first hybrid (1999). While the Deco-skirted skinflint's choice was a far more distinctive-looking and fuel efficient machine than the Prius, Toyota's gas – electric model had the edge on practicality (four seats vs. two). When Prius sales caught fire, Honda dumped the Insight in favor of a hybrid Civic, and then Accord. Sensing the new models invisibility (zero green creds), Honda's marketing department wanted to promote them as earth-friendly rocket ships (the Accord Hybrid was the fastest variant). Unfortunately, political correctness ruled (ruined?) the day. After going nowhere fast (saleswise), Honda axed the gas – electric Accord. And now Honda's ready for another go. The Motor Authority says Honda's opting for a three-pronged hybrid sales strategy. First up: a "global hybrid" that's both smaller and cheaper than the current Civic hybrid, based on the Fit platform. (Barring foreseen internet leakage, it will debut in Paris.) Next, the Civic Hybrid (why not? they already make it). And then a range-topping somethingorother, based on the CR-Z hybrid concept pictured here, unveiled in Tokyo last October. We know Honda's got the engineering chops to give Europe's micro-car owners a decent run for their money. But can Honda hit the design/practicality sweet spot currently occupied by the Prius? As always, you'll be the judge, ASAP.

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4 of 14 comments
  • Robert Farago Robert Farago on Feb 19, 2008
    Edward Niedermeyer : Except that so many overpriced cars still sell so well. Oh right, that’s the overmarketing… If something sells at a price, it's not over-priced. Ipso facto. Something is worth exactly what someone will pay for it. No more, no less.

  • Carguy Carguy on Feb 19, 2008

    Jalopnik drove the Civic 2.2 i-CTDi diesel and got 72mpgs from it in average driving conditions. It's roomy, has good tourqe, real tires (not skinny fuel savers) has four doors and looks great. They also got 33mpg from a diesel Audi Q7. Tell me again why I want a micro hybrid?

  • Eric_Stepans Eric_Stepans on Feb 19, 2008

    I want my....I want my....I want my CR-Z (Apologies, wait. Screw the apologies. They've 'sold out' that song many times over)

  • Kjc117 Kjc117 on Feb 19, 2008

    Well, the Accord, Civic hybrid were not a success because they were not designed to be hybrids. Thus, did not benefit fully from hybrid technology. They needed to have low drag and cut a cleanest line from the air. This holds the same for all of Toyota's other hybrid line up and a target for Toyota haters all over the internet even here!! The Prius is the only car that is designed to be an hybrid. If Honda wants to succeed and have some profit they need to focus on an hybrid that is functional, practical, and is attractive to families. While the a 2 door CRX hybrid would be kool, it will not be profitable.