Honda Insight Base Price: $20,470

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
honda insight base price 20 470

That’s including the delivery charge, kids. And despite the fact that it’s priced only $2K and some change over a base Prius (which boasts a significantly better EPA rating) Honda is reporting 18K orders as of Monday, says the WSJ. Whether the Insight ever approaches the Prius’s 240+K sales remains to be seen. For the moment though, economy seems to make a stronger argument than environmentalism.

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  • Bytor Bytor on Mar 11, 2009

    Automatics aren't about fine distinctions. More a case of step down to a bag of hurt that doesn't do proper engine braking has poor response to throttle input, along with annoying rubber band delayed reactions to inputs. I can definitely see manual drivers feel like they are losing a lot of control (because they are) and not liking it. As one of those people who seldom drives automatic (like once/year), I find that automatics are MUCH less responsive to throttle inputs as you don't have the direct response to minute inputs. Step in more and eventually it will gear down. Again what's to figure out? The threshold for each automatic will be different in where it switches gear so anyone not used that particular model won't have that sense of where that point is. Hardly a skill, more a case of getting used a particular model. I see bigger differences getting used to different levels of brake grab between models. But really there isn't much to "figure out". Just getting used to a different response curve. Stick a automatic driver in a manual and there will be some real figuring things out time. Anyone who can drive a manual can drive automatic just about as well as the average automatic driver can. The reverse certainly isn't the case.

  • Hwyhobo Hwyhobo on Mar 11, 2009

    It's the vi vs. emacs all over again. Haven't we had enough stick vs. auto wars already? Assertions that either one is a fine skill are laughable. A fine skill takes years to master. A semi-intelligent monkey can learn to heel-and-toe. I know, I have - in a matter of days after learning on an automatic. Big deal. Since then I've driven stick for the past 25 years, but I can hardly imagine it as something to brag about to my friends. I don't know anyone who cannot drive stick, even though I live in an apparently backward USA. In fact, if anyone feels the need to brag so much about their ability to perform something so simple, it gives me a pause. Going back to the subject at hand, the Insight is auto only. Fine. We get it already. Any other points?

  • Bytor Bytor on Mar 11, 2009

    Not bragging. Never claimed it was hard. I Said I enjoy it. I also enjoy walking in the woods. That doesn't mean I am bragging about my ability to walk. But I agree, enough auto vs stick. This is a Prius Wannabee and should be judged in that light. Compared to the 2010 Prius: Price: Advantage Insight. Starts a couple of grand less. Power: Advantage Prius: Both gas and electrics are more powerful. Economy: Advantage Prius: Enjoys a EPA compbined 9mpg advantage. The Insight will use ~20% more fuel. Hybrid systems: Advantage Prius: More reliable "transmission" (Toyota Orbital gear power coupler vs Honda Belt CVT). More efficient electric mode (Honda has to rotate the ICE even when it is not supplying power). More powerful electric only operation, more range, higher speed. Space: Advantage Prius: Bigger, roomier. Looks: Highly subjective, but I like the 2010 Prius better than the insight. Fun to drive: Jury is out until there are some head to head comparisons. But neither will be that fun. If I had to buy one. It would be the 2010 Prius. The technology appears better, more reliable, more economical and more powerful. The Insight is cheaper.

  • EJ_San_Fran EJ_San_Fran on Mar 11, 2009

    Mmmm, let's compare Insight and Prius: 1. The Insight EX costs $21,300, about the same as the current base Prius at $22K. 2. It's much smaller than the new Prius 3. It gets lower mileage than the Prius 4. It's only a mild hybrid, so you can't do hypermiling very well. If Toyota keeps the price of the base Prius about the same and makes it more appealing with cruise control and VSC, they don't have much to fear from the Insight. The real competition are the Hyundai Elantra and other cheap and frugal cars.