By on August 29, 2014

2012 Honda Insight greyMore than two years after American Honda last produced meaningful sales volume with its first Insight, a second Insight arrived to tackle the Toyota Prius head-on.

Only it didn’t, because it couldn’t.

The Insight’s death was reported here at the end of last month. There was no accompanying shock, surprise or horror.

Though it has competed with a much lower base MSRP than the core Prius model, the Insight is a 42 mpg car fighting against the hybrid, a 50 mpg Prius.

Those are the numbers that mattered most to potential customers, not cargo capacity or horsepower or airbags. (The Prius, incidentally, has more cargo capacity behind the rear seats and with seats folded, more horsepower, and more airbags.)

Think of this way. The Prius was akin to the establishment candidate for the ruling party, a guy who’d led the country for years, a policy wonk with a certain charm. In comes Insight, somebody who was once known as a revolutionary politician but disappeared for a few years before returning with fewer baby kisses, less foreign affairs awareness, and no real plan for reducing the deficit.

In 2008, the Toyota Prius was America’s tenth-best-selling car. In 2009, the Insight arrived to take on this hugely popular car but brought with it significant on-paper disadvantages.

The results were as anticipated. Honda sold 20,572 Insights in 2009; Toyota sold 139,682 Prii. Prius sales rose slightly to 140,928 in 2010; Insight volume rose to 20,962 units. Insight volume plunged 26% to 15,549 in 2011; Prius volume fell 9% to 128,064. Prius volume then jumped 15% to 147,507 units in 2012 while Insight sales plunged again, falling 62% to just 5846. Insight sales fell again, 18%, to just 4802 units in 2013. Prius sales slid slightly, just 2%, to 145,172 in 2013.

Through the first seven months of 2014, Insight sales have fallen 6% to 2624 units. Prius sales have fallen 18% to 75,903 as we approach its turn into a fourth-generation iteration.

There won’t be an immediate, overlapping replacement for the Insight. It’s not that Honda needed to sell the Insight at Prius-like levels for the model to succeed. Honda doesn’t sell as many Accords as Toyota does Camrys, and there’s no one implying that the Accord ought to be killed off.

Yet during the time period in which the Insight has steadily waned, Toyota has expanded the Prius lineup. There’s a plug-in variant of the regular Prius that has sold 10,671 copies this year, quadruple the volume Honda has done with the Insight. Toyota USA has also sold 101,715 Prius C hatchbacks since February 2012 and 101,276 copies of the Prius V wagon since the fourth quarter of 2011.

Toyota is trading off the Prius’s name brand to generate genuinely high U.S. sales. There was equity in the Insight name, but by introducing an underwhelming half-measure in 2009, Honda may have extinguished that equity along with the car itself.

The Insight, of course, isn’t the company’s only hybrid. Honda has reported 8250 U.S. sales of the Accord Hybrid through the first seven months of 2014, 221 Accord Plug-Ins, 2904 Civic Hybrids, 263 Fit EVs, 306 Acura ILX Hybrids, and 2355 CR-Zs.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

63 Comments on “The Honda Insight Is Dead: Here’s Why...”


  • avatar
    petezeiss

    Local dealer has one black, one silver. $21.3K, blechh.

    While I love nearly all things Honda, there is enough meh about these vehicles that color would matter. And durn their hide for discontinuing the Fit EV.

    • 0 avatar
      Jean-Pierre Sarti

      beyond the blandness issues the biggest problem I had when riding in a few examples of the Insight and the Fit for that matter is that their build quality just seemed terrible from what you expect a Honda to be so even the Honda faithful are not buying them. I understand that Honda has supposedly addressed or at least acknowledged the issue but I think it is too little too late.

      • 0 avatar
        petezeiss

        What exacly did you find defective in the Fit? I’ve pored over every hidden detail in my sister’s Saitama-made Fit; door seals, hinges, wire harnesses, switches, bulbs & housings, hoses, visible welds… yadda yadda.. and I see nothing sub-expectation for a Honda.

        • 0 avatar
          cackalacka

          As versatile and revolutionary the interior space of the Fit is, it easily had the worst fit and finish of any car I sat in when I was shopping in 2010. It was as if the sound wind alone could scratch that interior up.

        • 0 avatar
          TheAlmightyMe

          What’s wrong with Honda quality? LA Auto Show 2013, opening day: The wife wants a new vehicle and is considering a Ridgeline. So we go to check out the Honda display. I open up the passenger for to the Ridgeline and get in. I then grab the door pull to course the door; OW! The flash from the mold seem is massive! And now I’m bleeding all over the interior. A lot of bleeding. Three stitches in my finger bleeding.

          The upholstery on the seats were visibly a few shades apart from each other. Interior panel gaps were uneven. And the carpet was wrinkled. This was a vehicle in their auto show display!

          That horrific Puma had a better aire of quality than that Honda. My father’s 95 Accord LX with 465K miles and salvage title has better quality than modern day Honda’s.

          Honda, like Subaru has traded in their intrinsic qualities in order to go more mainstream and gain more market share.

          The first generation Insight and the S2000 were the last great Honda’s because they were, well… Honda. And not a grab for more market.

          • 0 avatar
            Thatkat09

            That’s just a dumb story. First off, I can’t find any evidence of the Ridgeline even being at the 2013 LA auto show. Secondly, Honda quality is fine, the Ridgeline is no exception. My friend traded in her Hummer H3T for a 2013 Ridgeline. She had me drive it down to her parents house on the jersey shore to help them move. The quality of that thing was top notch. I hate the Ridgeline and even I can admit its well built. Beyond that, don’t judge a brand on one floor model that 100s of people have sat in and abused. Also, I drove a 2013 Civic to Boston earlier this year, quality was impeccable. A lot better than my 2013 KIA Optima that seems to be collapsing in on itself. So I don’t believe you.

          • 0 avatar
            bosozoku

            Jesus, what a story! Too bad none of it is true.

        • 0 avatar
          travisp11

          My wife and I purchased an Insight EX in 2013, purchased it new and still are very pleased with our purchase. We wanted a Prius but were looking at paying around $8,000 more which wasn’t in our budget. We got our Insight for $19.5K out the door. There were two great rebates on it that saved us around $6,000 so we left the dealership very happy. Other than the lack of a rear camera in our model, we have no complaints about it. We average over 45 MPG on our road trips and under certain driving conditions, I have seen (and verified at the time of fill up) 50 MPG. The car is quiet, comfortable and we have no build issues whatsoever. While I am very much in favor of supporting the USA with American-made products, but there is this cool factor about having one of the last of the Japanese manufactured Hondas. I feel like it is a vehicle that will last and after 26K miles, it is running great!

    • 0 avatar

      I got an insight as a loaner when my MDX tossed the “Replace valve Belt$” light.

      Drove it 200 miles on a usual work route. I was amazed….this is a Honda ? They let this out ? Did anyone reverse engineer a Prius ? Loud, rough, road noise, no power at all.

      I was embarrassed for Honda. The hybrid part was clearly grafted on by interns who placed very low in their class.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    In my mind, the Insight was brought out in much the same way the slightly awkward guy at work hears someone tell a joke that goes over great, so he tries to come up with a similar joke which falls flat.
    It was the right idea, but it had been done. If I wanted a copy of a Prius, I’d buy a Prius. It had already become a household name in 2009 and anyone who wanted to brag about their hybrid bought a Prius.
    Honda just doesn’t have it when it comes to alternative fuel cars and I don’t know why. The original Insight was great, but impractical for most families.
    I think Honda should go back to their roots of building great small cars with normal engines which are fun to drive that get great gas mileage as a side benefit. They’ve tried to emulate Toyota’s success but always seem to be one step behind. Maybe it’s time to try something different if they want to be number 1.

    • 0 avatar
      Thinkin...

      I totally agree. I cross-shopped the Insight and Prius and there was no contest at all. Sure, the insight started cheaper, but the base models lacked Cruise Control. (typical Honda move of the time) To get cruise you had to step up to the higher trim, which basically cost the same as a Prius. Plus it was far smaller (back seats too small for a rear-facing kid seat) and, sure, the Prius got almost 20% better fuel economy.

      What’s worse, the Honda hybrid system was miles behind Toyotas. The regenerative braking felt terrible, the gas engine clunked on and off at every light, and it just seemed kludged together.

      HOWEVER – I would’ve forgotten all those ills if Honda had done just one thing right: Offer the Insight with three pedals. Seriously – Honda had a perfectly fine 5-speed hybrid drivetrain sitting on the shelf – it’s what they used in the hybrid Civic. Had they offered a manual, the Insight would been the sporty hybrid. It would’ve been DIFFERENT than the Prius, and I would’ve bought one. Don’t get me wrong, it would never have been fast, but it could have at least made a case for itself. (And of course, an Si version with a pinch tighter suspension, and some styling tweaks would’ve been neat.)

      • 0 avatar
        olydoug

        We cross shopped the Insight and the Prius although it was always the Prius on mom’s mind (helping her shop for her new car after 19yrs with the old one) Several things knocked the Insight off the list but the biggest one was the lack of headroom compared to the Prius, then in the beginning (we were shopping in the summer of 2009) you had to get the more expensive EX model to get ESC which we refused to buy a new car without. It would have ended up being basically the same as the Prius II which we bought. If Honda had put the same drivetrain and dash into a Hybrid Fit then the choice would have been harder since she liked the Fit but wanted much better mileage.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    42 mpg is about what the Camry, Fusion, and Accord hybrids actually get in city driving. If the much smaller Insight gets about the same, it will be viewed as a failure.

    I do like the instrument panel on the Insight, though.

  • avatar

    OK it filed to beat the Prius on the Hybrid front.

    Honda do have an amazingly low drag coefficient on this body style.

    Re-invent this car as a full electric with a larger battery and it will be one of the most efficient vehicles on the road and no longer under the direct shadow of the Prius.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    The Insight failed, no doubt, and I think Timothy’s analysis is apt. The question is why would Honda introduce a vehicle which was clearly inferior to the Prius, at a price about $3K cheaper.

    In Honda’s defense, the logic was as follows: The US has just entered a deep recession. Car buyers won’t mind a little hard plastic and fewer features to buy a new car they can actually afford.

    It sounds reasonable, but it’s a terrible misreading of the American consumer. God forbid an American should have to sit in a car without leather seats that are heated and cooled. It would be simply unthinkable to give up the latest advances in cellphone integration and dashboard materials. We’d rather mortgage our futures and the futures of our children than give up our supposed luxuries even in the heart of the deepest recession we can remember.

    So, lesson learned for Honda. At least they were able to quickly makeover the Civic, which needed a quickie refresh to reinstate the equipment levels Americans demand.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      What Honda missed is that, during an economic downturn, the cheapskates and people on a tight budget drop out of the market completely.

      The people who still buy new vehicles likely are more affluent, and thus expect their new vehicles to have all of the bells and whistles and the appropriate level of materials quality.

      Then add the people who decide to downsize to a smaller vehicle during an economic downturn (especially when said downturn has been accompanied by a run-up in fuel prices). They generally don’t downsize their expectations regarding feature content and build quality. They certainly don’t want to be reminded every time they open the door that their new vehicle is a “step down” from the old one.

      Regarding the Insight, it seemed as though Honda took a page from the old GM playbook – “Hey, it’s not as good as the comparable Toyota, but it’s cheaper!”

      That approach ultimately didn’t work for GM, and it’s now apparent that it didn’t work for Honda, either.

      I really wanted to like the Insight, but after looking at one closely while my Accord was in for service, I said, “No way.” It was a major disappointment.

  • avatar
    johnhowington

    Honda has had several enthusiast judged failures lately. Despite the whining the 2012 civic sold in droves. Despite the falling sales, Honda still sold the insight year after year. So say a eulogy to some metal and electrical components and lets talk about Honda next blunder.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      John,
      The reviews I have read call the Accord hybrid the best midsize sedan, the CR-V the top midsize CUV and the Civic a leading compact. The fact that Honda is #1 or #2 in retail sales in midsize cars, compact cars, midsize CUVs and minivans speaks to their success.

      Next blunder? Accord introduction was a big win. The MDX and RDX are successful. The Fit has been well received by the motoring press, and the TLX is getting rave reviews. What exactly are you talking about?

    • 0 avatar
      carguy

      Like any company, Honda has winners and losers. The Insight simply wasn’t competitive in terms of NVH and fuel economy and thus did not sell well. That is unusual for Honda which tends to get things right the first time around like CR-V, Accord, MDX etc. There is no conspiracy here to pile on Honda as a brand – just that they too occasionally create an uncompetitive product.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Carguy,
        I completely agree with you. I just took issue with the “Next blunder” language. Honda is on a roll, they simply aren’t willing to cut price to chase volume.

        If I were advising Honda, I’d ask them to consider continuing to prune the product line of the RLX, CR-Z and Ridgeline, so they can put all their weight behind the current winners and ensure the upcoming small CUV and next gen Pilot are complete successes.

        • 0 avatar
          turboprius

          The RLX just came out last year. Redesign the Ridgeline off of the impressive 2014 Odyssey, kill the CR-Z, and make a TLX SportWagon with 40+ inches of legroom, then raise it like an Outback to compete with the Venza.

          Or this TLX SportWagon I dreamed of could be available for a lower price as the next generation Crosstour.

    • 0 avatar
      olydoug

      Honda still sold the Insight year after year, but at much lower numbers than the Prius. Toyota did a better job of marketing and convincing buyers that the slight (if comparing a Insight EX to the PriusII of 2010) premium was worth it.

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    I would snap up a Fit hybrid the instant it became available. The only current option for a small hybrid with a Fit’s interior space is a Prius V but it’s way too pricey and every Prius I’ve driven was an ergonomic and sightlines mess. Annoyingly quirky dashboards/controls and severe Mirror In Face Syndrome from the stupidly raked windshield that isn’t pushed forward enough as with the Fit.

  • avatar
    Dan

    Look at the climate the Insight was conceived in. Gas prices were insane and getting even more insane every year with no end in sight. Employment was full and consumer credit was effectively unlimited, Priuses were turning in a week at MSRP. Honda didn’t need a great hybrid. Honda needed any hybrid.

    Just like the Volt, between conception and arrival that welcoming market went away. An off brand Prius was only interesting when there weren’t enough real Priuses to go around. With global recession then and cheap fracking gas before global recession went away, if it ever goes away, even a Prius has $3-4,000 on the hood.

    So why settle?

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    There’s just no point to this car; it’s nice enough, but the Fit has the same cargo space at a lower price, and is more fun to drive, while the Prius C has almost as much space and better mileage, while being about as much fun to drive and costing less.

    And then there’s the regular Prius, which is much more refined, only a little more expensive, and gets better mileage.

    If this car was even as refined as the Civic, it would be okay, but it’s about as refined as the Fit, only soggier. It’s only redeeming value is that it’s rock-reliable, but then again, so is the Prius.

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      “the Fit has the same cargo space”

      Seats-down cargo space:

      Insight: 31.5 cubic feet

      Fit: 57.3 (2013), 52.7 (2015) cubic feet

      Evidently even Honda will sacrifice some utility for styling changes, but the Insight is still lame compared to the Fit.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    It’s a shame Honda couldn’t hold Toyota’s water when it came to a Prius-fighter – neither can anyone else, for that matter – at least not yet.

    Too bad, for I think the Insight is a lot better looking than any Prius. Wish the Prius wasn’t so ugly, but if it was right for me, I’d snap one up in spite of its looks!

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Zackman,
      The Accord hybrid may not be a “Prius-fighter”, but it’s a much better car. The mileage is a few MPG shy, but in terms of performance, comfort, handling, ride, features, etc., the Accord hybrid is superior.

      • 0 avatar
        petezeiss

        But optioned-up (and who doesn’t do that besides me and a few Amish?) it’s also close to twice the price OTD, more so as dealers discount the Insight.

        The Insight is by no means a *bad* car, it just isn’t good enough, I guess. But this discussion has me wanting to go check them out again considering the bargaining that can now happen.

      • 0 avatar
        TopJimmy5150

        A true Prius fighter would be the new Honda hybrid tech from the Accord Hybrid in a lighter Prius sized car. The system must be amazing to get that kind of mileage in an Accord.

  • avatar
    Wheatridger

    If the Insight/Prius choice was all a numbers game, let’s look at the numbers. Over a 1000-mile drive, the 42 mpg car would use 3.8 gallons more fuel than a 50 mpg car. Works out to a penny-and-a half more per mile. For me, that’s a rounding error, well below the Twinkie Tax I seem to pay every time I stop at a junk food-stuffed filling station. But 50 mpg sounds so much more impressive… it’s all about the bragging rights with these cars, isn’t it?

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      Completely agree, 42 vs 50 mpg doesn’t make a hoot of difference to me as a buyer. But in the world of ad hype number size matters more than anything else and magic plateaus like 50+ mpg stick in a consumer’s mind.

      • 0 avatar
        ceipower

        Honda’s problem is we expect more from Honda! They (Honda) helped to perpetuate this and have done nothing to deny it. Also , for what ever reason , as a consumer I see more complaints about batteries & battery life with Honda’s hybrids then Toyota. Maybe Honda isn’t really interested In Hybrids? Maybe they’re betting on Hydrogen? It’s for sure Honda is in love with their HondaJet.(a product that has yet to return a dime to the Honda coffers)That money is coming from somewhere.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          Have you seen the reviews of the Accord hybrid? Not just best hybrid on the market, but best sedan on the market, period.

          • 0 avatar
            turboprius

            Something I actually agree with you on, lol.

            I keep forgetting about the Accord Hybrid’s existence, but it takes all of the class of the Accord, then makes it a hybrid. Sure, CR didn’t like it, but the Accord Hybrid is still a good car. Haven’t been in one or anything, but looks promising.

          • 0 avatar
            George B

            The problem with the Accord Hybrid is you lose a lot of trunk space and pay a price premium for the battery. In the end, I chose to buy a regular 4 cylinder CVT Accord because it would take many years for the better fuel economy to pay for the cost premium of the hybrid. For me, the battery in the hybrid would be exposed to high ambient temperatures which would tend to shorten its life.

    • 0 avatar
      PandaBear

      Then why even buy hybrid or EV at all?

      The main reason a lot of people buy hybrids are they are not driven the normal amount of miles. They COMMUTE long distance in it every day, hence don’t care about the cargo space or the slight purchase price difference or depreciation, because by the time they are done with these cars, they have 250k miles and won’t worth much regardless of brands and models, and they may drive them even longer after a new battery pack.

  • avatar
    RogerB34

    ” Honda doesn’t sell as many Accords as Toyota does Camrys, and there’s no one implying that the Accord ought to be killed off.”
    Honda doesn’t build as many cars as it could. Builds to price point and inventory.
    Insight did not have an Atkinson cycle engine and mpg to compete with Prius.

  • avatar
    DevilsRotary86

    For better or worse, I have to see it in the driveway everytime I drive to my wife’s parent’s house. Her dad bought one in 2010. He said something about liking the handling better than the Prius. I am not going to argue with him! He still has it, still drives it to work everyday, and still talks about replacing it with a Tesla Model S.

  • avatar
    bomberpete

    Years ago I worked at a very badly-managed trade magazine publisher. one of the editors always had me in stitches in her assessment of certain bosses: “she’s a horror!”

    That’s how I felt in the few times I’ve rented an Insight. Harsh ride with massive crash-through on bumps, terrible ergonomics, sun glare that made the instruments impossible to see, a transmission shifting pattern that didn’t care what the engine was going, and the atrocious fit & finish others have described.I love most things Honda, but this was just an epic fail.

    A week after I drove my last Insight, I rented a Prius. While it’s not my particular cup of Darjeerling, it is one smooth and competent vehicle.

    A few days ago I heard Kai Ryssdal of NPR’s Marketplace interviewing Jeff Rothfeder, author of “Driving Honda:Inside the World’s Most Innovative Car Company.”

    In the interview, it struck me that Mr. Rothfeder’s title confirmed my suspicion: he’s way too much of a star-struck fanboi to objectively assess Honda’s recent product performance. But I’d love for the B&B to listen and give their insights:
    http://www.marketplace.org/topics/business/why-honda-most-innovative-car-company-earth

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    How depressing would it be to walk into a Honda dealer surrounded by shiny new Accords, Pilots and CR-Vs, only to drive home in one of these tubs.

  • avatar
    Nico

    I own a 2010 EX-Nav, bought in 2013. While I love it, I completely understand why it was axed. The average american consumer expects a lot more from a car, even an economy-oriented one. I am very satisfied with the car, probably because I don’t expect driving an econobox to be a luxury experience.

    It all comes down to cost. We got a CPO, low mile, reliable, spacious and economic family car for not a lot of money. A Prius of similar vintage and milage costs a lot more, especially in the SF bay area. Take it as it is and it makes a lot of sense.

    The problem for Honda is that the american consumer doesn’t see it that way, and prefers to pay more to not drive a “simple” car. Perhaps that’s the reason why there isn’t a $9.999 car in the market? Buyers don’t like the compromises that it entails.

    The Prius does feel like a larger and more… “solid” car, even though it’s almost exactly the same size. I think Toyota read the US market better and moved it a bit up in their lineup after the first version. Honda tried to compete on price and that doesn’t seem to work here. Lucky for me, I like Honda’s proposition better.

    As for real world mileage (from the computer, which I checked to be reasonably accurate), it averages about 40 in a *very* hilly area. I managed to do almost 60 on a short SF -> San Jose drive (50ish miles) and 51.7 in a LA -> SF trip, (430 miles). And it’s impossible to get it under 35, no matter how you drive.

    • 0 avatar
      Thinkin...

      “A Prius of similar vintage and milage costs a lot more…”

      Exactly, that’s called “resale value.” It’s one big reason why I bought a Prius for the wife. We bought it gently used three years ago, and I could easily turn around and sell it today for about $1000 less than I paid for it. Not bad after 3 years and 21K put on the car.

      Granted, this value only exists if you don’t drive cars until they’re dead. Personally I like to switch things around every few years, so buying slightly-used (~2 years old) and selling after 2-3 years, has resulted in paying virtually nothing in depreciation, and always being within a warranty net. It’s a great proposition for the primary daily-driver, and allows me to get a bit more esoteric with the 2nd car.

      • 0 avatar
        Nico

        Good point. The depreciation for this model is pretty steep, probably because it was always in the shadow of the Prius. But that worked for me;I like to keep cars as long as possible so resale value didn’t have as much weight as purchase value.

  • avatar
    ceipower

    The 2nd generation Insight failed on every level , yet it was green lighted and at the time all Honda could tout was , “Hey , it costs less than a Prius , and it’s a Honda” How bloated does a car companies ego have to be to allow such a thing ?? This is for certain just one the Honda’s of the last decade that totally failed. One should logically asked “who’s to blame , who’s making these bad decisions”? Honda likes to think of themselves as a small company , but they’ve grown too big and fat and stupid. Their obsession with the HondaJet(that’s ate up probably a billion+ dollars) has caused the management to loose interest in their core business as they continue to finance the Jet folly for more than a decade. IMO

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    Can we move to a consumption based model for fuel mileage already? 42mpg is not too far off 50mpg.

    Spaciousness is another issue, but come on.

    Even though the combined mileage in my Escape is 5 less than the combined mileage in the Focus (EPA figures) the actual difference is a whopping $20 per thousand miles, or $300 per year over 15,000. A rounding error.

    • 0 avatar
      Thinkin...

      True, for the Prius vs. Insight the difference boiled down to about $2300 over their 150k warranty. Not a large amount of money spread over that many miles. Still, 50mpg sounds great.

  • avatar
    PandaBear

    I don’t think Honda intentionally make Insight with cheap out parts and workmanship. The problem is they didn’t R&D the fundamentals way early enough to have a meaningful Insight for sale by that time.

    The IMA couldn’t run the electric motor without spinning the engine as well as the lack of higher gear ratio CVT is pretty much what kills the design to begin with.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    The Insight simply didn’t do anything well. A vehicle should excel at something – anything – in order to succeed.

    YTD, even the Leaf is outselling it 6 to 1, and the Insight doesn’t have range anxiety. The Insight is just a disappointing car, rated at 41/44 mpg. My Optima Hybrid is rated at 36/40, but actually does much better on the highway. It’s a lot more car than an Insight.

    Looks like Honda has about a 5-month supply of Insights on their hands.

    @Timothy Cain: While I love your data, this story would have been easier to comprehend if all the numbers had simply been shown as curves on a graph. Then we could really have more Insight.

  • avatar
    ravenchris

    The Insight death along with dwindling market share indicates to me that Honda is the victim of an eroding reputation for manufacturing superior vehicles.

  • avatar
    mechaman

    I’ve seen more Volts in Chicago than Insights. I’m sure that my personal perception isn’t the end all and be all, but there you are.

  • avatar
    Ion

    It wasn’t just the mpg. The insight’s transitions from electric to gas weren’t as smooth as the Prius, the interior was cheaper, and it had less features. It came off as a cheap Prius knock off. It didn’t help that Honda had that whole battery issue either.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Honda needs to pair their product line some more and concentrate on what works best for them. The new smaller crossover needs to be a higher quality vehicle than the competition and needs to be marketed aggressively. Honda should not even try to compete with Toyota on volume but put quality and service first. My wife bought a new CRV last year which is a good car but Honda needs to upgrade the hard plastics on the door especially on the models with leather interiors. Also when I took the CRV in for an oil change the service adviser did not tell me when it was finished, I had to look for the car on the lot and ask him if it was finished. At the very least they could page you and say your car is ready (even Walmart does that). I paid for the oil change since Honda does not give you any free oil changes and the changes are more expensive because of the synthetic oil which I don’t mind but customer service should be a priority. I have even gotten better customer service from a Ford and Chevy dealership on old vehicles than from the Honda dealership where I bought this CRV at full price.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Prius hits a lot of sweet spots. My only gripe with it is, I love its shape and overall look and prefer it to a dowdy sedan (both cars in our household are hatchbacks)… but I need more performance. If they made a version with Toyota’s 200HP hybrid powertrain I would be all over it.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    Over the last decade Honda has completely lost the plot. Once upon a time they were the smartest Japanese auto maker, always improved the product with each new generation, and rarely introduced a dud (not never though, think Acura RL).

    Somehow their fascination with robots and jet aircraft coincided with loosing their competitive edge in auto design. Several redesigns were widely viewed as a step back from the prior version, while others simply failed to advance at the same pace as the competition. Meanwhile Hyundai/Kia went from joke to contender, Nissan got its head back in the game, the US makers steadily improved, and Toyota ran away with the hybrid crown.

    Now Honda has slunk into the dismal condition of also ran, no longer a leader, no longer where the excitement is.

    Kill off the Honda Jet and Asimo, shake up management with a new younger team obsessed with winning, and maybe build a world beating hybrid NSX for some cred.

  • avatar

    The crz, crosstour, ridgeline, ilx, and zdx can’t be too far behind. Honda is having a hard time gaining any traction on non-core models. This leaves them very vulnerable. The accord and crv are are top notch so they should be fine for now, but sonata, optima altima and fusion are gaining on the midsize segment. Cruze, elantra and focus are stealing sales off the civic. Equinox, rav4 and escape eating into crv market share. Honda got complacent because toyota used to be their only competition. Fit ev and accord hybrid prove that honda can build great alternative fuel cars. A prius beating insight should be in the works or they are in real trouble. Honda afterall pioneered hybrids.

  • avatar
    HydrogenOnion

    In my opinion, the current Insight is basically a rebodied Fit… and not nearly as interesting as the original Insight. But the original Insight should have been called the CRX HF. And there should also have been a CRX Si. A 1.8L R-series or a 2L K-series engine would have been amazing in the original should-have-been-a-CRX Insight.

    The whole ‘Insight’ name was a mistake from the start. It ignored Honda’s own history.

    While having a separate “I’m a hybrid” model works for Toyota, Honda and Honda buyers are a little different and always have been.

    In my view, the hybrid Hondas should be a CRX HF, a Fit HF and a Civic HF.

    Also in my opinion, the V6 hybrid powertrains should be large-Acura-focused.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • SCE to AUX: Let’s not forget alcohol – for all ages, but especially in younger drivers. You never hear...
  • Inside Looking Out: And that’s why it will not survive.
  • tankinbeans: Is this a case where you can get statistics to say whatever the heck you want? I’ve always heard...
  • Inside Looking Out: Youngsters know better. Who are you to criticize them? Some old idiot, OK Boomer.
  • Inside Looking Out: I pass. It will increase weight and decrease fuel efficiency.

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Matthew Guy
  • Timothy Cain
  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Chris Tonn
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber