By on April 14, 2022

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.

2000 Honda Insight - Image: Honda

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.”

[Images: Honda]

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31 Comments on “Honda Insight Being Replaced By More Hybrids Across Lineup...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Now that Honda has figured out how to build a hybrid (early attempts weren’t so great), it makes sense to consolidate the Insight into the Civic line.

    A couple friends love their Accord Hybrids – good economy and driveability (something my 13 Optima Hybrid lacked).

    • 0 avatar
      gass-man

      You may have a different definition of “great” than Honda did for the earliest Insight.

      It’s not built for comfort. It was built to be the greatest at sucking maximum mileage out of a gallon of gas, and it was the greatest for more than 20 years. It’s still #6 on the all-time best gas-powered fuel economy list:
      https://fueleconomy.gov/feg/topten.jsp?year=all&action=ExEvsPhevs

      The official rating is 53 MPG, but unlike any car I know of ever rated by the EPA, ordinary drivers easily and routinely beat the rating without even trying. My own has a lifetime average of 61 MPG over 200,000 miles, and routinely pushes past 70 MPG on trips in the Summer. And it’s an awful autotragic CVT!

      With all the dumbassery from the idiots running this planet driving gas prices to new records, my feelings are still not hurt when every 600-700 miles I have to fill the puny tank (~9.5 usable gallons) with a couple Jacksons. I feel so smug about it, I should be driving a Prius.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        A 125cc scooter is more frugal still, than the original Insight. And darned near its equal for size and comfort…..

        The Prius ushered in a revolution because it was almost as efficient. Yet suffered nearly no compromises whatsoever, compared to other cars. Heck, that’s largely still the case.

        Not trying to badmouth your car. I actually like the Insight quite a bit. But I also think the 3 cylinder Geo Metro is one of the truly great drivers’ cars for urban/suburban America. And, truth to be told, 125cc scooters, are THE greatest vehicle class of any sort, to ever be unleashed on an too-clueless-to-even-recognize-greatness-when-it-hits-then-in-the-face nation.

        Most people, though, insists their solo commuter somehow gets “better” the closer it gets to a schoolbus or mining truck. For them, the Prius is much less compromised than both gen1 Insights and 125 class scooters.

        • 0 avatar
          SoCalMikester

          if youre sticking with the japanese stuff mostly made in taiwan now, 125s are a great choice. that means dealing with a “powersports dealer” that thinks their toys are made of gold. stay away from drop-shipped crap regardless of motive power, unless you like to tinker

      • 0 avatar
        syncro87

        re:gass: I looked up the Insight on Fully. MPG numbers are good, but not many ordinary drivers there seeing 60mpg on average.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Maybe this is why Honda never sells any hybrids. They keep going back and forth between Insight and Civic Hybrid

  • avatar
    6-speed Pomodoro

    I don’t want these.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    Turn it into a trim line, Civic Insight.

    3rd time’s the charm..
    Or not

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I think the outgoing Insight was much better looking than the Civic of the day.

  • avatar
    Syke

    With this news, my ex-wife is quite happy she got her latest one last year. Which will take care of her car buying needs thru the rest of this decade, at least. At which point she’ll be ready for her first EV. Which will be the perfect car for her, as she is the polar opposite of a motorhead, treating automobiles as an unfortunate necessity in life.

  • avatar
    Crashdaddy430

    I really wish this was the last generation civic with this as the hybrid variant. I always liked the look of this sedan and through this is the among the best of ‘modern Honda’ styling. Imagine this sedan with a turbo 4 and 6 speed, wound have been sweet.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    I have a mental block about hybrids, which is: In the long run you get battery degradation -plus- all the wear and deterioration of the internal-explosion components. [And yes I realize that the battery and engine in a hybrid have an easier life than in an EV or a pure ICE – but Time still does its thing.]

    (Careful study of the Honda Insight will yield important clues in the ongoing question of Whether We Should Style Our New-Tech Vehicle to Resemble a Science Fair Project.)

    [If you disagree with any of the above, just yell at me loudly enough and I’ll probably change my mind. Or you could call me an idiot (you wouldn’t be the first).]

    • 0 avatar
      tankinbeans

      I know myself well enough to realize I will likely never keep a car to the point of decrepitude amd likely would unload a hybrid before any battery related issues would arise. I do vaguely remember talk years ago about battery replacement costs, but don’t know if it’s statistically a big deal.

      That said, I get it. I refuse to consider a CVT for likely similar reasons, though the demerits are likely a non-issue for me for similar reasons as hybrid degradation.

      • 0 avatar
        Tagbert

        If this CVT is a planetary gear transmission like the Prius and Volt, then it is nothing like the belt-drive CVTs that everyone rightly hates. The planetary gear transmissions are reliable, long-lived and generally easy to live with.

    • 0 avatar
      SoCalMikester

      ive personally talked to people with gen1 hybrids that are still trucking along with replacement battery packs. that old tech isnt very expensive or difficult to keep going

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      ” [And yes I realize that the battery and engine in a hybrid have an easier life than in an EV or a pure ICE – but Time still does its thing.]”

      I guess a lot of that depends on how long you are going to keep it both in years and miles. Otherwise that is exactly the reason the good hybrids are so long lived. You essentially only use each of the power trains half the time, meaning both last twice as long.

      I’ve only been buying Hyrbids for our daily drivers for the last ~10 years. On many of the Fords when you shut it off it gives you a summary of your trip. X Miles, Y mpg, Z EV miles. Now those EV miles really mean miles traveled with engine off. Some of those EV miles are of course powered by the battery but others are regen braking.

      For my typical daily driving the EV miles are ~50% of the miles driven, combine that with not idling at lights and your engine wear is very low. Because you never use the full capacity of the battery, degradation has minimal effect on mpg and range, so that battery that has lost 50% of its capacity still gets the job done with no loss of utility (range).

      Yes, the battery will eventually die purely from age, so probably not a great choice for a you plan to keep until it reaches drinking age, but probably fine keeping it until it is of driving age.

      • 0 avatar
        Jeff S

        @Scoutdude–I have had my Maverick Hybrid for a week now and I have been averaging just over 48 mpgs. I have noticed the summary of my trip. Even when the engine kicks in it is very quiet and smooth. Maybe if I do keep it long enough to reach drinking age the replacement battery will be more affordable and then I would replace it but if not it still will be an inexpensive vehicle. We had a Ford C-Max at work and I really liked driving it on trips–smooth and very efficient.

  • avatar
    BEPLA

    Sad that the best looking car Honda has built in ages is being discontinued – but it makes sense to roll the hybrid powerplant into the Civic lineup.

  • avatar
    beachy

    Notice how that old Insight does not hug the ground and still gets world class mpg? I hope the new hybrids can have decent ground clearance. That is the biggest failing of the Prii, excepting maybe styling. And as ugly as they are, still not the ugliest Toyota.

  • avatar
    Pianoboy57

    I remember an old article in Popular Mechanics where they were comparing early Prius and Civic Hybrids. Then they had a take on the VW TDI of the time. I quickly lost interest in the hybrids and eventually owned a TDI Sportwagen. I didn’t want any other kind of car in that time of my life. Its too bad they went away. I looked at a Civic Hybrid after my TDI days ended but decided I didn’t want to ride around in a video game. I wish Subaru would get on the stick and bring out the Outback in a hybrid.

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