The third iteration of Honda’s ultraefficient Insight coming this summer as a 2019 model is poised to be among the fuel economy leaders with an estimated rating of 55 mpg in city driving.
That puts the sleek sedan well ahead of all diesel competitors and just behind the 2018 Toyota Prius Eco at 58 mpg city and the Hyundai Ioniq, which has a 57 mpg city rating.
The last Insight, a five-door hatchback built in 2009-14, was a Toyota Prius clone that struggled in the market, even amid high fuel prices. The new model is a complete remake and is being positioned as a premium car priced above the Civic and Accord models, Honda says.
“The Honda Insight shows consumers that the efficiency of a hybrid car doesn’t mean sacrificing style, refinement or performance,” said Henio Arcangeli Jr., senior vice president of American Honda Motor Co. “The Insight is another symbol of a new era in the evolution of Honda electrified vehicles, where customers can have everything they want with no compromises.”
The production version of the Insight makes its debut Wednesday at the New York auto show. A concept version of the car was shown earlier this year at the Detroit auto show.
Despite the new body style and thrifty powertrain, the new Insight could be a tough sell. U.S. sales of most hybrid sedans and hatchbacks are off this year as the market continues to shift to crossovers and utility vehicles.
The new Insight’s gasoline and electric powertrain is rated at 151 hp. Honda has employed a number of lightweighting technologies to reduce weight, which improves performance and boosts fuel economy of the Insight.