We all know that Toyota officially launched the Prius hybrid car in our market last year. We also know that it was priced higher than a top-of-the-line Camry, so there were not a lot of takers. Which led industry observers to believe that Toyota only used the car to score some positive PR points.
But we wonder: What if Honda also introduced its own hybrid compact, the Insight? Would it have cost just as high? Would it have sold more than the Prius did? Would it have been more appealing to you if you were in the market for a hybrid vehicle? You be the judge: Just how much should the Insight cost here?
MAKE AND MODEL: Honda Insight
VEHICLE TYPE: Five-door hybrid compact fastback
ASSEMBLER'S PITCH: "Honda hybrids have always offered great value, high fuel efficiency and a healthy dose of fun near the middle price range in the Honda lineup. With the introduction of the all-new Insight, we're opening up Honda's fun-to-drive, versatile and fuel-efficient hybrid technology to an entirely new group of buyers that previously may not have considered a hybrid because of either image or cost."
ENGINE DATA: 1.3-liter 4-cylinder i-VTEC gasoline engine and 10-kilowatt electric motor (98hp and 167Nm of torque); continuously variable transmission with paddle shifter system
BASIC SPECS AND FEATURES:
Dual front airbags, dual side airbags for front passengers, and front and rear curtain airbags
Traction and stability controls
MacPherson struts and coil springs in front; trailing arms and coil springs at the back
Exterior dimensions - 4,376mm (length), 1,694mm (width) and 1,427mm (height)
Curb weight - 1,237kg
Luggage space - 453 liters
Tire size - 175/65 R15
Tire pressure monitoring system
Power-folding side mirrors
Projector-beam halogen headlights
Wheel-mounted audio controls
Speed-sensing audio system