Honda Insight to deliver 50 mpg or better

2019 Honda Insight Prototype Interior Dashboard

Roomy and with the latest technology onboard the 2019 Honda Insight aims to offer a premium compact experience above the best-selling Civic

Crucially, the 2019 Insight will use Honda's two-motor full hybrid system, pioneered on the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid sedan and now in its third generation in the 2018 version of that model. Honda also said the Insight will offer a competitive amount of cargo room in the class thanks to the hybrid batteries' placement under the rear seats so as not to encroach on trunk space.

A number of driver assistance and safety systems have been introduced into the new auto which include Honda LaneWatch and the Honda Sensing suite. With the Insight, there is no tall tail or oven-door hatchback window as in the Toyota Prius, Hyundai Ioniq, or Honda's own Clarity.

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Inside, the third-generation Insight will be available with perforated leather upholstery, an eight-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration as well as Wi-Fi over-the-air system updates. A prototype version will debut at this year's Detroit Auto Show, but when Honda calls their show cars "prototypes", it usually means they're a few details shy of a production model. Its long wheelbase translates to roominess for the five passengers, according to Honda. Those include adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure alert, and a new traffic-sign recognition feature that's been used on European cars for several years but is just making its way into mass-priced US vehicles.

Over on the safety tech and driver-assistance side, there'll be Honda LaneWatch on EX and above trims, along with the Honda Sensing safety suite. A blind spot monitoring system would be better, paired with rear cross-traffic alert.

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Undercutting the Toyota Prius in manufacturer's list price didn't work very well for the second-generation dedicated Honda hybrid, so for the third-generation model, the vehicle goes upscale. Essentially, it is the same 1.5-liter Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder gasoline engine and 2-motor system used in the new Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid, sans the plug. In fact, Honda says that the Insight will be positioned above the Civic as a "premium compact", offering a roomy interior and civilized road manners. Therefore, if Honda fully implements this drivetrain in the new Civic-based Insight, which is likely 700-800 lbs. lighter, performance should be robust. The press blurb also mentions an anticipated EPA fuel-efficiency rating of 50 mpg, yet no other info on power, torque or any other specs. No word yet on whether there will be a plug-in version. Hopefully with the 2019 Honda Insight, the company can capture a larger portion of the quickly growing market of hybrid and more efficient vehicles.

The 2019 Insight is expected to arrive at Honda dealers sometime during the second half of this year, and it will be the company's first dedicated hybrid to be built in the U.S.

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