Honda Revives Insight Nameplate For Civic-Based 50+ MPG Hybrid Sedan

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Honda has been rather hit of miss in recent years with its dedicated hybrid vehicles. The first-generation Insight was a spunky, CRX-esque two-seat hybrid that was incredibly efficient (up to 70 mpg), but not exactly a practical vehicle. Honda followed up with the second-generation Insight in 2009 (which looked like a warmed-over Prius) and the CR-Z, which was in essence the true successor for the first-generation Insight. Neither was a sales success, and both have since been discontinued.

Now, Honda is ready to try again with a new dedicated hybrid vehicle, and it will once again bear the Insight nameplate. Given the body lines, glass, mirrors, and overall stance, there's no question that this third-generation Insight is heavily based on the current generation Civic. However, to our eyes, it looks more handsome than its sister ship. Up front, the Insight takes its styling cues from the new 2018 Honda Accord, and its rear end is far cleaner than what you'd find on the Civic.

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On the inside, the Insight receives an all-new interior compared to the Civic, but its styling theme remains consistent with the donor car. Likewise, the vehicle can still seat five passengers with ease.

But since the Insight is a hybrid, what everyone wants to know is what’s under the hood and what kind of fuel economy we'll see in the real world. For starters, the 2019 Insight will use Honda’s two-motor hybrid system (instead of the old IMA hybrid system) for improved performance. With regards to fuel economy, Honda says that the Insight will be "competitive with other compact hybrid models".

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To put that in perspective the regular, garden variety Honda Civic with a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine is rated for 32/42/36 mpg (city/highway/combined) by the EPA. The stylistically-challenged Toyota Prius Eco and Hyundai Ionic are rated at 58/53/56 mpg and 55/54/55 mpg respectively. If Honda's engineers are completely dialed in on the Insight's powertrain, we would expect its fuel economy rating to hover right around 55 mpg combined, which is a significant boost over even the most efficient Civic.

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For now, Honda is calling the vehicle the “Insight Prototype”, but anyone who has seen previous Honda concepts knows that this thing is pretty much production ready. The 2019 Insight will be manufactured at Honda's Greensburg, Indiana plant and will go on sale late next year.