The 2010 Honda Insight will be available sooner than previously announced, according to the New York Times. The gas-electric hybrid will be available beginning March 24 at a starting price for the base LM model of $19,800.
According to the newspaper, the total price (with destination charge) will be $20,470 or about $2,250 less than Toyota Prius, the best-selling hybrid in the United States.
A new Prius is also scheduled to soon debut, but its price has not been announced. In the Times article, Dick Colliver, executive vice president of American Honda, said: “Insight is the most affordable new hybrid available in the U.S. In addition to making good environmental sense, hybrid technology is now entering a new era where it can also make financial sense for a broader range of customers.”
The new Honda Insight, a five-door hatchback, will also be available in an EX model. It will cost $1,500 more and will include: stability control, alloy wheels, cruise control, steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, an upgraded audio system with six speakers, USB jack, a center console with armrest and storage compartment, and heated side mirrors with integrated turn signals.
An Insight EX with satellite navigation system and Bluetooth capability costs $1,800 extra.
The Insight is powered by a 1.3-liter 4-cylinder engine, a 10-kilowatt electric motor and battery pack. Its fuel mileage ratings, as determined under the Environmental Protection Agency test cycle, are 40 miles per gallon in the city, and 43 on the highway. Earlier this month, Toyota announced that the 2010 Prius would get 50 miles per gallon combined.
The Insight had been scheduled to go on sale on Earth Day (April 22). Honda expects to sell 90,00 Insights in its first year.
The previous Insight, a three-door hatchback, was the first mass-produced hybrid sold in North America. It was sold from 2000 to 2006 and then discontinued.