The gist, even though the Honda Insight isn’t out yet, the battle between the two manufacturers is heating up as advertising try to grab the attention of hybrid, HEV lovers.
Toyota Beefs Up Its Prius. If the Toyota Prius has a head start, it cannot rest on its laurel leafs when a new contender in the same category comes in cheaper. The new Prius version offers better performance and all around upgrades.
Consumer Ask To Plug It In. If the Toyota has been successful as an HEV, it’s conversions into a plug-in hybrids, PHEV have yielded some spectacular numbers. If the regular HEV version gets around 45mpg, some hypermilers have gotten up to 150mpg with their converted PHEVs. Toyota is finally coming to accept that at one point or another, they will have to answer the demand for a PHEV Prius. It should be out by 2011.
Honda Insight, Back To The Charge. What we might have forgotten is that Honda beat Toyota to the market with their original Insight, over a decade ago. Honda lost interest and instead focused on CNG until last year’s crisis forced everyone to re-evaluate their short term goals.
The Original Insight. If the original Insight was a somewhat success, Honda never fully developped the car. It wasn’t until Toyota showed impressive sales number than the other Japanese giant decided to give us a Prius contender. Thus, the new Insight was born.
While the new Inisight is similar to the Toyota Prius, it is different. For one thing, the Insight is a mild hybrid, meaning the performance won’t match the Prius’. It should give you 40 city/43 highway/41 combined mpg, based on 2010 EPA mileage compared to 51 City/48 highway for the Prius.
In conclusion, what will be the clincher for some will most likely be based upon two things, budget and brand faithfulness. Some people looking for an affordable entry level HEV will probably choose the Insight. The price difference is $22,000 – $27,270 MSRP for the Toyota Prius and no more than $20,000 for the Insight.