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No more Insight from Honda

Honda's hybrid hatchback already withdrawn from Canada to cease sales in U.S. as well

Published: March 3, 2014, 8:00 PM
Updated: April 29, 2018, 10:24 PM

2014 Honda Insight

Honda has had mixed success with hybrid vehicles in North America. The original Honda Insight two-seater (1999-2006)was the first modern hybrid to be sold on these shores, but it never achieved the sales success or public awareness of the Toyota Prius that followed it.

Ditto for the second-generation Insight, a more practical four-door hatch and direct Prius competitor that arrived in 2009. The slow-selling hybrid disappeared from the Canadian market after the 2012 model year and production for the U.S. market will cease this summer.

Honda is not abandoning hybrids, however. In fact, the company says it plans to expand their application and availability, using the advanced two-motor hybrid system currently offered in the Accord Hybrid and its Plug-in counterpart.

Operating primarily as a series hybrid - with its gasoline engine just driving a generator and an electric motor powering the wheels - it is both a relatively simple and a highly efficient design.

Honda says the Accord Hybrid is the most fuel-efficient five-passenger sedan in the North-American market.

Without being specific, the company says use of that hybrid technology, as well as its suite of Earth Dream engine and transmission technologies, will be extended to other models, "in segments that represent significant growth opportunities."

Currently, In addition to the Accord hybrids, Honda also offers the CRZ and Civic Hybrid, both of which employ the company's earlier IMA hybrid technology.