Posted on January 12th, 2010 No comments
Normally, I’m the guy whose words tend towards the, shall we say, harsher end. So it’s especially nice to see someone else critical of something. Danny Cooper’s take on the new Honda 2011 CR-Z hybrid is refreshingly subtitled “-Another Honda Fail?” Go read his first glimpse review of the CR-Z.
After reading through the Priuschat news post on the new Honda I have to agree with what he wrote. If those are indeed the performance specs of the car this is another potentially huge fail for Honda. And I have to add here, I don’t get it. Honda is a great company and they make excellent products. They were first to market with a ground breaking hybrid but apparently they’re stuck with IMA and can’t seem to get better performance from it outside of the original Insight (which was a great hybrid).
I don’t know. The CR-Z certainly has the buzz. The legendary CR-X descendent has been eagerly anticipated by a lot of people but it appears that their waiting may have been in vain. That’s a shame.
Posted on August 17th, 2009 No comments
Green car reports (link here) misses some important details. They say,
The 2010 Insight is the least expensive hybrid vehicle sold in the US, coming in at a base price of $20,400 including delivery. The EPA rates it at 40 miles per gallon city / 43 mpg highway, for a combined rating of 41 mpg.
Problem is, it’s not the base LX that got the high rating, it was the EX which sells for a bit more. So price not being a factor, if the safety between the Prius and the Insight is the same, if the Prius gets better MPG and is more comfortable, which one is the right choice?
Posted on June 12th, 2009 No comments
The new 2010 Prius took the top sales spot in Japan in May knocking the Insight down to two places to third, with the Honda Fit sneaking into the number two spot. Toyota sold almost 11,000 Prii in Japan in May beating Honda’s high for April by 500 cars.
Come on Mark Phelan of the Detroit Free Press, it’s your job to cover cars, this is obviously dumb…
The Insight’s styling screams hybrid, largely because it’s nearly indistinguishable from the Prius. Honda insists that’s coincidental — looks dictated by aerodynamics, not a calculated marketing decision. Perhaps, and maybe the $10 knock-off purses sold on the street just happen to look a lot like designer Gucci bags.
And this is from an article that’s otherwise halfway decent.
There’s been a lot of harumphing in the media over the slow down in auto sales, if you’re like me (and if you are, my apologies) you’ve seen this story in dozens of different versions talking about how lower gas prices and a depression economy have “killed” hybrid sales.
Yes, while all sales slowed, hybrid sales were by no means dead.
And now, with two very exciting new hybrids on the market, I’m seeing things like this, from Daily Tech,
While the auto industry as a whole has struggled, Honda and Toyota have been experiencing new international success, thanks to their new 2010 Insight and Prius hybrid vehicles. With a healthy profit margin of $3,100 per vehicle, these lean, clean, green small cars are selling out and acting as a bailout for their respective companies, while other models and competitors languish.
In Japan, Honda’s Insight already became the first hybrid vehicle to top overall sales charts. Now Toyota’s Prius has a success story of its own on its hands.
Earlier this year Toyota, battered by the economic downturn had to stop production and assembly at many of its plants in an effort to reduce output and lower inventories. However, thanks to the better than expected demand for the Prius, thanks in part to rising summer gas prices, Toyota is putting these plants back in full-time action.
States Toyota spokesman Paul Nolasco, “We are considering steps to increase production to meet demand.”
Meanwhile, I notice that one company is promoting this upcoming release…
And I would further note that the speculation is that they’ll be filing for bankruptcy protection soon. Maybe that will slow down their luxury SUV release cycle a bit?
Maybe, but I tend to doubt it.
Barious report that Honda is planning on expanding its hybrid lineup. After this year’s release of the new Insight, Honda plans to work on a somewhat surprising hybrid version of the successful Fit. The Fit will first be released in Japan and if successful will be released here, possibly as early as 2011. And then the much anticipated Honda CR-Z hybrid concept may see the light as early as 2012. The CR-Z was a two seater sports coupe based on loosely on the hugely popular 80′s CRX. 2012 might also be the year for a rejuvenated Civic hybrid.
A hybrid Fit would be surprising in that Honda has made it clear in the past they would not “hybridize” an already economical vehicle, which certainly describes the popular Fit.
Posted on May 27th, 2009 No comments
This article in MotorTrend speaks volumes to old school motorheadism that still dominates the press.
Think of a current hybrid vehicle and chances are your mind musters up images of the iconic design that the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight so clearly wear. Not to be outdone or overlooked, fellow Japanese automaker Nissan will similarly try to pen its upcoming all-electric car with distinct, evolutionary styling. But there’s a twist: Its profile won’t sport a hint of ‘wedge’ inspiration.
So the car, by intention, won’t be aerodynamic? Or it will just be consciously different but still aerodynamic? That’s the problem and the thing that auto writers ignore over and over again (they have to be aware of it). The Prius looks like it does because it’s an efficient shape for a car. It’s not about being cool or looking different, it’s about moving a large metal box through the air with as small amount of resistance as possible, thus using less fuel. So, kind of by definition, efficient vehicles are going to look somewhat like a Prius (or an Insight).
Now you can change the style and make it different but it won’t necessarily be as efficient and that will cost energy, somewhere along the line. Either you’ll get less range for from EV’s battery pack or you’ll use more fuel in your gas vehicle.
Posted on May 26th, 2009 No comments
Is it just me or does the new Insight look really small in all the new commercials I see on television? It’s the first thing I think of when I see this car dwarfed by all the people and stuff around it.
Posted on May 26th, 2009 No comments
Best hybrid: Prius or Insight
There’s already been a ton of these articles an no doubt there will be many more, especially in the upcoming months as the both new models are on sale here.
My problem is this, drive both cars and you’ll see the differences. Yes, the base Honda is, right now, cheaper than the base Prius. It’s also smaller, lighter and not really as well appointed. So the Prius comes to the party not only slightly larger, more comfortable but with more oomph and a better MPG, seems to me that a 10% in price is pretty negligible.
But it does give something for auto writers to write about.
Posted on May 14th, 2009 No comments
The new, second generation Honda Insight was the best selling car in Japan in April. Notable about this is that this is the first time a hybrid has ever made the best selling list in Japan, much less grabbed the top spot. Honda counted more than slightly more than 10,000 Insights sold in April.
Posted on May 6th, 2009 No comments
Edumunds Inside Line continues to astound me with, well, see for yourself.
This is bold, first paragraph from the story…
Hybrid sales in the U.S. rose in April for the fourth consecutive month and posted the highest monthly volume since October 2008. The bump illustrates the influence that novelty and price still have on the market: The all-new 2010 Honda Insight and a heavily incentivized Honda Civic Hybrid largely account for the gain.
Eh? What? Hybrids are price competitive or so I’m told in nearly every bit of the mainstream media. Yet here seems to one source telling hybrids are selling because of price? Novelty? For whom? It’s 2009, hybrids aren’t a “novetly” anymore. They’re just another car. And there’s a lot of them on the road.
And the second line, the Honda Insight and Civic are what drove this increase?
Well, not so much. From the same story just a few more lines into it…
Toyota’s Prius, due to be replaced by an all-new, next-generation model by the end of this month and helped by big incentives in some markets, continued to be the top-selling hybrid in the nation, although April sales of 8,385…
And as it turns out, the top four selling hybrids, in order of sales were, Prius, Civic hybrid, Camry hybrid and Insight (Source, the same Edmunds story).
Posted on April 30th, 2009 No comments
Straight from KBB to you…
2010 Toyota Prius | 50 mpg (51 city, 48 highway)
2010 Honda Insight | 41 mpg (40 city, 43 highway)
2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid | 39 mpg (41 city, 36 highway)
2009 VW Jetta SportWagen TDI | 34 mpg (30 city, 41 hwy)
2009 MINI Cooper | 32 mpg (28 city, 37 highway)
2009 Ford Escape Hybrid | 32 mpg (34 city, 31 highway)
2009 Honda Fit | 31 mpg (28 city, 34 highway)
2009 BMW 335d | 27 mpg (23 city/36 highway)
2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid | 26 mpg (27 city, 25 highway)
2009 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid | 21 mpg (21 city, 22 hwy)