Meet the “affordable hybrid.”
That’s a new item on your ever-expanding menu of hybrid choices. We’ve tested hyper-miler hybrids—the original three-cylinder Honda Insight at the dawn of this millennium, rated at 49 mpg city and 61 highway by today’s EPA methods—and “muscle-car” hybrids, the 5.5-seconds-to-60 Lexus GS450h. There have even been perplexing hybrids; Honda never was able to convince customers of the benefits of the 2005 Accord hybrid. All of the above were mileage makers, more or less, but none put a priority on affordability. Now Honda is turning that page with this five-door, five-seat Insight; it says the emphasis here is on bringing down the price of hybrid benefits more than pushing out the technical frontier.