Combining an internal combustion gasoline engine with an electric motor, the Honda Insight became a new benchmark in automotive fuel efficiency. The Honda Insight entered production several years after the Toyota Prius but earned the credit for being the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle sold in the United States.
Introduced for 2000, the Insight was a two-door subcompact specifically designed for obtaining high efficiency driving. The 2000 Insights design incorporated a narrower rear track to allow adhesion to a super sleek 0.25 drag coefficient. Underneath the Honda Insights body panels, a powerplant consisting of the auto companys Integrated Motor Assist technology. A 1.0-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine was combined with a 13-horsepower electric motor.
Electric motor was stored in a nickel-metal hydride battery pack. Fuel economy for the 2000 Insight in the city was rated at 53 miles per gallon while highway fuel efficiency is 61 miles per gallon. Air conditioning, electric power steering and keyless entry are standard equipped on the 2000 Honda Insight. Produced from 2000 to 2006, the first-generation Insight was discontinued with more than 17,000 examples existing worldwide. Ten years after the debut of the first Honda Insight in North America, the car returned in 2010 as more practical five-door hatchback.
Powered by a 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine combined with an electric motor, the collective output totaled 98 horsepower. Average fuel economy for the 2010 Honda Insight was rated at approximately 42 miles per gallon. In 2012, improvements allowed highway fuel distance to grow to 44 miles per gallon. With a base model added to the line-up in 2011, the Honda Insight has been recognized as one of the more affordable hybrid cars in the United States.