Like its predecessors, the 2019 Honda Insight will be a petrol/electric hybrid, but this time it's being introduced when hybrid powertrains are actually becoming popular. The second-gen Insight that debuted in 2009 was a five-passenger hatchback with a raised, elongated tail that made it hard to distinguish from the Toyota Prius.
The car's lithium-ion hybrid battery will live under the rear seats, enabling 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks and a pass through into the otherwise conventional trunk. More intuitive, smartphone-like features and functionality including customizable app tiles and home-screen shortcuts, along with available Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ integration and Wi-Fi-enabled over-the-air system updates, further enhance Insight over its compact hybrid competitors.
The 2019 Honda Insight will include Honda LaneWatch on EX trim levels and above and Honda Sensing suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies as standard equipment, including Collision Mitigation Braking System, Lane Departure Warning, Road Departure Mitigation, Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow and new Traffic Sign Recognition. The Insight powertrain is similar to that of the Chevrolet Volt, meaning that the vehicle is powered by the electric motor most of the time, with the gas engine generally acting as a generator to charge the lithium-ion battery pack found under the backseat.
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After launching the 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid with the latest version of the two-motor hybrid system, the brand recently released the 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid in Canada, while in the United States, hydrogen fuel cell and fully electric versions of the The Clarity are offered as well.
Honda says the Insight will offer "class-leading" power, but does not define what that is. Total system power in the 4,100-lb. midsize Clarity is 212 hp. No word yet on whether there will be a plug-in version.
The auto manufacturer hopes to make two-thirds of its global vehicle sales electrified by 2030. This time, the 2019 model isn't a splendid eco-misanthrope like the first Insight, or a "Greener than Thou", like Toyota's Prius.
The Insight will be manufactured at Honda's Greensburg, Indiana plant, alongside Civic and CR-V using domestic and globally sourced parts.