For 2011, Honda adds a new value-oriented base Insight model to the vehicle's lineup. The move is made in an effort to further distance the vehicle's pricing from the starting MSRP of the Toyota Prius. Whether or not this tactic proves effective is yet to be seen. However, the new price may also serve to encourage some car shoppers to forego a fuel-thrifty non-hybrid compact in favor of the now-less-expensive 2011 Honda Insight.
What's New - 2011 Honda Insight
The new benchmark for owning an Insight now comes at $18,200 (plus a $750 handling charge). The base trim is simply referred to as "Insight," and delivers around $850 in savings when compared to the Insight LX (the previous base trim). The price difference is achieved through the deletion of several previously standard features (such as steering-wheel mounted controls, Bluetooth and an electronic security system). The base Insight also receives a downgraded 2-speaker stereo and unique seating fabric.
Despite these losses, the entry-level Insight remains relatively well-equipped. Available standard features for the year include remote vehicle entry, automatic climate control, power windows, LED taillights, CD player and MP3 player input.
Safety features for the new Insight trim are as robust as higher trims. All models for the year come with six airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control and tire pressure monitoring system.
While the base Insight loses standard features, the Insight LX improves its basic setup with the addition of cruise control, USB audio interface, floor mats and center armrest storage. Steering-wheel-mounted controls are now standard on the top-tier Honda Insight LX.
MPG - 2011 Honda Insight
The Insight returns with the same 1.3-liter gas engine as last year. Combined with the electric motor, the Insight is good for 40 mpg in the city and 43 mpg on the highway (41 mpg combined). While not quite as impressive as the similarly styled 2011 Toyota Prius (50 mpg combined), the lower price of the Insight may help win over additional shoppers. The difference between base MSRPs of the two competing hybrids has now been extended to $4,600 (the Prius starts at $21,650).
The Insight's mileage is helped in part by a continuously variable transmission. Eco Assist internal gauges also provide mileage feedback to drivers so they can augment driving to maximize efficiency. A specialized ECON driving mode also serves to reduce fuel consumption.
Release Date - 2011 Honda Insight
The 2011 Honda Insight hit dealerships on November 30th. Coming off a fairly lackluster year of sales, Honda is hoping the more affordable base Insight will help boost sales for 2011. In the first ten months of 2010, Honda reports a total of 17,789 units sold. In comparison, Toyota has sold 115,065 Prius models during the same time frame.
Find a Honda Insight dealer near you