Insight available Tuesday

Insight. Courtesy Honda.The Honda Insight will be on sale Tuesday.
Written by Harry Fuller, Contributor

Insight. Courtesy Honda. The Honda Insight will be on sale Tuesday. Based on sales in Japan, it will be a tough competitor of the Toyota Prius. Here in the U.S. Prius sales have already been slaughtered by the economy. 2008 deliveries fell 12% in the U.S.

It's partially a Honda/Toyota price war with the Insight at about $20K, nearly $4k less than the lowest Prius sticker price. Japanese media report Toyota is looking at a price cut on their Prius, long the category sales leader among hybrids.

The Insight's official website. Honda has suffered a sales slump like other major manufacturers, but the Insight has been a bright spot so far. Here's what the Honda PR machine has to say about their car: "The all-new 2010 Honda Insight goes on sale March 24 with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $19,800 for the Insight LX...

"The distinctively styled, five-passenger, five-door dedicated hybrid vehicle is powered by an Integrated Motor Assist™ (IMA™) system comprised of a 1.3-liter i-VTEC® gasoline engine and a 10-kilowatt electric motor that together contribute to an EPA-estimated city/highway fuel economy rating of 40/43 miles per gallon . The Insight features the Ecological Drive Assist System (Eco Assist™), an innovation that can further enhance efficient vehicle operation while providing feedback related to individual driving styles."

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