The third-gen Honda Insight debuted in March 2018 could be a short-lived model, and perhaps, the same could be said of the nameplate. An all-new Honda Civic Hybrid is coming to showrooms in 2022, and its launch could mark the end of the road for the Insight.
Honda is likely developing an all-new Civic Hybrid in Japan. Reports say that a partially camouflaged eleventh-gen Civic test mule recently spotted in the country was of its hybrid variant. This test mule, shown in the spy shots in this story, is in the Hatchback version and features the same design as its gasoline variant.
Honda challenged the Toyota Prius when the Civic was in its tenth generation by introducing an all-new Insight (derived from the Civic platform) instead of the usual variant. In hindsight, that didn’t turn out to be the right move as the Insight hasn’t seen the success Toyota enjoys in the hybrid market. In the first three quarters of 2021, while Toyota sold 51,038 units of the Prius in the U.S., Honda delivered 16,267 units of the Insight. Sure, a sizable chunk (22,407 units) of those Priuses were plug-in hybrids, but even the hybrid variant alone (28,631 units) had a strong lead. In Canada, demand for the Insight dropped to where Honda discontinued the vehicle at the end of the 2021 model year.
Honda has confirmed that it will equip the next Civic Hybrid with its original two-motor hybrid system and market it as an e:HEV model. Beginning with the fourth-generation Fit’s hybrid variant, Honda started affixing the e:HEV badge on its hybrids. Another example is the CR-V Hybrid available in the U.S., which Europe gets as the CR-V e:HEV.
Reports say that the 2023 Honda Civic Hybrid could feature an improved version of the Insight’s engine. The latter pairs a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine producing 107 horsepower and 99 pound-feet of torque with a permanent magnet synchronous motor generating 129 horsepower and 197 pound-feet of torque. The resulting system power is 151.5 hp. A compact 1.2 kWh lithium-ion battery pack stores the electric power for the PMSM. The Insight delivers an EPA-est. fuel economy of 55 mpg city/49 mpg highway/52 mpg combined.
Price & Release Date
Bringing back the Civic Hybrid variant, last available in the ninth generation, is no guarantee of success. After all, Honda had discontinued the Civic Hybrid because of the same reason – poor sales. Hoping for a change in fortunes, it’s going ahead with the Civic Hybrid relaunch in the eleventh generation. The company could launch the all-new Civic Hybrid or the Civic e:HEV in the U.S. as an MY2023 car.
The prices of the 2023 Honda Civic Hybrid could start at around USD 26,000.
Featured Image Source: civicxi.com