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Honda Insight hybrid ousts Civic Hybrid for upscale EV

Honda Insight hybrid ousts Civic Hybrid for upscale EV

Where previous hybrids have been compromised by their electrification, the new Insight will be "a great vehicle in its own right, independent of what's happening under the hood", said Honda's United States boss, Henio Arcangeli.

That also means Honda can presumably price it higher, though it's unclear what the sticker on the new 2019 Insight will be at this stage.

Inside, Honda is promising best-in-class passenger space, along with a more upscale cabin than most compact cars.

Roomy and with the latest technology onboard, the 2019 Honda Insight aims to offer a premium compact experience above the best-selling Civic. That battery, by the way, will be located under the rear seats and won't rob the Insight of the ability to fold the rear seatbacks for longer cargo.

Honda Insight hybrid ousts Civic Hybrid for upscale EV

Honda promises class-leading interior room, as well as available perforated leather seating. 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. That includes the Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), Lane Departure Warning, Road Departure Mitigation, and Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow. Features are set to include LED lights at each ends, a digital instrument cluster, an eight-inch touchscreen and Honda Sensing active safety tech as standard. It does not work for the left side of the auto.

Using a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine and a 2-motor electric propulsion system similar to the much heavier Clarity Plug-in Hybrid, the smaller Insight should offer brisk performance.

. 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. No word yet on whether there will be a plug-in version. It's certainly a lot more conventional in appearance than its two predecessors of the same name, so Honda presumably hopes it will be third time lucky for the nameplate this time.

Honda will release trim levels, features and options, specifications, and pricing for the 2019 Insight closer to its on-sale date sometime between July and December this year.

Honda has revealed the replacement to the Civic Hybrid, with the 2019 Honda Insight breaking cover ahead of the Detroit auto show next week.

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