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Honda Insight
Honda Insight to be priced from $18,200

For years, it seemed as though the Toyota was the darling of the "green" automotive movement with its popular Prius (currently in its third generation). The hybrid in its current form has an EPA combined fuel economy rating of around 50 mpg and has a price tag that starts in the low 20s and explodes from there.

Honda has tried to mirror the success of the Prius with its second generation Insight, but hasn't had much luck. The Prius continues to crush it in sales despite the fact that the Prius is priced higher across the board. Even with this evidence clearly presented to Honda, the company is moving forward with an even cheaper version of its Insight.

A new model, called simply the "Insight", will join the Insight LX and range-topping Insight EX. The base Insight is priced at $18,200 compared to $22,800 for the base Prius. While you get keyless entry and a USB port for your audio player/smartphone at that price, don't expect features like cruise control or even something as basic as floor mats -- you'll have to step up to the higher trim levels to get such features.

And while the base Insight includes the aforementioned USB port for your MP3 player, you'll be blasting music through just two speakers instead of four that you would get on the LX and EX.

What hasn't changed, however, is the performance and fuel economy seen on the higher trim models. The Insight will still be rated at 40 mpg in the city and 43 mpg on the highway (41 mpg combined). The combined figure still puts it at about 9 mpg less than the popular Prius.

But it's not just the Prius that Honda has to worry about these days -- there is competition coming from both hybrid/electric vehicles priced much higher and more conventional gasoline-engined vehicles that are priced lower. Nissan and General Motors are coming to the market with the Leaf EV and Chevrolet Volt -- the vehicles are priced at $32,780 and $41,000 respectively before a $7,500 federal tax credit.

On the lower end of the pricing spectrum, new compact vehicles like the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco, 2011 Hyundai Elantra, and upcoming 2012 Ford Focus are putting up impressive EPA figures without the use of a hybrid system.



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By mcnabney on 12/1/2010 9:27:40 AM , Rating: 2
Well, we have a free market.

So when demand goes up, so do the prices.

Bill Gates could buy half the milk production of the west coast if he wanted to. He doesn't need it, but maybe he wants to swim in a lake of milk. The market result of that overconsumption would be $10/gallon milk for everybody else. If you knew that you were getting stuck with a much higher bill for a product you need just because some jackass is buying something they don't really need you might get pissed too.

About 80% of truck/SUV purchases are for status and not a real need. (Need = use the bed, third row, or tow on a consistant basis, if you just use it once or twice a year it would be a hell of a lot cheaper to rent the Home Depot truck for $20 on those occasions)

If those owners had purchased a Fusion instead there would be a lot less gas needed - and naturally there would be lower prices for everyone.


By Spuke on 12/1/2010 10:06:30 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
(Need = use the bed, third row, or tow on a consistant basis, if you just use it once or twice a year it would be a hell of a lot cheaper to rent the Home Depot truck for $20 on those occasions)
The Home Depot trucks don't have trailer brakes so your limited on how much weight you can tow. In CA it's 1500 lbs. You could put more than that in the bed not to mention it's pricey of you want to take it out of town. It's tough to rent a truck in my area. My wife tried for two months straight to get a truck for our trip last week (our truck was towing our RV and we wanted another truck to tow the horse trailer). Found one place with a truck with trailer brakes but they could not reserve it or guarantee it's availability. Sure enough, when we called a week and a half before to rent it, they had rented it and all of their pickups to the local power company. Fortunately for us, one of our neighbors came to the rescue and let us borrow their truck. Very nice of them!!!!

quote:
About 80% of truck/SUV purchases are for status and not a real need.
Post a link to where you got that info. Thanks.

quote:
If those owners had purchased a Fusion instead there would be a lot less gas needed - and naturally there would be lower prices for everyone.
But they didn't, they bought a truck or SUV instead. BTW, large SUV sales are totally niche. They are on par with sports car sales. You should focus on pickup trucks instead as the two best selling vehicles in the US are pickups. If you cut those sales, you would reduce overall fuel usage. Good luck with that.


By adiposity on 12/1/2010 11:57:58 AM , Rating: 3
Where I work there are quite a few women in the office. Most of them drive suburbans or SUVs. They use them as commuter vehicles. So five days out of the week, they are driving a 5-7 passenger vehicle with one person in it. Maybe these people qualify as "not needing it."

I'm guessing they like the vehicles because

a). They have kids and like having room to pick them up
or
b). They go shopping on weekends and need room to put stuff in the back.

But the bottom line is they really don't "need" the vehicle they use, for what they mostly use it for. Maybe that's what the original poster was talking about.

I owned a Jeep Cherokee for several years because I used the tow package enough that it was worth it. I didn't really "need" it, I suppose, because I could have just rented a truck when it was necessary. But it was more convenient to own.

If you are somebody that regularly has to tow more than 1500lbs, I doubt anyone is questioning your use/need of your vehicle. The complaint is against people who consume needlessly (although the 80% figure is obviously just made up).

Personally I feel you should be able to have whatever vehicle you want. But people are still entitled to be annoyed that you are increasing the cost of gas by consuming so much of it.


By ebakke on 12/1/2010 1:36:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But the bottom line is they really don't "need" the vehicle they use, for what they mostly use it for. Maybe that's what the original poster was talking about.
Well Jesus folks. By that logic we could say they don't really "need" a vehicle at all, right? I mean, she could've bought her kids each a bike. Or they could just walk.

There are two gaping flaws in the OP's logic (and your attempt at explaining it). First, you're making the assumption that you know what/why/how an individual uses their vehicle based on one snapshot of their use. So you see some guy driving to the office in an F-150, but you don't see him hauling construction materials on weekends for his side job. And second, even if some guy's only using a truck to commute, there's only one person who can determine if that meets his needs, and that's the guy driving it. Giving someone else the power to determine what you or I need or don't need is the exact opposite of freedom.

quote:
Personally I feel you should be able to have whatever vehicle you want. But people are still entitled to be annoyed...
Be annoyed, sure. Try to force me into doing anything differently, absolutely not.


By rvd2008 on 12/1/2010 10:13:38 AM , Rating: 1
The problem is not enough penalty for being "jackass".
What we really need - a luxury tax on SUV.
Wanna be a jackass, fine, pay 50% more for that feeling.
Let the market force straight them out. It is much more effective than winning on the blog.


By Kurz on 12/1/2010 11:21:35 AM , Rating: 3
Again... you are forcing your values and opinions on others.
Why not just stop all subsidies to Oil companies.

It'll have the same effect.


By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 12/1/2010 12:45:36 PM , Rating: 2
There is already a jackass tax on these vehicles. It is called a gas guzzler tax. And dealers also charge premiums over bottom sticker (MSRP) on these jackasses, and they pay that, too.

Also, expressing a value or opinion is not the same thing as "forcing." We leave that to the politicians, since this is a democratic republic.


By Kurz on 12/1/2010 1:49:43 PM , Rating: 2
Though you still support the heavy handed government to impede other people's rights.

I don't think the founders of this Republic ever intended for Politicians to force a particular lifestyle or product choice on their people.


By mherlund on 12/1/2010 12:59:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If those owners had purchased a Fusion instead there would be a lot less gas needed - and naturally there would be lower prices for everyone.


Apparently you didn't pass economics. Less consumption != lower prices. It depends where you are on the curve, less consumption can actually cause an increase in prices. If a supplier is not selling as much, prices may increase to regain the lost revenue.


By ebakke on 12/1/2010 1:39:37 PM , Rating: 2
Thank you Herlund! Absolutely right. If the price of oil drops significantly, there's nothing preventing OPEC from decreasing its output to bring the cost back up. (And it's not like the US will counter by increasing its production... we're locking down as much oil as possible.)


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