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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 tastyratz on 12/1/2010 11:56:36 AM , Rating: 2
incorrect. If he lives in a free country he has the right to tell whomever he wants however he feels just as they have the right to flip him off and do what they feel like.

The truth is most people drive vehicles they don't need, otherwise every parking lot would be full of silver corollas and pickups would be a commercial jobsite purchase only.

Gas prices are the best way to regulate consumer demand but it then impacts everyone's daily life and affordability if it was universally taxed.

If the government extended the luxury tax on vehicles to an additional tax at the pump for those which fall into that same class we could see more 2 car families that more intelligently use their vehicles based on need. If they only used the truck when necessary due to the increased gas cost they would choose to do so more wisely. Pardoning commercial and industrial use vehicles would restrict the tax burden to end consumers.

Would it be unfair? Sure... but it could potentially lower gas prices for everyone by means of reduced consumption. Either that or we could wait until everyone suffers while prices spike again and drivers scramble for a car. It would be quite controversial though...

By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 12/1/2010 12:49:46 PM , Rating: 2
If he lives in a free country he has the right to tell whomever he wants however he feels just as they have the right to flip him off and do what they feel like.

Well said, and if you are going to express an opinion, you should also be willing to listen to the other person's point of view, no matter how wrong it is =). Although not necessarily do whatever they want. As long as it's legal.

That is the wonderful thing about this country. We can get it on the table and move on.

By ebakke on 12/1/2010 1:46:51 PM , Rating: 2
So you start off by telling me about how America's the land of the free, and how he's got the right to spout off whatever he wants. Ok great, and I agree. But his sentiment wasn't "oh, here's what I would like". It was "this is what needs to happen". Need being the operative word there. As in, some course of action must be implemented to right the wrong. And then that's exactly what you described: a government action to move vehicle purchases more in line with what you believe people should be purchasing. All in the name of being good for everyone.

When the government attempts to influence/regulate/[whatever term you want to use] my choices in an attempt to get me to pick the "right one", it is infringing on my freedom.

"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan

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