Honda Insight

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New hybrid-electric cars: Honda Insight

The Insight name may sound familiar, and that’s because it was the hybrid that beat the Prius to market by a few months in 1999. Eighteen-thousand of them went out showroom doors before Honda discontinued the Insight in 2006. Other than being a full hybrid, there isn’t much the 2010 version and the original have in common. Rather than the original’s George Jetson-inspired styling, the new Insight looks more Prius-like. A little smaller than Prius, it’s set up for five passengers with 16 cubic feet of luggage space that expands to 32 feet when the 60/40 rear seat is folded forward.

The 1.3-liter, four-cylinder engine and 10-kilowatt electric motor deliver a combined 111 horsepower. The Insight can operate strictly on electric power at speeds approaching 30 mph. The EPA rates its city fuel efficiency at 40 mpg with a city/highway combined number of 41 mpg. It comes in two trim levels priced well below the competition.

All Insights come equipped with automatic climate control, power accessories, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, audio system with CD player and auxiliary input jack, and a security system with keyless remote entry.

MSRP: Starting at $19,800.