Last month Honda revealed that the European version of the 11th-generation Civic will only be available with a hybrid powertrain. We’ve long expected that the Civic would eventually go hybrid, and its impending launch later this year will actually round out the complete electrification of Honda’s lineup in Europe.
At the time, Honda said the Civic e:HEV wouldn’t be coming stateside, but it did make us wonder about the Civic-based Insight hybrid that we have here. It hasn’t exactly set sales records, and it’s based on the previous 2016-2021 Civic. Our suspicions were confirmed this week, when Honda announced that it will soon discontinue the Insight amid plans to roll out hybrids for its core models.
Here’s what we know.
The 2022 Honda Insight is an unassuming hybrid that skips the wedge-shaped design of its predecessors. The Insight looks like a regular compact sedan but carries an impressive 52 mpg combined fuel economy rating for non-Touring versions. We find that the Insight is quick, roomy and efficient — all admirable attributes for a hybrid. But while the Insight is built on the same platform as the well-regarded, previous-generation Civic, the powertrain sounds harsh and unrefined under heavy acceleration.
Perhaps most intriguingly, Honda teased that the gap in the lineup left by the Insight’s demise will be filled by the Civic Hybrid. The name change helps both Honda and customers: The former will find value in a new vehicle that has an association with a highly recognizable nameplate, while the latter benefits from instantly understanding what the vehicle is. After all, the Insight is essentially an electrified Civic anyway, but it hasn’t enjoyed the level of success you might expect. If you want a current-generation Insight (and you should — it’s currently our top-rated hybrid), you have just a few months before Honda ends production in June.
Electrifying the lineup
Honda currently produces the Insight in its Indiana manufacturing plant, which will cease building the small hybrid in June and instead focus on its existing CR-V, CR-V Hybrid and Civic hatchback line. The plant’s output will undoubtedly shift as the automaker introduces a next-generation CR-V Hybrid later this year. A new Accord Hybrid is also in the cards sometime in the near future.
Honda expects to see the CR-V Hybrid and Accord Hybrid to make up 50% of sales for each of their respective lines, and the Civic Hybrid will undoubtedly prove popular as well. The three will help set Honda on a path to its goal of selling a lineup entirely consisting of battery electric and fuel cell vehicles by 2040. We already know the fully electric lineup will include the 2024 Prologue — Honda’s first vehicle designed to be an EV from the ground up — based on GM’s Ultium battery platform. That will be followed in 2026 by a series of EVs developed solely by Honda.