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Honda defends Insight's failure to crack 100g/km

Date: 27 January 2009   |   Author:

Honda has defended the CO2 emissions figures of its new Insight hybrid, despite the petrol-electric model failing to get below 100g/km.

The five-door hatch emits either 101 or 105g/km depending on trim level - as the wheel size on the higher trims impacts upon efficiency - but Toyota's new Prius is rumoured to get as low as 90g/km and even VW's new diesel Bluemotion Golf should breach the 100g/km mark when it arrives late this year.

Honda defends the new Insight on the grounds that it's significantly cheaper than either the Prius or Golf, while it will be certainly better equipped than the VW. The Japanese brand claims it would have been able to lower the CO2 figure, but not without compromising in other areas.

"We could have fitted even lower rolling-resistance tyres, but the priority was to deliver lower-emission driving in a practical car for families with good driving characteristics," said a spokesman.

The company predicts 65% of the 8000 units coming to the UK this year will go to corporate customers, and fleet boss Graham Avent has confirmed Honda has already taken "several" fleet orders for the car, including one for a dozen cars, despite the pricing not being announced until early March.

"We have pre-orders on the system and requests for information from fleets have been substantial," said Avent.

The cheaper and more practical Insight also doesn't necessarily mean the end for the Civic Hybrid, with Honda claiming some buyers prefer the saloon bodystyle and premium features such as a leather interior that aren't available on the new addition. The company does, though, admit that Civic Hybrid registrations will slip back significantly this year from 2008's 2800 units.