It was a slow death, but the Honda Insight has been discontinued. For the second time in a decade. That's gotta hurt the little hybrid.
While I miss the old, weird first-generation Insight that died in 2006, this one isn't worth mourning. There are big reasons the Insight should've been axed and the way Honda dragged it out was just cruel. However, they did give it a send off of sorts.
Honda wrote an obituary, so I've decided to dissect certain excerpts of it because it was actually quite long for an announcement that they're killing it after this year.
02/28/2014 - TORRANCE, Calif.
Torrance is lovely this time of year, right?
Honda is reinforcing its commitment to a clear product strategy focused on further advancing fuel-efficient and alternative-fuel vehicle technologies that are better aligned with customer needs and that strengthen the company's U.S. sales momentum.
Keyed to the continued rollout of a new lineup of Earth Dreams™ Technology engines, transmissions and electro-motive technologies, the strategy will be executed over the next three to four years and will include changes to the Honda lineup of advanced technology environmental vehicles, including the Honda Insight. The U.S. model Insight will be available at Honda dealerships nationwide through the end of the year, with production scheduled to end in summer 2014.
Insight, we're killing you, but we're giving our other children CVTs. That's what all this means, right?
Honda's hybrid product direction in the U.S. will move forward with greater focus on expanded application of the innovative two-motor hybrid system. The two-motor system was introduced on the 2014 Accord Plug-In Hybrid and powers the EPA-rated 50 mpg city Accord Hybrid, which is the most fuel-efficient rating for a 5-passenger sedan in America.
See, we're doing it so much better now than when the Insight came on the scene. We don't need the Insight. And we're not going to mention the gas-only 2015 Fit will be almost as economical as the hybrid Insight.
The second generation Insight is the most affordable mass-produced hybrid vehicle on the market with a MSRP starting at $18,7251, and an EPA fuel economy ratings of 41/44/42 city/highway/combined2. It was introduced in the spring of 2009 and offered a unique blend of fuel-efficient hybrid performance, 5-door hatchback practicality, top safety ratings and a host of user-friendly features, including the first application of the Honda-exclusive ECO Assist™, a sophisticated feedback system that uses an adaptive color display to indicate overall driving efficiency. Long recognized as an affordable and practical hybrid vehicle choice for customers, the Insight was named a 'Greenest Vehicle' by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) for four consecutive years and a 'Top Choice' by Edmunds.com.
There was so much hope for it when it came out during an economic downturn because it was a cheap hybrid and initially had a lot of awards thrown at it. Then a little while later, the third-generation Prius came out. And we forgot about the Insight.
On the plus side, the CR-Z wasn't mentioned today. Let's take that as a good sign. And goodbye, Insight. Or better luck next time.
Photo: Getty Images