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Will Honda Insight, CR-Z Hybrids Be Pulled From U.S. Sale Too?


2013 Honda CR-Z hybrid coupe [UK specification]

2013 Honda CR-Z hybrid coupe [UK specification]

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Sometimes--to quote a famous frog--it's not easy being green.

Automotive News Europe (sub. required) reports that Honda will end European sales of the CR-Z and Insight hybrids after their numbers consistently failed to meet expectations.

Honda sold 1,242 Insight hybrids in Europe last year, down 62 percent from the year before. The CR-Z racked up just 695 sales, down 66 percent from 2012.

Honda will reportedly focus on diesel cars instead, which make up about half of new car sales throughout Europe as a whole. The company launched a new 1.6-liter four-cylinder diesel engine in the Civic compact and CR-V crossover last year.

The company also sells a hybrid version of the Jazz subcompact in Europe. This car is known as the Honda Fit in the United States and other markets, and has been redesigned for the 2015 model year.

Honda hasn't decided whether Europe will get the 2015 Fit Hybrid, but the model has already been rejected for the U.S.

And on this side of the Atlantic, the CR-Z and Insight have also failed to meet expectations.

2014 Honda Insight

2014 Honda Insight

Enlarge Photo
The CR-Z coupe was designed to appeal to enthusiasts, particularly those who remember the cult-classic CRX hatchback of the 1980s.

To that end, it's the only hybrid currently available with a manual transmission. However, both performance and efficiency are somewhat compromised in this package.

A six-speed gearbox (a CVT is optional) is teamed with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and an electric motor, which produce a combined 133 horsepower.

EPA fuel economy ratings are 37 mpg combined (36 mpg city, 39 mpg highway) for the CVT, and 34 mpg combined (31 mpg city, 38 mpg highway) for the manual.

The Insight, meanwhile, is a more practical five-door hatchback. It features a 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine teamed with an electric motor, with a combined output of 98 hp.

The EPA rates the Insight's fuel economy at 42 mpg combined (41 mpg city, 44 mpg highway).

However, while the Insight does slightly undercut the similarly-sized Toyota Prius C on price, its performance doesn't really stand out.

In fact, sales have been so low that we described the Insight as the "forgotten hybrid."

Rumors that Honda will can the Insight by 2015 have circulated, but the company hasn't yet made any officials statements on the fate of the Insight or CR-Z in the U.S.

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