Unfortunately for Honda, its new low-priced mild hybrid Insight does not seem to be making any headway against the Toyota Prius.
Honda launched the car in April with great anticipation that its lower price point would add value to the hybrid proposition positioning it to dent the Prius market. Toyota, however, launched its 3rd generation Prius with multiple option levels starting at $$22,750, quite close to the higher end Insight EX which actually tops out at $23,750. The Toyota uses a strong hybrid drivetrain that allows it 50 mpg average, considerably more than the Insights 41 MPG, even though it has a 1.8L engine compared to the Insight's 1.3L. Total HP in the Insight is 150 vs 98 in the Insight.
Reviewers have also come out considerably negative against the Insight including benchmark Consumer Reports who found it "the most disappointing Honda Consumer Reports has tested in a long time."
It looks like consumers aren't biting either.
In the month of June Honda posted 2079 Insight sales whereas the Prius (old and new) garnered a rather robust 12,900 units sold, over 6 times more. Honda actually sold 2780 Insights in May.
Honda had been hoping for 100,000 in US sales. At this pace they would only sell 24,000 in a year.