Seeking to broaden the appeal and help bump sales numbers of its dedicated hybrid sedan model, Honda has added several new features to the volume-leading Insight LX and expanded the 2011 lineup to include a new entry-level version that will simply be known as the "Insight." Where the 2011 Insight LX adds cruise control, a USB audio interface, a center armrest storage console and floor mats, the new Insight gets its own interior fabric and AM/FM/CD audio system with two instead of four speakers, slightly more compliant suspension tuning and a starting price some $1,700 below the LX. The only other change in any Insight model involves the addition of audio control buttons to the steering wheel of the EX model.
Those items aside, the new base Insight shares the same powertrain as its stablemates -- a 1.3-liter i-VTEC gasoline engine and Honda's Integrated Motor Assist package -- that cranks out a combined total 98 horsepower and 123 lb-ft of torque and gets paired with a standard CVT automatic transmission. It also enjoys the same 40 mpg city/43 mpg highway EPA numbers. Stickering at $18,950, the new 2011 Honda Insight becomes the most affordable hybrid vehicle available in America. The remainder of the line includes the 2011 Honda Insight LX, Insight EX and Insight EX with Navigation that start at $20,650, $22,240 and $24.015, respectively.