Honda Insight Named Most Fuel-Efficient Car in America
The Honda Insight has earned the most fuel-efficient car in America title for the third straight year in the Environmental Protection Agency's annual report on automotive fuel economy. The Insight was the first gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle sold in the United States. when it went on sale in late 1999.
The Insight equipped with a 5-speed manual transmission earned EPA estimated fuel economy ratings of 61 mpg city and 68 mpg highway. The Insight equipped with an advanced continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) was second, with a 57/56 mpg city/highway rating.
Two other Honda models also finished in the top ten. The Honda Civic HX Coupe with a 5-speed transmission earned a 36/44 mpg city/highway rating and the HX equipped with the CVT was rated at 35/40 mpg city/highway.
In addition to the fuel economy ratings, Honda also announced that all 2002 Honda and Acura models sold in the U.S. would meet or exceed low emission vehicle (LEV) levels. Honda was the first automaker to meet California's LEV standard in 1995; the first to meet the Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) standard in 1997; and the first to sell a car meeting the Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) standard in 2000; all with production gasoline engines.
The Insight is equipped with Honda's exclusive Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid system that merges a lightweight 1.0-liter, 3-cylinder gasoline automobile engine with a thin and lightweight electric motor for improved efficiency and added power when needed. The Insight was designed from the ground up to achieve world-class fuel economy and low emissions. Since the electric motor is not the only propulsion resource, the motor and battery pack can be smaller and lighter than in a pure electric vehicle. The Insight's battery pack never needs to be recharged by an external power source and, in fact, cannot be "plugged in."
In addition to the Top Ten ratings, the Honda Accord tied with the Mazda 626 as the most fuel-efficient midsize car (EPA 26/32 city/highway rating). The Honda Civic GX was the top-rated natural gas powered vehicle, with a 30/34 city/highway EPA rating.