It only just squeaks in below the $20,000 mark if you don't count the $670 delivery fee, however. Once that's tossed it, the price is $20,470 - still the least expensive hybrid in the U.S., but not quite as cheap as Honda would have liked.
"The all-new Honda Insight brings the cost of entry for hybrid technology within closer reach of an entirely new car-shopping audience," said Dick Colliver, executive vice president of American Honda. "In addition to making good environmental sense, hybrid technology is now entering a new era where it can also make financial sense for a broader range of customers."
The Insight's 40mpg city/43mpg highway and 41mpg combined rating may fall somewhat short of the new 2010 Toyota Prius's recently revised 51mpg city/48mpg highway and 50mpg combined figures, but the low price certainly makes up much of the difference.
Upgrading to the EX brings the price to $21,300, but adds vehicle stability assist (VSA), alloy wheels, cruise control, steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters for the car's standard CVT, plus an upgraded audio system and USB interface. Tossing navigation into the EX adds another $1,800, topping out at $23,100.
Though the car is still very affordable, it does fall somewhat short of Honda CEO Takeo Fukui's optimistic sub-$19,000 goal set at last year's Paris Motor Show. The continued downward trend in the markets, rising materials costs and the exchange rate of the dollar to the yen all played a role.