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Honda Reveals Plans for Prius-Fighter, Possible Ridgeline, Pilot Hybrids

New dedicated hybrid model will launch in 2018

New dedicated hybrid model will launch in 2018

Honda is preparing another Toyota-Prius-fighter, the automaker revealed today at the 2017 Detroit auto show, and we have a feeling the dedicated hybrid will have a bigger impact than the mostly unloved and discontinued Insight. To be made in America, the Insight successor will launch in the 2018 calendar year. When you need more space than a four-door hatch can provide, however, Honda also revealed plans to apply its two-motor hybrid system to its light truck lineup, meaning it may be just a few years before we see a Ridgeline Hybrid or Pilot Hybrid model.

The last-generation Honda Insight was smaller and less expensive than the contemporary Toyota Prius, and we tested a 2012 model hitting 60 in a relaxed 10.6 seconds. Considering that Honda’s upcoming Prius-challenger will use the same hybrid system in the 2017 Accord Hybrid, we expect the model to be noticeably quicker and much more efficient. But will it out-mpg the Toyota Prius and Hyundai Ioniq? The most efficient 2017 Toyota Prius is EPA-rated at 58/53 mpg (4.1/4.4 L/100km) city/highway, and the 2017 Hyundai Ioniq tops out at 57/59 mpg (4.1/3.9 L/100km) in Blue trim.

Honda’s dedicated hybrid model will join a growing electrified lineup to include the Honda Clarity variants: plug-in hybrid, electric, and fuel cell.

“Gas prices have reduced demand for hybrid vehicles in the U.S.,” said Takahiro Hachigo, president and CEO of Honda Motor Co., at the 2017 Detroit auto show. “But in the long term, electrified vehicles are key to the future of carbon-free mobility.”

Chevrolet Colorado Diesel and Toyota Highlander Competitors From Honda?

2017 Honda Ridgeline front three quarter in motion 2

Honda also confirmed that a two-motor hybrid system will make its way to the automaker’s light-truck lineup at some point, too. The Toyota Highlander Hybrid might finally get some competition from Honda in the form of a Pilot Hybrid. The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, a plug-in, also recently entered the hybridized three-row space; Honda says at least half of all new models launching in the next two years will be electrified in some form.

For midsize truck buyers with an open mind, a Honda Ridgeline Hybrid could compete with the Chevrolet Colorado Diesel. It’s too early to tell how cargo space might be affected by a hybridized Ridgeline, Pilot, or Odyssey, but such models could keep hybrid-hungry consumers in Honda dealerships and raise transaction prices of consumers already considering the automaker’s truck and three-row models.

Which Honda hybrid would you drive, if any? A Prius-fighter, Ridgeline, Pilot, or Odyssey? Give us your thoughts below.