According to Honda Motor Corp., the Honda Insight is the most fuel-efficient vehicle sold in America as Honda gasoline-electric powered hybrid models claimed four of the top five spots in the U.S Department of Energy’s “Fuel Economy Guide for Model Year 2003” report. In addition, the all-new 2003 Honda Accord earned the title as most fuel-efficient in the “Midsize Cars” category.
The Honda Insight equipped with a 5-speed manual transmission earned estimated fuel economy ratings of 61 mpg city and 68 mpg highway according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The Insight with an advanced automatic continuously variable transmission (CVT) earned an EPA rating of 57 mpg city and 56 mpg highway.
The Insights were joined in the top five by the Civic Hybrid, which went on sale in March. The Civic Hybrid with a 5-speed manual transmission earned an EPA city highway ratings of 48/47 mpg and 46/51 when equipped with an automatic CVT.
Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid system used in both the Insight and Civic combines a lightweight gasoline engine with a thin, lightweight electric motor for enhanced efficiency and additional power when needed. The IMA system automatically recharges its battery pack and never needs to be “plugged in” for recharging.
The all-new Accord, outfitted with a 5-speed manual transmission and 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder engine, increased fuel economy to an EPA estimated 26 mpg city and 34 mpg highway, from 26/32 in 2002, to top the midsize class. For 2003, the Accord underwent the most dramatic change in its 27-year history and boasts a larger 4-cylinder engine with 7 percent more horsepower and 6 percent more torque and class leading low emissions levels.
For the first time, the mileage guide also contains a category for fuel cell vehicles. The Honda FCX is the lone entry as the only fuel cell vehicle certified by the EPA. Mileage figures are pending.