• Reece Posted: 2/9/2009 1:39pm PST

    "3 firsts"

    OK
    1) first Toyota copied directly from a Honda (but made uglier)
    2)the only car to meet California's stupid polution laws so Film star's won't be the only one's driving these things
    3)first car endorsed by Sean Penn

  • Colin Posted: 2/9/2009 3:39pm PST

    "hybrid synergy drive"

    Hey Reece -
    You certain that Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive is cribbed from Honda? While Honda did pioneer hybrids for the U.S. market back with the original insight, they have stuck by their system that pairs a relatively weak electric motor with a miserly four-cylinder. On the new 2010 Insight, it is capable of electric-only cruising around 30 mph, but it can't get the car moving under electric power alone.
    Toyota's system, on the other hand, is capable of electric only operation at low speeds with light throttle application. This makes it more of a miser around town than the Insight, and has likely been a contributing factor to the Prius' excellent sales.

  • Colin Posted: 2/9/2009 3:40pm PST

    "IMA"

    Forgot to say - Honda's system is called Integrated Motor Assist (IMA)

  • JKD Posted: 2/9/2009 3:53pm PST

    "I had high hopes for Honda"

    I really expected Honda to be cheaper and more efficient (as stated in many sources a while back) but even with the +$2K difference, I'll take the new Toyota please. More competition is good for everyone though.

  • Matt Posted: 2/10/2009 5:41am PST

    "firsts"

    1. No drive belts for engine accessories
    2. steering wheel controls that read out on the dashboard
    3. highest combined EPA mpg for EPA midsize class car?