In fact, the Honda Insight was the first next-generation mass market hybrid car to be introduced in the U.S. and it was quickly followed by the Toyota Prius during the same year.
Even though Honda beat Toyota to the U.S. market, the sales of Toyota's hybrid cars have so far outpaced the sales of Honda's hybrid vehicles.
However, internally, Honda had a record year in 2004 for the hybrid cars, with Civic Hybrid sales up 17.5 percent to 25,571 for the calendar year.
Also, with the addition of the Accord Hybrid, total sales of Honda hybrid cars rose 18.6 percent to a new record of 27,215 vehicles for 2004.
Total Honda hybrid sales (by early 2006) since the introduction of the Insight in December 1999 have been over 100,000 hybrid cars sold in major markets, including 89,000 in the U.S., 5,900 in Japan, 3,800 in Europe and 1,500 in Canada.
Honda Hybrid Cars - 2006
With the addition of Honda Accord Hybrid to the lineup during 2004, Honda has three hybrid cars available in the U.S. market for the model year 2006.
Honda's newest hybrid, the Honda Accord Hybrid, which was introduced late 2004, has been a strong seller for the company in North America since the introduction of the car to consumers.
Honda Accord Hybrid
The Accord has been a favorite of car buyers around the world since the model's launch in 1976.
As for the hybrid version, it is a 255-hp, V-6 car that gives you more low-end torque with increased fuel economy.
The 2005 EPA fuel economy performance estimates for the Accord hybrid are 37 mpg highway, and 29 mpg in city conditions.
With the hybrid version, there is the same safety-conscious and mid-luxurious package people have come to expect from the Accord family of vehicles.
Honda Civic Hybrid
Civic was Honda's second hybrid vehicle in the U.S., lauched back in 2002.
Civic Hybrid uses an Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system with a compact electric motor and a lightweight gasoline engine for best fuel efficiency.
Motor Trend named the 2006 Civic range "Car of the Year". Also, Civic was named 2006 North American Car of the Year.
The judges reasoning (for the North American Car of the Year Award) behind the pick was that the Civic has a "multitude of factors including innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the money."
As for the Hybrid version of the Civic, it has fuel economy level that earns it an Advanced Technology Partial Zero-Emission Vehicle (AT-PZEV) rating.
Honda Insight Hybrid
The Honda Insight was the very first next-generation gasoline-electric hybrid sold in the United States.
In addition to being the first of such cars, it holds many benchmarks that others try to achieve.
For fuel efficiency, the Honda Insight has been the overall leading car in the U.S. car market for six years in a row.
The latest EPA fuel economy rating for the Insight, in 2005, was at 60/66 mpg (for manual transmission Insight).
Given those fuel economy figures, Honda has estimated the driving range of the Insight at about 600-700 miles on one 10.6-gallon tank of regular unleaded gas.