Toyota Prius versus Honda Insight
 Toyota, Honda launch gas/electric hybrid ULEV Cars

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Honda Insight and Toyota Prius, fully compatible with our OBD automotive diagnostic scan tool


PLEASE NOTE: This article will be updated soon

The Future is HERE... the Honda Insight (and, as of 2003, the Honda Civic) and Toyota Prius are fully OBD compatible and work well with our diagnostic software systems. Use your computer for something new: you can plug your PC into the data port on either the Toyota Prius or Honda Insight and monitor the engine diagnostic data stream on your computer monitor.

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Tired of big city smog, ever rising gas prices and oil politics? This is an article about the new gas-electric hybrid cars. With the Insight and Prius, both Honda and Toyota have introduced a new breed of energy efficient (70 mpg) and almost zero emission (Ultra Low Emission Vehicles - ULEV and Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicles - SULEV) gas/electric combo cars that use regenerative braking.

Honda Insight, fully compatible with our OBD automotive diagnostic scan tool
Honda Insight

The Honda Insight is a peppy, 2 door (2 seat) coupe that uses its light weight (124 pound) 1 litre engine as the principal power source with additional power provided by an electric motor powered by a 120 cell rechargeable nickel-metal hydride 'D cell' (flashlight size) battery bank. Although the gas engine is always providing power when the car is in motion, it automatically turns off at stop lights and restarts itself instantly when you are ready to move.

It is capable of 100 mph speeds while averaging between 60 and 70 mpg overall. The low co-efficient of drag (Cd) of 0.25 is achieved by its aerodynamic shape. In comparison, the Honda Civic Hatchback has a Cd of 0.36 and requires 32% more more power to achieve the same speed. It is interesting to note that the Insight has a direct mpg readout as part of its instrumentation package.

The Toyota Prius is a roomy four door sedan with a gas/electric hybrid system, but it turns the gas engine on and off during the driving period, depending on conditions. This means it is truly a zero emission vehicle when you are prowling around your local mall looking for a parking space (the gas engine doesn't start until you are traveling about 12 mph). It is optimized for low fuel consumption and extremely low emissions in the 'around town' driving scenario, but still does a respectable 50 mpg on the highway.

Toyota Prius, fully compatible with our OBD automotive diagnostic scan tool
Toyota Prius

These cars use regenerative braking (braking energy is turned back into electricity instead of heat) and do not need to be recharged through an electrical outlet - they run entirely on gasoline. Stay tuned as we explore this interesting new technology ...

Here are some feature comparisons, based on what we know so far:

FEATURE Prius Insight
Gas Engine Always Used No Yes (except when stopped)
Gas Engine Charges Battery Yes No
Aluminum Chassis No Yes
Emissions Rating SULEV ULEV
Apprx Hwy Mileage 50 mpg 70 mpg
Apprx Top Speed 100 mph 100 mph

If neither of these cars holds your interest, check out our review of the Toyota Camry Solara and see it connected to our OBD scan tool. This is an LEV (Low Emission Vehicle) with some very advanced features ...

2000 Toyota Camry Solara

Or, if you're a compact SUV fan, read our review of the Subaru Forester and see how it connects to our OBD scan tool

Subaru Forester review - scan tool demo


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