Hybrid cars in the Japanese market 2010

Hybrids are fast becoming popular solution, and the most awaited talked about in this market is the GM products that have taken so many years to get into production state. The first platform being the Chevrolet Volt, with Vauxhall have a re-badged version Ampera.  The key difference is unlike most hybrids where the electric motor is the secondary power source, the Volt/Ampera run purely on the electric motor, and the petrol engine does not power the car, but charges the battery.  Hence the car is actually marketed as an Electric car as opposed to an Hybrid. (Checkout – http://www.gm.com/vehicles/hybrids-and-electric/electric/)

However this car is planned for release in 2011, and possibly we might also see similar implementations from other vendors but considering the challenges GM faced in getting this implemented, its not going to happen soon.

So back to earth, what are the options that we have in the Japanese market since the Sri Lankan industry is driven by used cars coming out from that market.  The other new option that is starting to get popular is the new generation products from Hyundai/Kia.




3310 Sold in the US as the RX400H
Toyota SAI Sedan 2009 – current DAA-AZK10 2362 LEXUS HS250 with Toyota badging
Toyota PRIUS 3rd generation Hatchback 2009 – current DAA-ZVW30 1797
Toyota PRIUS 2nd generation Hatchback 2003 – 2009 / current DAA-NHW20 1496 Seems the production of this continues parallel to the newer model
TOYOTA ALPHARD HYBRID 4WD Minivan 2003 – 2008 DAA-ATH10W 2362
HONDA INSIGHT 2nd generation Hatchback 2009 – current DAA-ZE2 1,339
Honda CRZ 3dr Hatchback 2010 – current DAA-ZF1 1,496
HONDA CIVIC HYBRID Sedan 2005 – current DAA-FD3 1339
Honda FIT HYBRID Hatchback 2010 – current DAA-GP1 1339 Honda GE6 hybrid version

6 thoughts on “Hybrid cars in the Japanese market 2010”

  1. Hi Rayaz
    I have Hond Ciy 2007 which I am planning to dispose in order to buy a Honda Insight (Hybrid). I just want know whether it also has CVT gear box and will it gives the same gear box problems as Honda Ciity (mine I didn’t have any problems). How is the performance of Hond Insight in SL. Can you please advice me on this. Is Honda Fit hybrids available?
    Appreciate your valuable advice on this.

    1. Check out my review on the Honda Civic FD3 which is very similar in concept to the Insight. The mechanical in terms of engine, gearbox are similar though the Civic has the more normal car appearance, while the Insight is definitely in the very same line as the Prius.

      The woes with the City CVT gearbox and similar cars (Fit/Civic ES3/Accord CF4) have been rectified and the new cars are trouble free.

      From many a friend who use hybrids, a larger portion use the Prius with only a minority at the workplace using Insights. The feedback has been that the Honda is very “moody” in fuel economy and its not very easy to get any special fuel economies. Comparatively the Prius with the 1.8L engine has a lot more oomph, and also is able to return good economies with very little driver dependencies.

      However the price difference between the Prius and the Insight are great, and hence if you are willing to understand how the Insight can return great economies its a good deal. The Insight definitely looks better (frontal, rear of the car is being frank rather dull), and is a better drivers car even if its a slower than the Prius which has a more powerful engine/electric motor combination.

      The Honda Fit does have an Hybrid, and most reviews i have read rate it the best Honda Hybrid. The car adds the electric motor to the already powerful 1.3L, and makes the Honda Fit return better performance than its petrol counterpart. It also offers better economies. I have seen several of these cars in Sri Lanka, though not in major numbers. Possibly because the car was only launched very recently the prices are high.

  2. hey guys am planing to get a honda fit hybrid 2010 model, the green color. even tho i don’t like the color the vehicle is pritty good. its on the way but still havn’t bought it. getting it for a good price too.need some feedback on this!

    1. Most probably you might have already got the car, was a tad busy to respond on my blog. The green color is rather loud, but seems to be the color i have seen on all reviews for the Honda Fit Hybrid. I have seen one of these cars in Colombo as well. Basically from what i have read on forums and reviews is that the car, though a hybrid does not return that greater an improvement in fuel economy to the standard Honda. But it does make driving a lot more nicer, since the electric motor provides a lot more torque, something the standard Honda engine is a bit low on 🙂

      The other key areas that are different from the normal Fit is that the seats don’t fold flat due to the batteries in the behind, and the reduced boot space. However the car is still much more room than most in the class.

      So on the whole expect a bit better economies than a normal Fit, and improved performance. If the price is lower than a normal Fit well, then definitely its a good buy considering that the problem with Hybrid repairs is now eliminated with the arrival of a garage specifically for Hybrid repairs in SL.

  3. Just got an update from a chap importing cars, a near new Prius 2010 model in the 6-12 month category will cost around 4mil at max. The tax is only around 8lakhs in total, and the rest is the cost of purchase and imports! Wow….

    In which case the Honda Insight that is costing almost half of the Prius should be topping well under 3million… time for hybrids indeed. Just hope the agents train their technicians on these cars, as the options are few and hence the cost of training should be fairly controlled.

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