The Honda Insight hybrid goes on sale March 24 in the US with a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) starting at US$19,800.

Honda is keen to position the car as an 'affordable' hybrid.

"The all-new Honda Insight brings the cost of entry for hybrid technology within closer reach of an entirely new car-shopping audience," said Dick Colliver, executive vice president of American Honda.

"In addition to making good environmental sense, hybrid technology is now entering a new era where it can also make financial sense for a broader range of customers."

The car has been a hit in Japan, where it was launched in early February and attracted 18,000 orders in its first month on sale. Honda claims that the surge of interest in Japan also reflects the car's 'affordable' price tag there.

The Insight starts in Britain at GBP15,490.

NB: The US MSRP excludes tax, licence, registration, US$670.00 destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.