Honda's Prius-killer is looking a lot like road kill.

Honda's Prius-killer is looking a lot like road kill.

When it debuted in March, Honda Motor Corp.'s retooled Insight hybrid looked to be the first serious challenger to the Prius, Toyota Motor Corp.'s ecological wunder-car. Graced with a low price, 40 mpg-plus fuel economy and the Japanese automaker's reputation for quality, the Insight even looked like the Prius.

Instead, all the Insight has delivered is a flurry of bad reviews and four months of dismal sales capped by a thorough battering at the hands of the Prius, the third generation of which was launched last month.

Increasingly, the Insight is looking like the latest in a series of hybrid frustrations for Honda.

Across the U.S., Americans bought 2,079 Insights in June, bringing total sales of the streamlined hatchback since March to 7,524, according to Autodata Corp. At that rate, Honda will sell less than a third of its goal of 90,000 in the first 12 months.

By comparison, the higher-priced Prius was snapped up by 12,998 drivers last month. Since March, Toyota has sold 40,398 of the gas-sippers.