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2019 Honda Insight: What You Need to Know

US News & World Report - Cars logo US News & World Report - Cars 7/31/2018 U.S. News & World Report
a car parked in a parking lot: 2019 Honda Insight© None 2019 Honda Insight

The all-new 2019 Honda Insight is a hybrid that gets breathtaking fuel economy and offers solid performance and a nice interior. Still, the Insight finishes in the bottom half of our compact car rankings because it doesn't offer much that you can't get in several higher-rated class rivals.

The 2019 Honda Insight is ranked:

Is the Honda Insight a Good Car?

Yes, the Honda Insight is a good car. It has sufficient power and acceleration for most driving situations and decent handling, though you won't confuse it for a sports car. The Insight delivers some of the best gas mileage ratings of any car on the road. Inside, the Insight feels nice, and there are plenty of tech features. The trunk is spacious.

So why doesn’t the Insight doesn't finish higher in our class rankings if it's so good? The competitive compact car class is almost exclusively populated with quality automobiles. As a result, being "good" isn't enough to merit a high class ranking. The highest-ranking compact cars deliver standout performance, a luxurious interior, or extraordinarily comfortable seats. Many of the best cars in the class are class leaders in several areas.

Should I Buy the Honda Insight?

The Insight is a solid buying choice, particularly for fuel-conscious shoppers. But as mentioned above, there are plenty of great choices throughout the compact car class and many other hybrids worth considering. With that in mind, you should at least check out some competitors, like the Toyota Prius, Hyundai Ioniq, or the midsize Honda Accord Hybrid. For those who are wondering, yes, a Honda Civic Hybrid would be a natural competitor for the Insight, but Honda doesn't currently produce a Civic Hybrid. The Insight serves in its place in Honda's lineup.

Should I Buy a New or Used Honda Insight?

The Honda Insight is all new for the 2019 model year. There have been two previous Insight generations, but they ended in the 2006 and 2014 model years, respectively.

We Did the Research for You: 12 Reviews Analyzed

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How Much Does the Honda Insight Cost?

The Insight's base price is just under $23,000. While that's high for a compact car, it's low for a compact hybrid (because hybrid vehicles tend to cost more than their nonhybrid rivals). The top trim, the Touring, starts at around $28,000.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Honda dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Honda deals page.

Honda Insight Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Honda Insight or Toyota Prius?

The Toyota Prius has a similar base price to the Insight, but it finishes higher in our compact car rankings. Like the Insight, the Prius gets outstanding fuel economy, and both cars are capable daily drivers. The Prius looks great inside, and its seats are more comfortable than the Insight's. The Prius also has much more cargo space since it's a hatchback, and it offers a long features list. The Prius is the higher-ranking vehicle and objectively better in a few areas, but these are both solid choices.

Which Is Better: Honda Insight or Hyundai Ioniq?

The Hyundai Ioniq finishes in the middle of our compact car rankings. Unlike the Insight, which is only available as a hybrid, the Ioniq is offered as a standard hybrid, a plug-in hybrid, and an electric vehicle (EV). In any iteration, the Ioniq is one of the few cars on the road to best the Insight's mpg ratings. Inside, the Ioniq is nicer than the Insight, and Hyundai uses environmentally friendly materials to boot. The Ioniq provides more cargo space, but the Honda has more available features. This is another close call, and again, these are both fine choices.

Which Is Better: Honda Insight or Honda Accord Hybrid?

Since it's a midsize car, the Honda Accord Hybrid is a bit bigger and a bit more expensive than the Insight. The Accord Hybrid is more powerful than its fellow Honda hybrid, though the Insight is slightly more fuel-efficient. The Accord Hybrid's seats are roomier and more supportive than the Insight's, and this midsize sedan offers more trunk space as well. Features-wise, these two are similar. At the end of the day, this choice largely comes down to whether you think the Accord Hybrid's extra space and power are worth the extra cost.

Insight Interior

How Many People Does the Insight Seat?

This Honda sedan seats five people. Both rows provide a decent amount of space by compact car standards, though the available moonroof cuts into headroom. The seats are decently comfortable and have an adequate amount of support for most people, though taller folks in back may not find it particularly hospitable during longer trips.

Insight and Car Seats

There are two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors.

Insight Interior Quality

Though some competitors may have more upscale cabins, the Insight acquits itself well when it comes to interior quality. The cabin looks good and features some quality materials, giving it a well-built feel.

Insight Cargo Space

The new Insight provides a generous amount of trunk space for a compact car – around 15 cubic feet. That's enough room for roughly a dozen shopping bags or a cooler and a few beach chairs.

Insight Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features in the Insight include Bluetooth, a USB port, a six-speaker audio system, Siri Eyes Free, and a 5-inch LCD screen. Available features include a moonroof, an additional USB port, eight- and 10-speaker audio systems, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hot spot, navigation, and an 8-inch touch screen.

The infotainment system's menu layouts are intuitive, and there are physical controls for some functions. The available touch screen is responsive, and you can customize the home screen with your most-used applications.

Insight Performance

Insight Engine: It Gets the Job Done

A four-cylinder engine and an electric motor power the Insight, and they combine to produce 151 horsepower. While that may not sound like a lot of juice, the Insight accelerates at a decent clip and never feels short of power whether you're driving around town or on the open road.

Insight Gas Mileage: Just Wow

This Honda hybrid's gas mileage is dazzling. It earns 55 mpg in the city and 49 mpg on the highway, blowing away the ratings of nearly every other compact car and many other hybrids. Those numbers are in line with the mighty Toyota Prius' fuel economy, and the Insight and Prius will cost you about the same amount of money each year on gas.

Insight Ride and Handling: See for Yourself

The Insight is a comfortable, competent car that's perfect for your daily commute. It feels composed when taking turns, though you won’t mistake this Honda for a sports car. Like other hybrids, it features regenerative brakes. You can tailor the brake feel to suit your preference for either a more conventional feel or more of a one-pedal driving experience (in this instance, the car would start to slow down with the regenerative brakes as soon as you lift your foot from the accelerator – no brake pedal necessary).

Insight Reliability

Is the Honda Insight Reliable?

J.D. Power has not yet given the 2019 Insight a reliability rating.

Honda Insight Warranty

Honda covers the Insight with a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty, a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty, and an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty for hybrid components.

Insight Safety

Insight Crash Test Results

The 2019 Insight has not yet been put through crash tests by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Insight Safety Features

The Insight comes standard with driver drowsiness monitoring, traffic sign recognition, a rearview camera, and the HondaSensing suite of active safety features, which includes adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, collision mitigation braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and road departure mitigation. Honda's LaneWatch and front and rear parking sensors are available.

Which Honda Insight Model Is Right for Me?

You have three options when picking an Insight trim: LX, EX, and Touring. All models feature a four-cylinder engine, an electric motor, a continuously variable automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive.

You can't add many features to any trim, so you have look to higher trims if you want more technology. The EX makes a good choice for many buyers because, in addition to the LX's ample features list, the EX adds some additional infotainment and connectivity features. The Touring will also appeal to some shoppers because it adds many comfort features not available in lower trims, such as leather upholstery and heated front seats.

Honda Insight LX

The Insight LX carries a base price of $22,830. Standard features include automatic climate control, Bluetooth, a USB port, a six-speaker audio system, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, collision mitigation braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, road departure mitigation, driver drowsiness monitoring, traffic sign recognition, a rearview camera, and a 5-inch LCD screen. You can add front and rear parking sensors for $515.

Honda Insight EX

The Insight EX has a starting price of $24,060. In addition to the LX's standard features, the EX comes with remote start, Honda LaneWatch, a split-folding rear seat, an eight-speaker audio system, satellite radio, HD Radio, HondaLink, an additional USB port, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. You can add front and rear parking sensors for $515.

Honda Insight Touring

The Insight Touring starts at $28,090. The Touring comes standard with nearly every feature you can get in this Honda. You can add front and rear parking sensors for $515.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Honda dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Honda deals page.

The Final Call

The 2019 Honda Insight delivers outstanding gas mileage, even for a hybrid. Beyond that, however, it doesn't do much to stand out from the crowd. It’s a good car, but in such a competitive class, good isn’t enough to escape the bottom half our compact car rankings.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

Read the full 2019 Honda Insight review on U.S. News & World Report for more details, photos, specs and prices.

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