The third-generation Honda Insight features an all-new design that brings the model more into the mainstream and clearly carries the Honda DNA forward. It’s a significant departure from the quirky, wheel-skirted first-generation Insight hybrid that came to our shores in the 2000 model year and quite different from the second-generation Insight hatchback that looked way too similar to Toyota’s Prius. What the new Insight does have in common with the often-benchmarked Prius is pretty phenomenal fuel economy topping out at 55 mpg, along with a very satisfying driving experience expected of the Honda brand, at an accessible price of $22,830.
Taking its place between Honda’s Accord and Civic, the new Insight looks bigger than the Civic despite sharing many elements, like many of the key suspension pieces that make the Civic so great. It rides on a 106-inch wheelbase that provides comfortable cruising manners. Alloy wheels and low friction tires provide virtually no road noise, while additional dashboard, front inner fender, and hood insulation along with a fender enclosure seal out heat and sound to make for a quiet cabin. It earns a five-start NHTSA crashworthiness rating.
The Insight features an advanced two-motor hybrid system that generates class-leading total system output of 151 horsepower and 197 lb. ft. of torque, plenty to deliver satisfying acceleration and an overall driving experience that doesn’t sacrifice performance for the sake of efficiency. Beneath the skin are technological touches like electric-servo braking and responsive, variable-ratio electric power steering. Batteries located low in the chassis avoid encroaching on trunk space and contribute to a lower center of gravity for better handling.
Inside the Insight’s comfortable and well-appointed interior, the instrument panel, climate controls, and entertainment system are dramatically improved from the previous Insight. An 8-inch center display allows ready operation of all controls, though a volume knob is retained for easy volume adjustment. A 7-inch instrument panel display is customizable to suit the driver’s data requirements. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard. Drivers can select from Normal, Sport, and Econ driving modes, each delivering varying transmission shift points adjustment adjustments to improve mileage and acceleration. Steering wheel paddle shifters adjust the degree of battery regeneration to further tailor the driving experience.
Insight comes standard with Honda Sensing, a full suite of driver assist features that include Forward Collision Warning with Collision Mitigation Braking, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Road Departure Mitigation, and Traffic Sign Recognition. Also included is Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-speed Follow, which allows a driver to set the distance between cars when in cruise control mode. In stop-and-go traffic Insight will follow without need for driver input.