2019 Honda Insight
Since 2001, the Honda Insight provided its customers a hybrid car that was forward thinking and mold-breaking. After two versions of this groundbreaking automobile, a new Insight was released for 2019. Instead of being a hatchback, Honda went with a sedan design for this third generation Insight.
We had the opportunity to sample the 2019 Honda Insight Touring to find out if this is the right compact hybrid sedan for you.
Honda created the hybrid Insight from the Civic platform. It was designed to fit in-between two popular models in the Honda lineup – the Civic and the Accord. One look around this forward-looking sedan and you will find elements from both models all around. The overall look results in a handsome vehicle when compared to other electrified-only models from Toyota, Hyundai, and Kia.
The front end is flanked by split headlamp units combining LED turn signals and running lamps. The rear end shows some interesting design pieces with the C-pillar extending beyond the trunk opening encasing the rear glass a bit further back. We also like the taillights where the turn signal lens curls over to cap the upper rear quarter panel.
Inside, the Insight offered a full TFT instrumentation screen in our Touring tester. The console features a push-button transmission along with electronic parking brake. The single-screen infotainment system crowns a cleaner center stack, which includes climate controls. Steering wheel controls are more tactile, similar to the Accord. In all, the entire cockpit is designed with the driver in mind.
The Touring tester offers these Ivory leather seating surfaces with contrasting black elements throughout the cabin. The front seats are from the Civic, but they appear to be more accommodating for most bodies, with just enough bolstering and support for longer drives. The driver’s side seat is electrically adjustable for rake, recline, and height. Rear seat room appears to be equal in space to the Civic Sedan. Four average-sized adults will enjoy the Insight on runs across town – and, perhaps, some app-based ridesharing duty. Trunk space is exactly the same as in the Civic Sedan – 14.7 cubic feet in the Touring trim, with more available as the seats fold down.
Honda’s infotainment system has been improved recently and it shows. The screens are easier to navigate while offering quick connectivity to your smartphone by either Bluetooth, USB port, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, or through the on-board Wi-Fi.
The Insight is powered by a combination of a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor. This combination offers a net power output of 151 horsepower. The electric motor alone puts down 197 pound-feet of torque. This hybrid is pretty responsive, but the continuously variable transmission can spool up before settling down into cruising speed under heavy throttle. Fuel economy is rated up to 51 MPG in the city with an average of 48 MPG.
Driving the Insight, you will notice that it has a more sporting feel found on other Honda sedans. This is thanks to the multi-link rear independent suspension, which makes tracking through the corners exciting. The ride quality is smooth with a lot of absorption of bumps and cracks along the way.
Steering is done with a superb system that was precise and responsive. I like the on-center feel at the wheel, as well as the tight turning radius. Braking was also good, exhibiting solid stops in normal and panic situations. Add the Honda Sensing driver assistance suite, and you have an all-around compact sedan that is truly worth living with.
The base price for the 2019 Insight is $22,830 for a well-equipped LX model. Our Touring tester came with a sticker price of $28,985.
Honda positioned the Insight to resemble a more traditional sedan than the other hybrid-only models it competes against. Those models include the Toyota Prius, Hyundai Ioniq, and Kia Niro. There have been comparisons made between the Insight and other electrified vehicles, such as the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf.
Being a traditionally designed sedan does help the Insight’s cause. Not to mention its excellent road manners and great fuel consumption are also main attractions to this newest edition to Honda’s lineup. There is some bit of news to pass along: The Insight is still a forward-thinking vehicle. Same as it ever was, as it remains today.
Story Credits: Carsoup Editors