Overall I think Honda (almost) hit it out of the park on this one. Truly a Prius killer if you ask me. I have the EX (middle) trim.
However, that’s not to say that nothing could be improved as there is always room for improvement. Here are my (mostly minor) quibbles:
* No adjustable lumbar support (although so far I am finding the seats comfortable enough without it).
* No rear cross traffic detection (although one of the modes of the rear view camera is very wide angle and you can see vehicles coming from relatively far away).
* No proper blind spot monitoring (although I’m getting use to the LaneWatch camera system and I’ve purchased circular blind spot mirrors for both side-view mirrors).
* It was also a little bit of a letdown to also discover that there’s also no digital speedometer unless you want one in kph instead of mph (or if you live in Canada then in mph instead of kph). I’m sure this could be addressed with a software update if Honda want to.
* The car’s AM radio reception is sub-par and may not be usable for some people (my old Honda Fit had much better AM radio reception).
* When using Android Auto, sometimes it is not detected when I plug my phone in. I’m not sure if this is a Honda issue or a Google Pixel 2 or Android issue.
* The hood is aluminum to reduce weight and supposedly reduce injuries to pedestrians if they are hit but it will vibrate or seem loose at high speeds (like 70 MPH). I suppose the solution to this so it isn’t distracting is just to not look at the hood.
* The one thing I do miss most about my previous car, a Honda Fit, was the hatchback and how practical it was. The practicality of the Honda Fit and its hatch made going to Costco and loading my car up pretty easy. The Insight is more work and hassle when it comes to loading and unloading large “cargo” but driving the Insight to and from Costco is definitely more pleasant and “upscale”.
Now with that out of the way, I think the fuel economy is excellent. In hotter weather I’ve noticed that using the AC will probably take 5 to 10 MPG off your gas mileage though.
And pretty much everything else (other than what I mentioned above) is very good to great. Ride quality is very good and, for the most part is relatively quiet, especially when the gas engine is not running. When pushing it though, the gas engine can get loud. When going slow in EV mode the car broadcasts a sound so people/pedestrians can hear it coming.
The Infotainment system is very nice and even has a volume knob. It can also update over WiFi.
Acceleration is good. It’s not bad and not great, but good (definitely better than my previous Honda Fit) and the reviews say much better than a Prius. I really love how fast, responsive, and smooth the Insight is from a stop. Speaking of stops, I also really like the brake hold feature that will hold the brake for you when you come to a stop. To go again just press the accelerator.
I also like that there is no transmission in the car. It has an “E-CVT” which I think is like a simulated transmission. At speeds of around 45 MPH and higher the gas engine can directly power the wheels and a little gear will appear in the power flow screen… otherwise the gas engine is mainly there to generate electricity for the electric motor and to charge the small lithium ion battery pack that’s under the rear seat (so it doesn’t take up trunk space).
UPDATE 2018-08-22: I just read that the 2019 Honda Insight earned the IIHS’ Top Safety Pick+ designation and that it passed the IIHS’ tests with a perfect score (highest rating of “Good” in every category). Nice!
UPDATE 2018-11-02: I should mention there has been a safety recall on some of these vehicles because the rear view camera may fail to work properly. It looks like the fix is just a firmware upgrade. Unfortunately the firmware upgrade causes the car to lose all the car settings, data, and MPG information in the trip computer as well as all the radio and channel settings. The dealer is suppose to manually save and reprogram the radio stations for you but some of the data cannot be saved.
TIP: If you want a sun/solar shade, I’ve found that the Honda Civic 2016+ w/Sensor HeatShield fits well since the Insight is based on the Civic.
So I totally agree with the notion that the Insight is a great compact sedan that just happens to be a hybrid.
I would not recommend the LX (lowest) trim because for a little more money you can upgrade to the middle trim (EX) and get some serious upgrades (much better Infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, remote start, walk-away door locks, auto high-beam, and more). The highest trim (Touring) is significantly more money and you lose some fuel economy so consider if those added “luxury” features like leather are really worth it to you.
|EPA Classification||Compact Cars|
|MPG/MPGe||49 Highway / 55 City|
|Engine||Gas/Electric I-4 1.5L/91 cu in|
|Drive Train||Front Wheel Drive|
|Overall Crash Safety Rating||5 / 5 Stars|