2014 Honda Insight Review
Though it costs less than other hybrids, test drivers say the 2014 Honda Insight is outshined by rivals offering more features, better fuel economy and more refined powertrains.
The Insight has a four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that auto writers say provide adequate power. A continuously variable transmission is standard. Test drivers report that the transition between gas and electric power isn't as smooth as in rival hybrids. They’re also frustrated with the Insight’s start-stop feature, which shuts down the engine when the car is stopped to conserve fuel, saying it can be jarring. The Insight gets an EPA-estimated 41/44 mpg city/highway, which is better than the fuel economy of most affordable small cars, but not as good as that of rival hybrids like the Toyota Prius c. Reviewers say the Insight has responsive steering and agile handling, which make it more fun to drive than other hybrids. However, some say the ride can be stiff and a bit uncomfortable, which they think may turn off some drivers.
Test drivers say the 2014 Honda Insight’s mostly plastic cabin feels bare bones compared to other cars in the class. While they think the front seats are comfortable, they say the rear seats are short on head- and legroom. The cargo hold is small compared to rival hatchbacks. The Insight comes with automatic climate control and a two-speaker audio system with a CD player, auxiliary input and speed-sensitive volume control. Available features include Bluetooth, a USB port, cruise control, a rearview camera and a voice-controlled navigation system. Test drivers say the dashboard controls are generally easy to master, though some critics think the navigation system is outdated and the touch screen’s buttons are hard to use.
- "The Insight may not give you Prius gas mileage, but it can save you big money. That makes it a good choice for shoppers who want a new car with very affordable running costs." -- AutoTrader
- "Although very fuel-efficient and affordable, the 2014 Honda Insight still doesn't measure up to its Toyota Prius C archrival in key areas like mpg, passenger room and available features." -- Edmunds
- "In all, the Insight offers sound value and seriously good fuel economy, but it's not the most accomplished hybrid you can buy." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
- “But beyond its laudable fuel economy and tempting starting price, there are compromises. The Insight's driving manners are rather unrefined and lackluster, even for a hybrid, and base models lack common features like cruise control, a USB input and even vanity mirrors." -- Kelley Blue Book
Other Cars to Consider
The Toyota Prius c is roughly the same price as the Insight, and it delivers significantly better fuel economy. The Prius c also comes with more standard features, including Bluetooth and a USB port.
Equipped with an optional fuel economy package, the Ford Fiesta gets great gas mileage, though it’s not quite as good as the Insight’s. However, it costs a few thousand dollars less than the Insight. Test drivers say the Fiesta has athletic handling and one of the nicest interiors in the class, with comfy seats and upscale materials.
Details: 2014 Honda Insight
The 2014 Honda Insight seats five and has front-wheel drive. The Insight is powered by a 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine and electric motor, which are paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Three trims are available: base, LX and EX. The Insight hasn’t seen major changes since it was redesigned for the 2010 model year. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2010 to 2014 model years.