Honda Insight Review
The 2013 Honda Insight ranks 34 out of 41 Affordable Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Honda Insight, as well as reliability and safety data.
The 2013 Honda Insight is ranked:
The 2013 Honda Insight may attract shoppers with a low price and good fuel economy, but auto reviewers say that the Toyota Prius c offers more standard features and better gas mileage.
Similar to competing small hybrid cars, the 2013 Honda Insight offers a winning combination of above average safety and reliability scores, as well as good gas mileage for the class. The 2013 Insight is powered by a four-cylinder engine and electric motor, which are paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Most critics agree that this powertrain helps the Insight get good fuel economy, but some also say that the Insight is one of the slower cars in the class. One test drivers writes that the Insight's fuel-saving stop/start system makes the car shudder more than it should when the engine kicks on or off, and another writes that when the engine comes back to life, the transmission takes a second to reengage. The EPA reports that the Insight gets 41/44 mpg city/highway, which is respectable for a hybrid car. Still, the Insight’s main rival, the Toyota Prius c, uses significantly less fuel. Despite these concerns, some auto writers praise the 2013 Insight for its composed handling. However, many test drivers also say that the Insight’s ride quality can be harsh and unrefined.
Critics are impressed by the Insight’s dash layout, which includes gauges that turn green when you drive in a fuel-efficient manner, but they’re also let down by its interior materials. They note that some plastics could be higher-quality, and that features like a center armrest aren’t available on the base model. The Insight’s seats could also use improvement, as reviewers say that the back seat is especially short on legroom. While the front seats are more spacious, some critics write the seat cushions don’t offer enough support to be comfortable on long trips. Cargo space is good however, and reviewers note that the Insight’s hatchback design and split-folding rear seats offer more utility than most hybrid cars. The Insight is also priced less than most hybrids, but it doesn’t come with many standard features. The base model comes with automatic climate control and a two-speaker stereo with an auxiliary input jack, while available features consist of Bluetooth, a navigation system with backup camera and two upgraded stereo systems that include a USB port.
- "Insight generally matches the top-selling Prius hatchback for practicality and driving ease, and beats it on price. But Honda's less-versatile hybrid drive can't deliver the same real-world fuel economy or performance, because it doesn't use the full potential of its electric side." -- Consumer Guide
- "Honda's own conventionally powered Fit makes an interesting comparison: It's certainly more driver-involving in a conventional, gear-jamming way, but simply out of the Insight's league for pure, high-tech efficiency." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "The Insight's mileage, price and feature content aren't good enough now that the pesky Prius c exists." -- Cars.com (2012)
- "The value equation is pretty good using today's calculus: Sub-$20,000 starting price and an honest 40 mpg or so in suburban dash-about." -- USA Today (2012)
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.
The Volkswagen Golf has a high-quality interior and a spacious back seat that reviewers love. Although it isn’t available as a hybrid, an optional clean diesel engine helps the Golf earn great fuel economy estimates.
Details: 2013 Honda Insight
The 2013 Honda Insight seats five and has front-wheel drive. All models are 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. Each trim adds to the Insight’s list of interior features. The Insight received some updates last year and rolls into 2013 unchanged. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from 2012, as well as the current model year.