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#17

in 2010 Affordable Small Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $9,971 - $11,526
Original MSRP: $19,800 - $23,100
MPG: 40 City / 43 Hwy
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2010 Honda Insight Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

As a whole, writers find the Insight's interior lives up to the quality standards set by Honda, and they are especially impressed with the Eco-Assist graphics on the dashboard. The available navigation system is particularly impressive for a vehicle in the Insight's price range. But the Insight's second-row is confining, and some say the seats are not supportive. The climate control is also inconsisent in "Econ" mode, and if you want the fuel-economy the EPA's numbers promise, you'll need to spend a lot of time driving the Insight with the "econ" button on.

  • "Inside, the 2010 Honda Insight is a distinctive mix of familiar Honda design elements and edgy hybrid-themed flourishes. Taller drivers will appreciate the telescoping steering column, while shorter ones will enjoy the height-adjustable driver seat." -- Edmunds
  • "Seats have nice fabric, are comfortable and provide enough side support during cornering. It's a pity that the room behind the front seats is not really fit for tall adults as head room is tight." -- The Auto Channel
  • "The Insight is small and feels like it." -- USA Today

Front Seats

Although they agree there's plenty of space for the driver and passenger, some report the front seats don't offer enough lumbar support. They look hard and cheap at first glance, but most reviewers find them surprisingly comfortable.

  • "On the plus side, firm front seats are supportive, major controls are within handy reach and can be easily used and doors have storage pockets." -- Chicago Sun-Times
  • "The Insight's front seating is fine, with more than ample room for head, legs and squirming." -- Road and Track
  • "Not especially comfortable on the rump and back. Despite what Honda said was considerable effort to make Goldilocks seats (juuust right), front seats lack lumbar adjustments." -- USA Today
  • "Still, would it kill Honda to offer adjustable lumbar support as at least a band-aid for the crappiness of the Insight's cheap seats? (The similarly, ahem, inexpensive Chevy Aveo has a lumbar adjuster on the driver's seat.)" -- MSNBC

Rear Seats

There's very little space in the Honda Insight's second row. Experts are especially disappointed in the amount of headroom. LATCH connectors are well-placed and carseat installation is easy, but those who regularly drive with adults in the back seat will want to look at more conventional hybrids like the Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima or avoid hybrids altogether.

  • "The back seat is tight, even for a short guy like me." -- About.com
  • "Back-seat users have to duck and twist to avoid head-whacking when they get in or out. Headroom in back is limited. Expect your head to rub the ceiling if you're close to 6 feet tall, or are average height and wear a hat." -- USA Today
  • "The middle rear seat is high, flat, and hard and is a miserable place to spend more than two minutes -- it's difficult to imagine three people sharing the rear row unless they're all preteens." -- Automobile Magazine

Interior Features            

Reviewers notice cost cutting efforts in the Insight's cabin, but say the overall effect is clean and modern rather than cheap. 

One wrinkle is important for drivers in more extreme climates. When the Insight is driven in "Econ" mode, the fans for the climate control system will cut off whenever the car comes to a full stop. This can make termperature regulation inside the car difficult. The system may be set to 72 degrees, for instance, but in heavy traffic with frequent stops, the air conditioning will be off more often than it is on. Temperature in the cabin will climb, and when the car starts up again, the A/C will start up with fans on full speed in order to compensate. The constant pattern, with the fans off, then on full, then off, then on full, can get quite annoying. Shifting the car out of "Econ" mode solves the problem, but means accepting lower fuel economy than advertised.

The available navigation system, on the other hand, is excellent. With real-time traffic, voice controls and calendar functions, it is the equal of systems found on entry-level luxury cars.

  • "The Insight's cabin, like its hybrid drivetrain, was designed with a focus on cutting costs, and it shows. But while the interior features as much hard plastic as a Little Tykes Cozy Coupe play car, the reasonably plush fabric and clean design convey the impression that designers did their best while keeping your purchase price down. The effect is not of insulting cheapness, just of an obvious frugality that makes the Honda Civic look opulent in comparison." -- MSNBC
  • "Most major controls are intuitive in operation, including the standard automatic climate control system -- a nice perk at this price. Thankfully, the gauges are mounted directly forward of the steering wheel, as opposed to the Prius' wonky center-mounted readout." -- Edmunds

Cargo

While most hybrids' cargo space is sacrificed to make room for the battery, experts commend Honda for the 15.9 cubic feet of available cargo space in the Insight.

  • "The cargo area is top-notch, with a big exterior opening through the hatch, a low lift-over height, a tall load space, and a broad, flat floor." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Cargo space is very generous 16 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded down." -- Los Angeles Times

Next Steps: 2010 Honda Insight

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