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#16

in 2011 Affordable Small Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $11,464 - $14,494
Original MSRP: $18,200 - $23,265
MPG: 40 City / 43 Hwy
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2011 Honda Insight Interior

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

The 2011 Honda Insight’s interior reflects other Honda models: It’s good looking, but materials appear somewhat cheap. The main drawback is the second row, which is a tight squeeze for adults.

  • "Current Honda owners who get behind the wheel of the new Insight will feel instantly at home." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The Insight is small and feels like it." -- USA Today
  • "Honda makes it easy for Insight owners to track their fuel economy and maximize the efficiency of the IMA powertrain through easy-to-read displays on the instrument panel. The digital speedometer, visible above the steering wheel, changes its background color from blue (you're driving inefficiently) to blue-green (you're driving somewhat efficiently) to solid green (you are driving very efficiently and using less fuel). It's easy to modulate your behavior to keep the speedo in the green zone." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "I like the Insight's interior materials and ergonomics slightly better than the Prius." -- BusinessWeek
  • "We loved the automobile's fit and finish -- excellent overall craftsmanship employing high-quality cabin materials and featuring an ergonomically smart interior that's easily among best in class." -- The Washington Post

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Seating

While the 2011 Honda Insight’s front seats are comfortable, reviewers agree that the second row is a jam for three adults because there’s little head room. 

  • "The front seats are nicely bolstered and the second row, which can fold down in two sections and provides enough space to fit two adults comfortably and three adults in a jam." -- The Detroit News
  • "Unfortunately, the rear quarters are uncomfortably tight for adults." -- Edmunds
  • "The front seat is spacious, with plenty of head and leg-room for anyone who isn't unusually tall or heavy." -- BusinessWeek
  • "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

Interior Features            

As a hybrid, the Insight has a lot more eco-minded features than gasoline cars. For starters, there’s Eco Assist, which changes the background color of the car's digital speedometer to show how efficiently it is being driven. Other systems that help the driver track his or her ecological footprint include a bar graph that reflects current fuel use and provides the driver with an “eco score.” This score compares the driver’s trip to his or her usual driving style. Reviewers like this feature, and say it’s easy to read, colorful and interactive.

To be more fuel efficient, you can press “econ” mode, which cuts off the climate control system when the car stops. If you’re in stop and go traffic frequently, this may get annoying because the cabin may not maintain a comfortable temperature. 

Driving a hybrid doesn’t mean you’ll come up short on standard features. The Insight has an AM/FM/CD stereo, auxiliary input jack, power windows and a tilt and telescopic steering column standard. Navigation and Bluetooth connectivity are available, but you have to select the EX with Navigation to get it. 

As far as material quality is concerned, the press says Honda fitted the Insight with hard touch plastics. Still, the interior looks attractive despite cost-cutting measures.

  • "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
  • "We were somewhat disappointed by the dearth of soft-touch surfaces; and the Insight's center-positioned emergency brake handle pushes cupholders and open cubbies too far forward while seriously compromising the size and utility of its covered center console bin." -- Kelley Blue Book

Cargo

The Insight doesn’t have the largest cargo hold in the class, but the automotive press commends the amount of space it offers: 15.9 cubic feet with the seats up and 31.5 cubic feet with the seats down. 

  • "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
  • "There's plenty of cargo space in the Insight. Costco runs, dogs, even bikes were no problem for this little hybrid." -- Cars.com

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