2012 Honda Insight Review
Test drivers say the 2012 Honda Insight is designed for shoppers who want a hybrid without an ultra-high price tag.
The 2012 Honda Insight is one of the most fuel-efficient affordable small cars on the market, but its high EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings come with a few drawbacks, including an underpowered engine, budget interior and a cramped second row. These traits, however, are characteristic of hybrids and small cars, so as a whole, reviewers aren’t shocked that the Insight has these issues.
With this in mind, it’s important to shop other hybrid cars like the Honda Civic Hybrid, Toyota Prius and Ford Fusion Hybrid to decide if you value fuel economy, passenger space or cargo space most, because all of these models excel in at least one of these areas. However, if you do choose the Insight, most critics say you’re getting a good value.
Other Cars to Consider:
The most obvious alternative to the Honda Insight is the Toyota Prius. It is more expensive than the Honda Insight, but the added cost comes with more cargo space and much higher fuel economy ratings.
The Insight’s performance is typical of hybrids, but the Honda CR-Z is the only affordable hybrid car that breaks this trend, as it’s actually fun to drive. Unfortunately, good performance means the CR-Z is a lot less practical than competing hybrids. First, fuel economy is low for a hybrid, and is even less than what some small cars with gas-only powertrains average. Also, the CR-Z only seats two and has little cargo space for a hatchback. Despite these faults, buyers who like the idea of this sporty, fuel-efficient car may be enticed by its impracticality.
Details: 2012 Honda Insight
The 2012 Honda Insight is available in three trims: base, LX and EX. This year, Honda updated the Insight’s exterior, improved rear-passenger leg- and headroom, tweaked the exterior to improve rear visibility and made some aesthetic adjustments to the center controls. Finally, Honda also fitted LX models with better seat fabric and added more cabin insulation to all models to make the cabin quieter.
See the full list of 2012 Honda Insight specs.
- "For shoppers looking for serious fuel economy with set-and-forget simplicity, Insight could be the car for you." -- Consumer Guide
- "Impeccably constructed, well planned and honeyed with high-tech surfaces and materials. Nothing feels cheap or compromised." -- Los Angeles Times
- "Honda's goal in designing the … Insight was to find the value sweet spot, and it looks like they've hit it. The Insight marks the best intersection yet of the plots for price, efficiency and practicality." -- MSNBC
- "Honda's … Insight gasoline-electric hybrid isn't the substantial, comfortable car that its Civic hybrid is, nor does it deliver the 50 miles per gallon promised by Toyota for its update of chief rival Prius." -- USA Today