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#30

in 2012 Affordable Small Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $12,072 - $15,004
Original MSRP: $18,500 - $23,690
MPG: 41 City / 44 Hwy
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2012 Honda Insight Interior

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

One of the best aspects of the 2012 Honda Insight’s interior is its Eco Assist system, which tells drivers how fuel-efficient their driving is. Other than that, the interior resembles other hybrid models: It’s good-looking, but has a budget feel, and there isn’t enough passenger space.

  • "Good assembly quality partially offsets the impact of a cabin lined with cut-rate plastics and unpadded surfaces. Overall, Insight doesn't look cheap, but most other cars in this class are made of nicer stuff." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The Insight is small and feels like it." -- USA Today
  • "I like the Insight's interior materials and ergonomics slightly better than the Prius." -- BusinessWeek

Seating

The 2012 Honda Insight’s front seats are comfortable and provide good leg- and headroom for adults, but some test drivers think the seats are too close to the floor. Also, the driver will have a hard time seeing out the back because the Insight’s exterior design creates blind spots. Reviewers agree that the second row is a jam for taller adults.

Honda says it improved visibility and seat comfort by tweaking the exterior and adjusting the seats to create more head- and legroom. Honda also added insulation to make the cabin quieter. Reviewers haven’t commented on any of these updates.

  • "(Front Seats) Impressive headroom and legroom for a car this size, though taller drivers complained of too-short seat bottoms. Rear visibility is compromised by the split rear window, and the view to the rear corners is obscured somewhat by the car's rakish roof line. (Rear Seats) Headroom goes wanting for taller drivers, otherwise most adults will be fine for shorter trips. Narrow door openings complicate entry and exit." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Front seats are close to floor." -- Cars.com
  • "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

Interior Features            

As a hybrid, the Insight has a lot more eco-minded features than gasoline-only cars. For starters, there’s Eco Assist, which changes the background color of the digital speedometer to show how efficiently you’re driving. 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.

Standard on the Insight are power windows and doors, a tilt and telescopic steering wheel and an auxiliary input jack. Higher trims offer Bluetooth, a USB interface and cruise control. Navigation is only optional on the highest trim. As far as material quality is concerned, the press says Honda fitted the Insight with hard plastics, but they still think the interior looks attractive despite cost-cutting measures.

  • "Most gauges are large and easy to read. Staffers mostly warmed to hybrid-info outputs, especially the speedometer back light that changes color in conjunction with driving-style efficiency." -- Consumer Guide
  • "From the driver's point of view, the Insight's instrumentation is both functional and futuristic, with lots of little LCD readouts and gauges to monitor your use of fuel and even help you attain better fuel economy." -- Kelley Blue Book

Cargo

Hybrids are known for meager cargo space because of their large batteries, but the automotive press does commend the amount of utility the Insight offers: 15.9 cubic feet with the seats up and 31.5 cubic feet with the seats down. Folding rear seats is rare in the hybrid class.

  • "Classic hatchback design allows for generous cargo room with the rear seats folded flat, though a roughly 3-inch liftover complicates sliding larger items out of the car. Handy under-floor cubbies are a useful touch." -- Consumer Guide
  • "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

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