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2019 Honda Insight
The 2019 Honda Insight borrows a lot of design cues from the tenth generation Civic and the Accord. These features make it look attractive but not stand out in the crowd, suitable for people who prefer a little anonymity.
But this has not always been the case. We feel that the first two generations of Insight attracted attention on the road, not in a good way. The first generation was a hatchback with the rear fender covering the wheels. It almost looked like front-to-back flipped Reliant Robin. The second generation was more of a Prius competitor and was shaped much like it, and also like an egg. Both of the first two generations were interesting looking, only if ugly was the new interesting.
The 2019 model is much more mature-looking than both these generations. It tones down the tenth generation Civic's flaunty looks and borrows grace from the Accord. It is almost safe to say that it inherits the best of both sedans.
Many critics see the 2019 Insight as Honda's first step in the direction of electric vehicles. We, however, believe that it is the last step to shape what compact sedans will look like in the near future. The car is available in three trim levels, LX, EX, and Touring.
We understand that the trend has shifted from four-door sedans to crossovers these days. But we cannot ignore the fact about how good-looking sedans have become over the years.
There are two things that the 2019 Insight borrows from the Honda Civic: it is the wheelbase and the roofline. The wheelbase is expected to be the same because the sedan shares the same platform as the Civic. Insight's tail and nose depict the Accord, which means that this vehicle will attract slightly older shoppers instead of the younger generation.
However, in most cases, the Insight tones down the Honda Civic's striking curves and creases. The wheel wells and fenders are much more gracefully shaped on the Insight; we think Mazda 6 deserves some credit here.
Inside, we thank Honda for removing the annoying touchscreen found on the Civic and borrowing the layout from the Accord, including that volume knob. The dashboard is kept low, which is excellent for outside vision, and it is equipped with easy-to-understand functions and displays.
The 2019 Honda Insight prioritizes fuel economy and ride quality over performance. Even with a heavy right foot, the vehicle shells out impressive fuel economy numbers.
The vehicle is powered by a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 107 hp and a 129 horsepower motor. Together, the powertrain produces 151 horsepower and 197 lb-ft torque.
The dual-motor hybrid system prioritizes the electric system over the gasoline engine for propulsion. In some situations, the vehicle can run only on the electric system without assistance from the gasoline engine. At other times, the battery, the electric motor, and the engine can all work together to deliver power to the front wheels.
Here is something interesting, the 2019 Honda Insight uses an e-CVT, which uses two electric motors and a clutch to simulate something close to a CVT. The engine works more like a generator to charge the batteries and power the motors than run the car directly.
Most drivers will notice that acceleration is not precisely proportional to engine power. Sometimes, the engine will run at high rpm during slow accelerations to provide power to the hybrid system. At other times, it will run more slowly, even through hard accelerations, meaning that the hybrid system is charged and delivers most of the power.
We cannot term the vehicle fast, but it stands firm against other direct rivals like the Prius. It takes around 10.3 seconds to hit 60 mph from a stop, although some drivers claim it can be done in 7.7 seconds.
Climbing steep hills and passing on the highway can be a little tricky. If you are running on a two-lane, bidirectional highway, you must plan before passing the vehicle ahead.
There are three modes to drive the Insight, EV, Eco, and Sport. We feel that the Sport mode is a little out of place as it does give the throttle a bit of pep and allows the engine to rev higher, but it does not necessarily make the Insight faster. The Econ mode tones down the throttle but does not seem to trigger the all-electric mode more than other driving modes.
It is best to drive the Honda Insight without thinking about it too much. Get in, push the start button, and go without micromanaging it.
The Insight shares most of its undercarriage components with the Civic. These include the multi-link suspension on the rear and the Macpherson set up in the front. Fluid-filled bushings in the suspension systems tone down the road unevenness significantly. This feature is hard to find on other compact cars, especially low-budget ones.
The Insight's steering is responsive and makes the car fun to drive. Many critics claim that the steering is a bit too sporty for the powertrain on this vehicle.
Braking performance is also impressive. The car uses 11.1-inch brake rotors, which deliver ample braking power and work for regeneration without any issues. The paddles behind the steering wheels have an interesting function; they work to modify the regenerative braking power through three levels. Even with the highest regeneration setting, the car can still not be operated using a single pedal, frustrating for some owners.
The 2019 Honda Insight excels in comfort and ride quality among other compact cars. The cabin is spaced out like other midsize sedans and is comfortable for four adults, with five being a bit too much.
The front seats are comfortable and offer ample support. Some do have an issue with the low ride height, but this opens up a lot of headroom, allowing even people over six feet to sit comfortably. The legroom is also ample for long legs. With a steering wheel that telescopes a significant margin, we think that even a T-Rex would be comfortable on the driver seat.
The backseat has enough headroom and legroom for six-footers, even when sitting behind someone similar in size. Long trips with four adults should be comfortable with a few coffee breaks.
The Insight is packaged efficiently to not compromise on the trunk space. One of the batteries is located next to the driver's knee in the transmission tunnel. This makes the trunk space come to 15.1 cubic feet, comparable to other compact cars. The folding seat is standard on all variants, but EX and Touring trims are equipped with a 60/40 split rear seat, allowing more flexibility when expanding the trunk space.
The 2019 Insight is equipped with active noise cancellation technologies, which work well for most. But some outside noises still find their way into the cabin.
As discussed above, the hybrid system works in an innovative way in which the engine rpm is not synchronized with the gas pedal, which can make the cabin feel noisier. Compared to the closest competitor, the Insight's engine felt louder than the Prius, but overall, the Insight is more comfortable.
The best year Honda Insight is equipped with a lot of safety technology. It earns impressive scores from car crash testing agencies, making it an excellent choice for small families.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awards the 2019 Honda Insight with five stars for overall safety. The vehicle reaps five stars for all categories, including frontal, side crash, and rollover.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety hugely agrees with the NHTSA for the safety ratings of the 2019 Insight. It awards the car with the 2019 Top Safety Pick+ status, which is the highest rating by the agency. Insight gets a "Good" score for each one of its crashworthiness tests. The standard frontal crash prevention system is rated as "Superior" by the IIHS.
In addition to the standard safety features like six airbags, electronic stability control, and antilock brakes, the Insight is equipped with the following advanced safety features:
- Forward collision warning system warns the driver of a stopped vehicle or other obstacles in the vehicle's path. The system can also trigger emergency braking automatically to avoid making contact with the obstacle.
- Lane departure warning with active lane control ensures that the vehicle does not leave the lane without the driver's consent.
- Adaptive Cruise Control, which can reduce the speed of the Insight to follow the vehicle ahead
- Traffic sign recognition, which can read speed limits and warn the driver when speed limits on the road change
- Automatic headlights that turn on and off depending on outside light intensity
- The top trims, Touring and EX, are equipped with a camera on the passenger-side mirror. It displays the right side of the car on the center screen as soon as the right turn signal is switched on.
The 2019 Honda Insight can feel very well-equipped for some and a run-of-the-mill hybrid for others. It all depends on how you view the world; we see it as both.
The car is available in three trim levels, LX, EX, and Touring. We think that you can get the best value for your money by selecting the EX trim. However, here is what each trim has to offer.
The LX trim comes equipped with the following:
- LED headlights
- 16-inch alloy wheels
- Keyless entry and engine start
- Cloth upholstery
- A five-inch touchscreen for the audio system with one USB port and Bluetooth connectivity
- Honda Sensing safety features discussed above.
The EX trim comes with the following features:
- An eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with smartphone connectivity, two USB ports, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay
- Eight speaker audio system
- Honda's LaneWatch camera on the passenger side mirror
- Remote Start
- 60/40 split-folding rear seat
The top-of-the-line, Touring trim adds to the previous trims and delivers almost every feature you can get on the Insight. These include:
- Heated front seats
- Leather upholstery
- A ten-speaker audio system
Fuel Economy Features
It is safe for us to say that the 2019 Honda Insight is one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles out there without a plug-in feature. The intelligent hybrid system keeps the car frugal, but owners can require some time to get used to its operating methods.
The car earns impressive EPA ratings, and we think that to improve it any further would require a plug-in option. The LX and EX trims can get 55 miles per gallon in the city, 49 mpg on highways, and 52 mpg for combined driving. The Touring trim is slightly lower at 51 mpg in the city, 45 mpg on the highway, and 48 mpg combined.
Price Range of 2019 Honda Insight
The best year Honda Insight's prices start from $23,000 and go up to $28,000. The average price is approximately $25,500. These prices can vary due to location, vehicle condition, trim level, and mileage.
About The Author
I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.Read More About Charles Redding