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2013 Honda Insight

Overview
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2013 Honda Insight Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 6.5

Although it hasn't knocked off the public's darling hybrid, the Toyota Prius, Honda's Insight is staking out a space of its own. The 2013 Honda Insight hybrid offers a sleek and modern 5-door hatchback design, intriguingly advanced powertrain technology and a sub-$20,000 price tag. Its EPA estimated city/highway fuel economy is a miserly 41/44 mpg. But it's also true the car's actual over-the-road performance is modest – likely less than what its advanced wedge-shape styling promises to most eyes. Honda's own Civic Hybrid is selling briskly so it isn't that consumers are resistant to the company's hybrid technology. Buyers just have to get used to the idea of advanced design and lively handling in the service of efficiency rather than driving thrills.

You'll Like This Car If...

While its fuel-economy figures are less astounding than those posted by the Toyota Prius, the 2013 Honda Insight is still a gas-sipping wonder. And its price of entry is not so steep that buyers have to wonder if they'll live to see the payback in gasoline savings.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If all you want is to save on fuel, there are actually some non-hybrid alternatives that do awfully well. Check out the 40-mpg Hyundai Elantra and Chevrolet Cruze, and the 42-mpg VW Golf TDI.

What's New for 2013

Honda gave the Insight hybrid hatchback a mild makeover last year, and for 2013, there are no substantial changes.

Driving the Insight

Driving Impressions In the 2013 Insight, Honda has a fuel-efficient hybrid vehicle that will deliver real savings at the pump without costing a fortune up front. The 1.3-liter gasoline engine develops 98...

horsepower and is boosted by a 13-horsepower electric motor. The electric motor seamlessly assists the gasoline engine when passing or climbing hills. If this doesn't sound like a thrilling driving experience, well, it isn't. But there is an entertaining aspect to using technology and new driving habits to save the planet. The EX model's paddle shifters do make the driving experience vaguely sporty, and the Insight's steering feels well connected and its ride well controlled. Honda's own conventionally powered Fit makes an interesting comparison: It's certainly more driver-involving in a conventional, gear-jamming way, but simply out of the Insight's league for pure, high-tech efficiency.

5-DOOR PROFILE
Boasting hatchback access and flexible load space, the 2013 Honda Insight hybrid is the new SUV: Sensible Utility Vehicle. With the rear seat folded, the Insight offers over 31 cubic feet of cargo volume – and does so within an overall length of just 172 inches.

ECO ASSIST
It is driver-selected so you don't have to use it. But once you've purchased a Honda Insight hybrid, why wouldn't you? Eco Assist helps teach you how to drive more efficiently, saving you money and reducing your carbon footprint.

2013 Honda Insight Details
2013 Honda Insight photo Interior

The 2013 Honda Insight hybrid has a modern and practical interior design. The LX trim uses handsome cloth upholstery while synthetic leather-and-cloth graces the EX. Deep cutaways in the headliner and front seatbacks aid rear-seat passenger space. The 5-door configuration with a large rear hatch and folding 60/40 rear seats adds versatility. Instrumentation is both functional and futuristic, and can encourage better fuel economy. There's an Assist/Charge meter to monitor current flow to and from the battery, and Eco Assist gives feedback via the varying-color cluster background. An ECON button adjusts throttle, CVT, idle-stop duration and air-conditioning on/off mode.

Exterior
2013 Honda Insight photo

The Insight's wedge-like profile and fastback roofline are its strongest visual features, with the cool split-glass rear window (remember the second-generation Honda CRX?) a close second. The grille and headlight treatments that include cool blue lighting were instituted in last year's facelift, and they still look good. Honda says the bumper, headlight and grille revisions led to a 2-percent increase in aerodynamic efficiency, and that's something the hyper-efficient cars in this class can always use.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

As with most Honda offerings in the U.S., the marketing execs have worked to keep the purchase of a 2013 Honda Insight very simple. The base model is naturally more Spartan than an LX or EX, but still comfortably equipped with automatic climate control, power windows with auto up/down, tilt-and-telescopic steering column, and manual seat-height adjustment for the driver. The LX ups the ante with cruise control, a USB audio interface and center armrest storage, while the EX models gain steering-wheel paddle shifters, faux-leather-and-cloth seats, heated outside mirrors, alloy wheels, 6-speaker audio and Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity.

Optional Equipment

The only option offered is the EX's available navigation package that includes a 16 GB flash memory system, 6.5-inch display radio, voice recognition, a rearview camera and FM traffic reports. Among the available accessories are a leather steering-wheel cover, an automatic-dimming inside mirror and SiriusXM satellite radio.

Under the Hood

All 2013 Honda Insights are powered by Honda's Integrated Motor Assist system. This hybrid powertrain uses a 1.3-liter SOHC 4-cylinder gasoline engine – boasting i-VTEC variable valve timing – in combination with a 10-kilowatt (13-horsepower) electric motor. The compact nickel-metal hydride battery pack recaptures and stores energy from vehicle braking and deceleration, which the electric motor can then turn into a power boost to aid acceleration. The transmission is a continuously variable type (CVT) with paddle shifters on the EX model. The engine itself, with but two valves per cylinder, is relatively low tech, but everything else is appropriately high tech.

1.3-liter inline-4 (plus 10-kilowatt, 13-horsepower electric motor)
98 horsepower @ 5,800 rpm
123 lb-ft of torque @ 1,000-1,700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 41/44 mpg

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2013 Honda Insight Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.4
Out of 10

Based on 131 Ratings for the 2010 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.8/10
    Quality
    8.3/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    8.1/10
  • Comfort
    7.8/10
    Styling
    8.3/10

Great hybrid for the money!

By on Monday, April 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "great price and mpg and is fun to drive."

Cons: "styling more generic and interior needs upgrades."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I have had no problems with my car so far and average around 50mpg. For the money, it is difficult to find a better hybrid for return on investment. It has a more engaging driving experience than other hybrids I test drove, and the purchase process was a breeze. Other than oil changes once a year I have had no need to return to the dealer. Job done."

Drive 85 miles one way every day- Love this car!

By on Saturday, April 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 170,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Pleasent car to drive, great gas mileage"

Cons: "There are some blind spots, the back seat is tight"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have owned this car for 150,000+ miles. I drive both secondary and highway miles. I find this car to be very comfortable for the driver, maybe not so much for back seaters. I was surprised that people didn't find it peppy, I find it likes going 70 + and I have to keep my eye on the speed. I always drive in Eco mode and get 50 plus mpg in summer and 40+ in winter. Just normal up keep, almost all the headlights died over a 2 month time period recently. With good snow tires it handles well in winter too, better then my friend Prius. Didn't notice any problems in the Mts."

3 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Great car--does what I expected

By on Monday, March 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,812

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Well designed interior, comfortable to drive"

Cons: "Not a car for hotdogs"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I've driven this car over 55,000 miles; replaced the original tires at 48,000+ with a little tread left before the wear bars, but it was December and winter was coming. On the highway, at speed limit I get around 50 mpg (I drove TX with 80 mph speed limits); in town about 43 mpg. Ten years driving hybrids has taught me that driving is a science and the driver needs to use the car as a designed tool--operator and machine contribute to performance."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

High Maintenance

By on Friday, January 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 67,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Easy to handle, pretty comfortable car"

Cons: "A commuters nightmare.."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"This car feels good on the road, but eats tires like candy. It also is an oil burner. In addition, it does NOT get the mileage that it is rated at. It gets no better gas mileage than a non Hybrid car. Maintenance is constant and expensive."

11 people out of 22 found this review helpful

VERY VERY SMOOTH AND RELIABLE CAR.

By on Wednesday, January 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 118,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"GREAT CAR. ABSOLUTELY ZERO PROBLEMS WITH THIS CAR. IT WAS DRIVEN EVERY DAY AND NEVER HESITATED TO PERFORM. GAS MILEATGE WAS SUPERB AND WOULD RECOMMEND THIS CAR TO ANYONE. GETTING UP IN AGE AND NEED A CAR THAT IS NOT AS CLOSE TO THE GROUND. BUT IT WAS A DANDY AND WILL BE MISSED!"

8 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Good car

By on Friday, January 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 140,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great on gas."

Cons: "Not so good in snow"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought this car new in late 2009. It now has 140,000 miles on it. The ONLY things I've had to replace are tires and 1 set of break pads. Great mileage, not bad in the Colorado mountains and averages about 43 MPG. My only gripes are it's not very good in the snow and on a super hot day the air conditioner could use a little help."

8 people out of 13 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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