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2014 Honda Insight

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2014 Honda Insight Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 6.4

The Honda Insight hasn't been able to match the popularity or fuel economy of the Toyota Prius, but it does boast one characteristic that sets it apart: The 2014 Honda Insight remains the least-expensive new hybrid car you can buy. With its starting price around $19,500, the Honda Insight is over $5,000 less than a base Prius 5-door hatchback. And with its 41/44 mpg ratings, the Insight can certainly take you far for your money. But beyond its laudable fuel economy and tempting starting price, there are compromises. The Insight's driving manners are rather unrefined and lackluster, even for a hybrid, and base models lack common features like cruise control, a USB input and even vanity mirrors.

You'll Like This Car If...

High fuel economy and low ownership cost is the name of the game for the Honda Insight. In addition to its low retail price, the Insight regularly earns a spot on the Kelley Blue Book's 5-Year Cost To Own Awards list.

You May Not Like This Car If...

In addition to being less powerful and less fuel-efficient than a Toyota Prius, the Honda Insight isn't as roomy. Other sore points are the Insight's unrefined hybrid powertrain operation and a climate control system that left us wanting (and too warm in summer). The Prius is a better hybrid, and many gasoline- or diesel-powered cars now offer around 40 mpg or better.

What's New for 2014

The 2014 Honda Insight remains unchanged from the prior year.

Driving the Insight

Driving Impressions For better and worse, Honda's Insight puts a priority on efficiency. In the better column, the Insight's combined 42 mpg rating is enviable, especially for the cost of entry. In...

the worse column come some of the compromises needed to achieve those numbers. We didn't expect the Insight's driving experience to be thrilling, and it isn't. Acceleration in normal mode is just adequate for day-to-day driving, but speed (or lack thereof) isn't our biggest gripe. Rather, it's the noticeable transition of power between the gasoline engine and electric motor that is not as smooth as that of the Prius. Another trait to beware of is how the Insight cuts engine power when idling, such as at stop lights. This saves fuel, but it also can affect the car's climate control, namely the air conditioning. We noticed this most when the A/C turned off momentarily with the engine on a summer day. Back in the better column are the Insight's well-connected steering feel and overall maneuverability.

HATCHBACK DESIGN
Most people buy hybrids for efficiency, and the Insight lives up to that more-with-less mantra not only in fuel economy but also design. With its 5-door profile and folding rear seats, the Insight can hold a good amount of cargo given its compact footprint

COST TO OWN
It's hard to argue with the starting price of the Honda Insight. Even a loaded EX model with navigation comes in under $25,000. Further, the hybrid's low starting price and efficient operation mean low ownership costs in the long run.

2014 Honda Insight Details
Interior

The Honda Insight's cabin is modern and practical, with seating for five passengers and an appreciable amount of cargo space. Controls for climate function are simple to use and within easy reach, just to the right of the steering wheel. A big green "Econ" button to the left of the steering wheel, meanwhile, ekes out more efficiency by modifying throttle response, air conditioning and how long the engine stops during idle. Cargo flexibility is granted from 60/40 folding rear seats that open up over 31 cubic feet of space when down. The navigation system in top models is showing its age, and functionality for controlling nav and audio functions is hampered by frustrating buttons and touch-based controls.

Exterior

At around 172 inches in length, the 2014 Honda Insight hybrid is deceptively compact – even shorter than a Honda Civic Coupe. That makes this tidy wedge of a car easy to park in both garages or at the mall. The rear of the Insight is especially notable with its split-glass rear window. That feature is aesthetically pleasing from the outside, but can present a blind-spot within from the horizontal line that stretches from one side of the hatchback to the other. In front, the Insight adds visual pizazz with blue-tinted chrome bezels near the grille and around the headlights.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Like other Hondas, the Insight is offered in a few trims that bundle features. The least expensive and most Spartan is just dubbed "Insight." Highlights for that base model include automatic climate control and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. But its 160-watt AM/FM/CD system only has two speakers and you'll have to forgo aforementioned features like cruise control. Stepping up to an LX gains two extra speakers and a USB input for audio, cruise control, floor mats, and steering-wheel-mounted controls. EX models add paddle shifters, Bluetooth wireless connectivity, driver and passenger vanity mirrors, 6-speaker audio, and projector-beam headlights. In addition to a nav system, EX models with Navigation have Bluetooth streaming audio and a rearview camera.

Optional Equipment

With Honda's tiered trim system, you won't have to worry about checking many extra boxes when it comes to buying an Insight. In fact, most extras are left to accessories such as a cargo cover, all-season floor mats, and bumper guard. Also of note is satellite radio offered on LX and EX trims.

Under the Hood

All 2014 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 (CVT) with paddle shifters on the EX model that allow drivers to have the sensation of manually shifting gears. 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 + 10-kilowatt 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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2014 Honda Insight Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.4
Out of 10

Based on 139 Ratings for the 2010 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.9/10
    Quality
    8.4/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    8.1/10
  • Comfort
    7.8/10
    Styling
    8.3/10

No problems ever

By on Thursday, December 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 92,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Price, reliability, effortless maintenance"

Cons: "Blind spots, back seat tight for passengers"

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

"Purchased new 2010 model. Replaced tires around 48000. Other than changing oil and wipers, basically carefree problem free vehicle. Avg 45 mpg. Interior has held up remarkably. Overhead interior light burned out at about 85k miles. Can't beat the ride when zipping through the city and highway at 70 is still smooth. Fold down back seat makes for surprising cargo room. Did change fluids at 89000 miles because dealer recommended. Saw no change in already good performance. Want a new higher ride vehicle but why? This one is still performing as new with practically no maintenance"

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Love the gas mileage..Sporty style is fun 2 drive

By on Friday, December 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,610

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Cons: "Tire pressure changes when weather drops below 32*"

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

"My all time favorite car to own. I've owned in the past: Honda Accord (2), Volvo Wagon (3) and an Xfinity Qx4 and the Honda Insight is the one I would rate overall as number one. This car has it all. The gas mileage was a huge selling point and I average about 45mpg. This car is sexy and sporty and I love driving it. The Soccer Mom days are over and this car better reflects my personality now that my kids are grown. I am conscious about the environment and still young at heart having fun driving my Honda Insight. it's almost embarrassing to admit how many winks I get at stop lights from much younger men (LOL). If they only knew what I look like behind those "Foster Grants", it's the car they car attracted to and when I catch them starring at the car they are thinking "im a sexy chick driving a sexy car". That is true but I'm smart too because this car will pay for itself with the money I save in gas."

7 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Reliable, economical, practical

By on Tuesday, September 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000

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
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Economical, reliable"

Cons: "no sat nav"

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

"This is my third Insight and 5th Honda, in a row. I cannot fault the car's performance, reliability and practicality."

13 people out of 25 found this review helpful

Great gas mileage..

By on Tuesday, July 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 53,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Cons: "needs a map light../driver mirror"

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

"I love my Insight..so easy on gas and I like driving it.Just the right size for me and hatch back great for loading stuff."

12 people out of 18 found this review helpful

If you hate it, don't buy it as will last forever.

By on Sunday, May 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 212,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Probably cheapest car too own."

Cons: "Where is the fun?"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"My 2011 Insight base has 212000 miles and not a single problem other than normal wear and tear. Averaging 48mpg over life of car. Build is so solid as if car was molded from one piece. Nor squeak nor rattle of any kind. Car has been cheap to maintain. Oil changes come about 12k. Serpentine belt changed at 200k. Brake pads and shoes also lasted 200k. Oem tires worn out at 30k. Replacement Ecopias lasted 100k. I use Nitto SN2 winter tires, excellent traction over frozen stuff.. Battery still strong. Cvt still sliky smooth. Now the bad. Eight, yes eight spark plugs on 4 cylinder engine only pricey maintenance at 105k and 210k. Handling like driving in mud.Car cant even hold a straight line. Slow slow and slow. Above 65mph engine makes a racket. Cramped interior especially back seats."

32 people out of 50 found this review helpful

Highway milage 52 mpg

By on Monday, May 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,600

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Like that mpg"

Cons: "Driver blind spot"

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

"Wanted good mpg and got it! Averaged 52.3 mpg Spokane to Seattle via North Cascades highway. Around town 38-42."

15 people out of 21 found this review helpful

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