New 2019 Honda Insight Sedan New 2019
Honda Insight Sedan

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KBB Editor's Overview

By KBB.com Editorial Staff

The history of hybrid vehicles is marked by visually distinct or, some might say, weird-looking designs. The 2019 Honda Insight seeks to buck that trend. Born from the beloved Honda Civic, the Honda Insight merges a handsome sedan body with exceptional hybrid efficiency. Delivering up to 55 mpg in the city, the Insight’s sub-$23,000 starting price places it between the slightly pricier Toyota Prius and the slightly cheaper Hyundai Ioniq hybrid.

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You'll Like This Car If...

Do you want the money-saving benefits of a hybrid, but you’d rather not drive an eco-conscious statement piece? Then the tastefully styled Honda Insight could be the hybrid for you.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The Insight’s sedan body style lacks the hatchback functionality favored by many of its competitors. Beyond that, if you wish to project an image of “conspicuous conservation,” there are better choices. Hello, Toyota Prius!

What's New for 2019

Honda’s Insight is all-new for 2019.

Driving It

Driving Impressions

Whether propelled by its small gasoline engine, its torquey electric motor, or a combination of both, acceleration in the 2019 Honda Insight is seamless and perfectly adequate. Merging with freeway traffic is a worry-free affair, though hard acceleration does fill the cabin with droning engine noise. Consider that temporary soundtrack a small price to pay for outstanding fuel economy. The new Insight offers multiple drive modes that vary the throttle pedal’s urgency, while regenerative-braking intensity can be varied using steering-wheel-mounted paddles. The latter is a helpful feature that saves the driver from riding the brake pedal down long hills. As for suspension tuning, the Insight sedan absorbs road impacts with smooth sophistication. Coupled with a quiet cabin, competent handling and nicely weighted steering, the Insight is a top-tier commuter.

Favorite Features

REGENERATIVE BRAKES
Hybrid cars use regenerative brakes to recapture kinetic energy as electricity. This technology improves efficiency but often results in a strange, wooden-feeling brake pedal. By contrast the Insight’s brakes feel wonderfully normal, allowing the driver to bring the vehicle to a smooth, imperceptible stop.

8-INCH INFOTAINMENT SCREEN
Standard on the EX and Touring trims is a nifty 8-inch infotainment screen. This easy-to-use interface features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, and, unlike Hondas of the recent past, includes a volume knob as nature intended.

Vehicle Details

Interior

Like its Honda Civic cousin, the Insight offers generous passenger space and a roomy 15.1-cubic-foot trunk. Thanks to the hybrid battery’s placement under the rear seats, the Insight’s seatbacks fold to accommodate larger loads just like a normal sedan’s. Benefiting from standard active-noise cancellation and additional insulation in the hood, dash and fenders, the 2019 Honda Insight’s cabin is notably quieter than the Civic’s. It also looks fancier with real stitching and perforated leather seats appearing on higher trims. Meanwhile, a USB-adjacent phone tray and a large reconfigurable center console amplify the Insight’s practicality quotient.

Exterior

Even though it sprang from Honda’s excellent Civic platform, the Insight has distinct character of its own. Only the Civic’s roof and rear-quarter panels carry over unchanged; every other panel has been reworked to create the 2019 Honda Insight. And we like the results. Standard alloy wheels and LED head- and taillights impart a premium aura while understated “hybrid” badges merely hint at the hybrid technology that hides beneath. Otherwise, the Honda Insight looks like a normal, albeit attractively shaped, sedan.

Notable Standard Equipment

In simplest LX trim the Honda Insight includes niceties like automatic climate control, a multi-angle rearview camera, power windows with an automatic up/down function, and a 5-inch color audio display. Strangely, the LX omits the external trunk release found in the higher EX and Touring trims. Impressively, the Honda Sensing suite of active safety features comes standard on all trims. That means even the cheapest Honda Insight offers advanced safety and convenience technologies like dynamic cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and forward-collision warning with automatic braking.

Notable Optional Equipment

In typical Honda fashion, premium features are accessed through higher trims. For a mere $1,200 more than the base LX trim the Insight EX adds smart entry with walk-away auto lock, 60/40-split rear seatbacks, a center armrest, remote engine start, Honda’s LaneWatch blind-spot camera, an external trunk release, and an 8-inch touch screen featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. For our money, the EX is the sweet spot in the lineup. Those craving heated leather seats, embedded navigation, a 10-speaker premium audio system, and a moonroof will find satisfaction in the top-level Touring trim.

Under the Hood

The Insight’s efficiency comes via a 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle 4-cylinder engine, a lithium-ion battery pack, and Honda’s 2-motor hybrid drive system. In olden days, the transition from electric to gasoline propulsion in hybrid cars was…conspicuous. Drive the latest Honda Insight and, aside from occasional engine drone at full throttle, the electric/gasoline wizardry is completely transparent. The 2019 Insight also features an EV mode that, under certain conditions, allows the driver to cover up to one mile using electricity alone.

1.5-liter inline-4 + electric motors (Hybrid)
151 horsepower combined
197 lb-ft of torque combined
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 55/49 mpg (LX/EX), 51/45 mpg (Touring)

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Pricing Notes

Given its competitive pricing, compelling standard-equipment list, and Honda’s traditionally strong resale figures, the Honda Insight stands as a high-value contender in the compact-hybrid category. For $23,725 including destination charges (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price/MSRP), you can buy a base 2019 Honda Insight LX trim. That’s about $500 less than the similarly efficient Toyota Prius and about $600 more than the more efficient but arguably less plush Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid. An even cheaper entry into the world of hybrids can be found in the roughly $21,000 Toyota Prius C. Alternatively, if fuel efficiency doesn’t rank among your primary concerns, a very Insight-like experience can be had for thousands less in its non-hybrid, mechanical forefather, the Honda Civic. Before buying, check out the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what folks in your area are paying for the new Insight.

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