2020 Honda Insight
Excellent fuel economy
With a mainstream pricing and a luxurious appearance
Cabin with plenty of space and storage
Tech features that are plentiful
When the battery has to be charged, the gas engine grumbles.
The LX trim lacks smartphone integration.
There isn’t a hatchback or a tuner knob.
2020 HONDA INSIGHT SPECS
After a five-year sabbatical, the Honda Insight was reintroduced in 2019, drawing inspiration from the company’s perennially popular Civic to create an ideal hybrid vehicle for drivers wishing to reduce their carbon footprint without necessarily donning a climate change superhero cape for all to admire. The inconspicuous compact sedan has the same appearance and feel as its gasoline-powered sibling, but it gets better mileage. The 2020 Insight Hybrid also comes with a big number of standard amenities, making it one of the segment’s best buys.
Design, Pricing, and Features
The Honda Insight is a five-seat hybrid sedan that is available in three trim levels: LX, EX, and Touring. A 1.5-liter i-VTEC four-cylinder engine with front and rear electric motors produces 151 horsepower and 99 lb.-ft. of torque and is mated to an eCVT transmission.
The lithium-ion battery is hidden beneath the second row of seats. The lighter LX and EX trims get 55 miles per gallon in the city and 49 miles per gallon on the highway, while the heavier Insight Touring gets 51 miles per gallon in the city and 45 miles per gallon on the highway.
The Touring trim gets 18-inch alloy wheels, while the LX and EX trims have 16-inch alloy wheels.
Honda, unlike most automakers, does not charge extra for optional equipment and is liberal with standard features. On all trim levels, these include keyless entry, push-button start, LED headlights, heated power mirrors, and Honda Sensing, which includes forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control. Blind spot warning with cross traffic monitor and remote engine start are available on the two higher trim levels.\
A 5-inch screen, AM/FM radio, a Pandora app, and a single USB connection are all included with the LX. The EX and Touring grades offer an 8-inch touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, as well as HD Radio, SiriusXM, and two USB Smartphone Interface ports in the console. The Touring level adds a 10-speaker premium music system, Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation with speech recognition, the Hondalink telematics system, and Wi-Fi hotspot functionality, while the EX trim adds an eight-speaker audio system.
Starting at $22,930 for the LX, $24,310 for the EX, and $28,340 for the Touring. The destination charge on the Touring Insight in Cosmic Blue with ivory leather upholstery that we tested was $930, bringing the total price to $29,270.
While the Insight shares some design aspects with its Honda Civic cousin, such as the top and rear panels, it has its own distinct and appealing appearance, firmly placing it in the mainstream sedan category. The interior of the Insight is more polished than that of the Civic, but it’s on par with other hybrids in its class.
The Touring trim adds heated front leather-trimmed seats and a power sunroof to the LX and EX trims. The inside is quiet, and the audio system in our test vehicle is quite good.
Connectivity and Interface
The Insight’s infotainment interface has too many layers for our tastes, making it difficult to use while driving. We appreciate that Honda has ditched its horrible touch-only interface in favor of a volume knob on the Insight, but we wish Honda had also included a tuning knob instead of relying on the touch screen. The EX and Touring trims have a larger customizable display, as well as a smartphone slot in the center console next to a USB port.
While the two higher trim levels include an extra USB connector in the console, there are no charging alternatives for passengers in the back seat. Although the LX has Bluetooth for phone and audio, we expect Honda will offer Apple and Android connection as well, as do other hybrids in its class. Many vehicles come with a complimentary three-month trial membership to AT&T’s Wi-Fi service.
From fuel economy statistics to the speed limit, a customisable digital gauge in the instrument panel displays a range of information. There’s a long list of safety features, including Honda’s distinctive LaneWatch, which displays a picture of what’s in the front passenger side blind spot on a screen in the center dash when the right turn signal is enabled.
Overall, the Insight is a pleasant ride in a stylish vehicle that doesn’t appear to be a hybrid at first glance. However, the engine rattles and groans when the car has to recharge the battery, reminding you of its hybrid foundations.
First-time hybrid drivers will like the regenerative braking system, which allows for smooth stops without a steep learning curve as you become used to its feel. Econ, Sport, and EV are the three driving modes available on the Insight. The battery pack under the seat creates a low center of gravity, which improves handling and enables enough load capacity when the rear seats are folded flat.
The Insight isn’t a luxury car, but it’s a superb commuter car because to its quiet and spacious cabin, sharp handling, and polished ride. Accelerating onto freeways is swift and trustworthy, however it can be a little noisy at higher speeds.
The Toyota Corolla Hybrid, Toyota Prius, and Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid are all strong competitors for the Honda Insight. While it lacks many hybrids’ famous hatchback feature, its low-key look and features outperform the Prius in most ways. However, we recommend the EX model above the Touring trim because of the increased conveniences and greater price. Both have enhanced features, but the EX has a lower sticker price and greater fuel economy, making it a more appealing and cost-effective compact sedan.