2013 Honda Insight Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com
 

2013 Honda Insight Hatchback

 
 
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What Others are Paying: LX PZEV 4dr Car with no optional equipment

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Honda Insight Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.3 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission CVT Automatic
  • Horse Power 98 hp @ 5800 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 41/44 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No
 

Review of the 2013 Honda Insight

  • While fuel-efficient and reliable, the 2013 Honda Insight doesn't quite measure up to its archrival, the Toyota Prius.

  • Safety | Reliability
  • Pros

    Thrifty fuel economy; low price for a hybrid.

  • Cons

    Unsophisticated ride; cramped backseat; air-conditioning shuts off with auto-off engine at traffic lights.

  • What's New for 2013

    After numerous updates last year, the 2013 Honda Insight returns unchanged.

 
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (3 total reviews)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Excellent value and fun to

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Honda Insight

This is my second review after one year. I'm averaging 48-49 mpg but routinely get 60+ during ideal conditions. To get the most out of the Insight you need to drive it correctly otherwise you will be disappointed. The Insight is a very efficient conventional automobile with hybrid assist. It is very affordable being less complicated than the Prius. As an engineer I find the Insight brillaintly simple while the Prius is more a technological feat. Note that if climate control is in auto the engine will start as necessary at stoplights to maintain the desired temperature. This has been incorrectly reported in a number of reviews. No problems and I would buy again without reservation.



23 of 23 people found this review helpful

Honda's gift to the world

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Honda Insight

The Insight is a essentially a super efficient fwd conventional automobile. The hybrid system is a small DC motor/generator is wound around the output shaft of the engine and provides power for acceleration and recharges the battery when coasting. Streamlined and somewhat narrow, big and unusually tall folks will not be comfortable. Soccer moms will find the hatchback storage too small. The interior is crisp and functional but upscale buyers will likely opt for something more sophisticated. The Insight is capable of 50+mpg but hyper milers will want more. For me, it is a brilliantly simple design that is affordable, economical, beautiful and a pleasure to drive.



89 of 89 people found this review helpful

2012 insight ex with navi

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Honda Insight

I recently purchased a Black Insight EX with Navi after careful comparison with the Prius. I concluded that the Insight is a much better value, ($10,000 less than top of the line Prius, although it doesn't offer quite as many options) and is much more enjoyable to drive. I purchased this as a commuter car (60 mile round trip to work) and for running errands. I consistently avg 45mpg (calculated by fuel up to miles driven). Overall I am very pleased with this vehicle and believe it would have see better sales if it was marketed better. Also, contrary to Edmunds review this car is capable of electric only operation although in very limited circumstances (flat level ground under 25 mph).



   
 
 
Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 41
  • cty
/
  • 44
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
 


Bonus $ Offer

$500

Type Start End
Military 04/02/2014 06/30/2014

Requirements & Restrictions
Military Appreciation Bonus Cash is available towards leasing or retail purchases. This offer is available from Honda Financial Services and must be financed through Honda Financial Services. Amount must be disclosed as Down Payment or Capitalized Cost Reduction Assistance. Offer applies to active-duty and reserve personnel in the U.S. Military and their spouses. Retirees and Veterans who have been discharged in the passed 180 days also qualify. A valid Military Leave and Earnings Statements (LES) is required as proof of eligibility. May be combined with other available incentives excluding Zero Due at Signing Lease program.
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Full 2013 Honda Insight Review

What's New for 2013

After numerous updates last year, the 2013 Honda Insight returns unchanged.

Introduction

Though coming off a minor makeover last year, the 2013 Honda Insight continues to be a lackluster choice for a hybrid, despite its low, sub-$20,000 MSRP. A growing number of new gasoline- and diesel-powered compacts that are nearly as fuel-efficient add to the challenge it faces.

The Insight does have a couple things going for it. For one, its petite size and somewhat firm suspension tuning make it relatively fun to drive for a fuel-economy-oriented hybrid. It also remains one of the most fuel-efficient cars you'll find in America, with an EPA-estimated 42 mpg combined, since this is one of the few hybrids that gets great highway mpg as well as great city mpg. If a low entry price and high mpg are your main priorities, you'll probably be satisfied with the Insight.

Unfortunately for Honda, there are better choices out there with those same qualities. The most obvious is the Toyota Prius C. It is very similar to the Insight in terms of concept and price, yet has more available features and gets notably better fuel economy (50 mpg combined). You'll also get better fuel economy from the Honda Civic Hybrid, a more expensive but much nicer car overall. Non-hybrids like the Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Golf TDI, which are EPA-rated at 40 mpg or better on the highway, are also worth considering. Overall, we think most people will be happier with one of the aforementioned choices.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2013 Honda Insight is a four-door hatchback that's offered in three trim levels: base, LX and EX.

Standard equipment on the base Insight includes 15-inch steel wheels, automatic climate control, full power accessories, driver-seat height adjustment, 60/40-split-folding rear seats, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a trip computer and a two-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio input jack.

The midrange LX adds cruise control, a front center armrest and storage bin and an upgraded sound system with four speakers and an iPod/USB audio interface.

The EX comes with 15-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, heated mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth phone connectivity and a six-speaker sound system. The EX can also be equipped with a touchscreen navigation system that includes voice controls, a digital audio card reader and a rearview camera.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2013 Honda Insight is propelled by a hybrid system comprising a 1.3-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine paired with an electric motor and a nickel-metal hydride battery pack. The gas engine is good for 88 horsepower and 88 pound-feet of torque, while the electric motor contributes 13 hp and 58 lb-ft. Due to varying power peaks, the maximum combined output is 98 hp and 123 lb-ft of torque. Power flows to the front wheels through a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).

In Edmunds testing, the Insight accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 10.8 seconds, identical to the Prius C. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 41 mpg city/44 mpg highway and 42 mpg combined.

Safety

The 2013 Honda Insight comes standard with antilock brakes (front disc, rear drum), stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and active front head restraints.

In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests, the Insight received the best possible rating of "Good" in frontal offset, side crash and roof strength tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Honda Insight's passenger cabin is a little on the spartan side, especially in base models that lack the center console and have just a single pair of speakers for the stereo. On a positive note, gauges and controls are well-placed and intuitive. Especially noteworthy are the graphic displays that coach you on driving in the most fuel-efficient manner possible, with changing background color of the speedometer.

While the Insight's front buckets are comfortable enough, the rear seat is a little short of both head- and legroom. Interior cargo space -- 15.9 cubic feet behind the 60/40-split rear seats and 31.5 cubic feet with those seatbacks folded down -- is about as expected, though you'll find more from other hatchbacks.

Driving Impressions

On the road, the 2013 Honda Insight drives less like a hybrid and more like a familiar gasoline-only-powered model. This is due in large part to the fact that the four-cylinder engine is always used to propel the vehicle, with the electric motor kicking in when more power is needed. This is in contrast to hybrid powertrains like that in the Toyota Prius that can propel the car at low speeds via the electric power plant. This is why the Insight gives you both good city and highway mpg, while other hybrids deliver only good highway mpg.

The Insight's well-calibrated steering and firmer suspension make it more enjoyable to drive than the Prius C, though not as much as non-hybrid competitors like the Ford Fiesta and Mazda 2. The downsides here include a ride that may be a little too firm for some people's tastes and a cabin that is somewhat noisy.

Talk About The 2013 Insight

 
 

† The True Market Value® (TMV®) price is Edmunds’ estimate of this type of vehicle’s current average selling price in your area – that is, what others are paying. This TMV® price is based on information concerning this vehicle provided by the dealer, and the accuracy of this price is dependent on the accuracy and completeness of that information.