2013 Honda Insight Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com

2013 Honda Insight Hatchback

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
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
  • 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.

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.

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What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



Insightful overachiever

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Vehicle: 2013 Honda Insight EX 4dr Hatchback (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

Have had my Insight EX for 6 months now, and after ~6k miles driven I have come to love this little hybrid. I consistently get over 50 MPG driving through Los Angeles rush hour traffic (based on miles driven/gallons filled), despite an EPA estimated 42 MPG, while a cursory review of fuelly-dot-com or fueleconomy-dot-gov suggests the Prius tends to get below its EPA rating. This fact, combined with much better handling and brakes than Prius family members, makes me love it! It is a bit lacking in rear seat space, but it has plenty of room for my daily commute, and running about town with wife and son in tow (can fit stroller and week's worth of groceries with ease in the cargo bay).




My experience with both insight

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Vehicle: 2013 Honda Insight EX 4dr Hatchback (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

I bought a Prius 4 yrs ago and I like the car. With the fact that Honda is discontinuing the car, and I didn't want Toyota to earn all my money so I decided to buy a new Insight. Surprisingly my decision is well made. Like I said Prius is a good car, I can get 60 MPG if I drive it really carefully (by pissing off many other drivers). But Insight makes you forget that you are driving a hybrid and still get you pretty decent mileage. Honda is definitely more fun to drive compared to Toyota; the handling is much better. Although its not as spacious as to Prius, its not bad at all. Bottom line, both cars are good, but Insight is a car with more fun.



19 of 68 people found this review helpful

Excellent, but ...

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Vehicle: 2013 Honda Insight LX 4dr Hatchback (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

Pros: The obvious--excellent gas mileage. Test drove and got over 50 mpg consistently. The car has decent low end torque, so will pick up if you want it to. The green eco invites you to continually drive conservatively to maintain good mpg. The stereo system is fairly good quality. Hatchback opens easily. Nice storage. Has spare tire. The drive is very silky and smooth. The best CVT I've driven. The turning radius is incredible. Will turn on the dime. Handles beautifully around curves. Suspension very sturdy with bumps. Ignition is seemless and strong. Cons: The major con is the incredible uncomfortable driving seat. More below.




Better than i expect

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Vehicle: 2013 Honda Insight EX 4dr Hatchback (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

Just bought the 2013 insight ex for 19,580 before tax. Today I fill up the first tank of gas. It's 314.7 miles and 6.452 gallons of gas, average 48.78 mpg. I drive half/half city and highway. The mpg is much better than I expect. I like the insight style better than the prius both inside/outside. When I press the gas pedal, the car respond better than the prius. Plus the prius is $3500 more than the insight. I tested drive both but then chose the insight. I think I made the right choice.



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Had to have another

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Vehicle: 2013 Honda Insight EX 4dr Hatchback (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

I bought my wife a 2011 Honda Insight. As of now she has 23746 miles and has purchased 533.715 gallons of gas(yes, we record Odom-trip-# of gal-price per gal and date). Currently getting 44.49 mpg and that is actual all driving mpg! I was so impressed I traded in my Chevy HHR for my own 2012 Insight. As of now my Insight has 13818 miles on 305.667 gallons for 45.20 actual MPG and that is city and highway combined! Yes the AC turns off when I sit at a red light. I drive from the NJ suburbs to block b4 the Holland Tunnel, so my ride isn't smooth sailings! The ride in my Insight makes this commute bearable.



5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Far exceeded expectations

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Vehicle: 2013 Honda Insight EX PZEV 4dr Hatchback (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

I almost didn't buy it based on some of the professional reviews I read, but I decided to go by those written by real consumers, and I am glad I did. The car is flawless, fun to drive, and very will built. I has enough power to get up on the freeway and keeps up with traffic while getting over 45 mpg, and I drive it very hard. I have found the ride to be good, not harsh, and is similar to other small cars of similar weight. I am 6'3" and have plenty of room and comfort. It is not a Prius, and does not try to be. It is the original hybrid, predating the Prius. The unit is one of the few fully built in Japan, and the quality demonstrates that very well.



Talk About The 2013 Insight

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

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

Identifix Reliability Ratings

Rating unavailable for this vehicle

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