List price
2011 Honda Insight

Pros & Cons

  • Thrifty fuel economy
  • cheap-for-a-hybrid price tag.
  • Excessive road noise
  • unsophisticated ride
  • cramped backseat
  • air-conditioning shuts off with auto-off engine at traffic lights.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

While fuel-efficient and reliable, the 2011 Honda Insight doesn't measure up to its archrival, the Toyota Prius.

Vehicle overview

When it debuted last year, the Honda Insight took on the Toyota Prius. It, too, was a hybrid, looked the way Americans think hybrids should look and got better fuel economy than anything else on the road. On top of this, the Insight promised a cheaper price and a driving experience that didn't isolate one to the point of falling asleep. The formula seemed like a winner. But one year of lackluster consumer interest and a 20,000-mile Edmunds long-term test have us thinking of the Insight as an incomplete copycat, not a challenger.

In terms of fuel economy, the 2011 Honda Insight is certainly no laggard, since its EPA-rated 41 mpg on the city cycle is pretty darned thrifty. At the same time, the Insight's hybrid system is a so-called "mild hybrid," which means it can't propel the car on electricity alone. This makes it less complex and expensive, but it also means the Insight's low-speed, urban driving isn't quite as fuel efficient as full hybrids like the 2011 Toyota Prius. This is a big deal to hybrid owners, who love the sensation of all-electric motoring. It also means that the air-conditioner shuts off along with the engine when the car comes to a stop. (Be warned, desert dwellers: You'll be choosing between fuel economy and sweating.)

Next comes the driving experience. It's true that the Insight is more engaging to drive than a Prius, but the downside is a relatively unsophisticated ride. The amount of road noise entering the cabin is substantial, even at the Insight's modest price. By comparison, the Prius feels like a step above in terms of ride comfort and refinement. The Insight's backseat also lacks adult-rated headroom, which compromises its utility as an all-around vehicle.

Certainly, there are some upsides to the 2011 Honda Insight. During our one-year 20,000-mile test, it was absolutely bulletproof in terms of reliability, and the fit and finish was impressive. The Insight is also cheaper than the Prius, with a new base trim level for 2011 that cuts the cost even further. Given this, the Insight could be a good choice if you're mainly looking for a basic set of wheels that gets great fuel economy. But for most shoppers we recommend the Prius, as its higher cost is more than offset by a more refined experience.

2011 Honda Insight models

The 2011 Honda Insight is available in three trim levels: base, LX and EX.

Standard equipment includes 15-inch steel wheels, keyless entry, full power accessories, automatic climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, driver seat height adjustment, a trip computer and a two-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack.

The LX adds cruise control, a front center armrest and storage bin, floor mats, four speakers for the sound system and an iPod/USB audio interface. The EX adds 15-inch alloy wheels, heated mirrors, steering wheel shift paddles, steering wheel audio controls, vanity mirrors and six speakers. The EX can also be equipped with a navigation system, which includes a touchscreen interface, voice controls, Bluetooth and a digital audio card reader.

2011 Highlights

There is a new base model for the 2011 Honda Insight, which drops the base price along with several features. The previous LX base model lives on as a midgrade trim and gains standard cruise control, a center armrest storage console and an iPod/USB audio interface. All Insights now come standard with stability control.

Performance & mpg

The 2011 Honda Insight's hybrid system consists of a 1.3-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and an electric motor paired with a nickel-metal hydride battery pack. The gas engine is good for 88 horsepower and 88 pound-feet of torque, while the electric motor chips in 13 hp and 58 lb-ft. Due to varying power peaks, the maximum combined output is 98 hp and 123 lb-ft of torque.

At our test track, the Insight accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 10.9 seconds -- a few tenths slower than the Prius, but a substantial 2.6 seconds quicker than the glacial Civic Hybrid. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 40 mpg city/43 mpg highway and 41 mpg combined.


Every 2011 Honda Insight comes standard with stability and traction control, antilock brakes (front disc, rear drum), brake assist, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. In Edmunds brake testing, the Insight came to a stop from 60 mph in 125 feet -- a good distance for a compact hybrid.

The Insight has not been rated using the government's new, more strenuous 2011 crash-testing procedures. Its 2010 ratings (which aren't comparable to 2011 tests) were a perfect five stars for the driver in head-on collisions and four stars for the front passenger. In side-impact tests, the Insight received five stars for the driver and four stars for rear passengers. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests, the Insight received the best possible rating of "Good" in frontal-offset and side crash tests.


As a hybrid, the 2011 Honda Insight delivers on the promise of miserly fuel economy. There is no transition between electric and gasoline modes since the Insight's engine is assisted by its electric motor rather than working in tandem with it. This makes it seem like a more normal car when driving than the Prius, and some folks might like that.

Thanks to responsive steering and relatively sporty suspension tuning, the Honda Insight is more fun and responsive to drive that a Prius. But the overall experience is still noticeably less engaging than what you'll get out of other fuel-efficient cars like the Ford Fiesta, Honda CR-Z or Mini Cooper. The ride also leaves much to be desired, as you feel even minuscule bumps, and the suspension noticeably registers pavement imperfections. There's a lot of wind noise at highway speeds as well.


The Insight's cabin has interesting architecture, but it is utilitarian in spirit very much in the characteristic fashion of Honda as a whole. This is particularly noticeable in the base model, which lacks a front armrest and has just two speakers for the stereo. Regardless of trim level, the Insight lacks rear seat headroom; it's tight even for those of average height.

On the positive side, the Insight's controls are quite simple to use and the standard automatic climate control is a nice touch. Also, the Insight has a couple neat visual aids (the changing background color of the speedometer and little cartoon trees in the trip computer that grow or wilt as your long-term fuel economy improves or declines) to help the driver optimize the efficiency of his or her driving style.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2011 Honda Insight.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Honda Insight Base
Fun car for the money, yeah you won't win any races with it but that is not what it was designed for. If you are looking for a car that is reasonably fun to drive and great on gas if you drive it right check out the Insight. You can do better on mileage with the Prius but you will also pay more for it and in my opinion the Honda drives and handles much better. Try them both and decide for yourself. Excellent value for a hybrid! Loving it so far!
Money saver
We've had our insight for 10 months now and have been completely satisfied with the car. We normally achieve 43-46 mpg CITY ! At 75 on an interstate it drops to 40 MPG but I usually get 50-53 on a 55 mph highway. Some routes to work net me 53 mpg city. We replaced a 4.2 litre Ford Freestar which gave 17-19 mpg city and are saving the entire car payment in cost savings. Free Car!! Ride is a little rough and firm as new cars go(typical for Honda). Interior on LX is a little too plastic. Blind spots are awful in traffic.
17K Miles later...
So far I couldn't ask for much more from the car, I bought the car specificlly for my job as I drive large stretches of the country. My latest trip took me from Los Angeles to Denver; then Denver to Seattle; then Seattle back to Los Angeles. I have had no problems with the car and average the EPA estimate for driving. (42 mpg) The only thing that dissappoints me is the rear seat area, a six foot man cannot fit even with a 5 foot driver in the front seat. Headroom is almost ridiculous to the point where Honda should have just made an inch or two higher for the rear seats even if that cost the vehicle 2 mpg's overall! The leg room is very tight in the rear. Don't buy if family is large.
Great car
I've had my Insight for a week now and I'm very pleased. Very comfortable, I don't notice much road noise as mentioned in the Edmund review. Although it's a very small car it has a excellent ride and feel of a much larger car. I'm getting 45 mpg with air on all the time. I love it's looks and feel. After researching every car out there I feel I made an excellent decision.

Features & Specs

40 city / 43 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
98 hp @ 5800 rpm
40 city / 43 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
98 hp @ 5800 rpm
40 city / 43 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
98 hp @ 5800 rpm
40 city / 43 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
98 hp @ 5800 rpm
See all Used 2011 Honda Insight Hatchback features & specs
More about the 2011 Honda Insight
Used 2011 Honda Insight Hatchback Overview

The Used 2011 Honda Insight Hatchback is offered in the following styles: LX 4dr Hatchback (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), EX 4dr Hatchback (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), 4dr Hatchback (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), and EX 4dr Hatchback w/Navigation (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT).

What's a good price on a Used 2011 Honda Insight Hatchback?

Price comparisons for Used 2011 Honda Insight Hatchback trim styles:

  • The Used 2011 Honda Insight Hatchback EX is priced between $5,495 and$5,495 with odometer readings between 135636 and135636 miles.

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Which used 2011 Honda Insight Hatchbacks are available in my area?

Used 2011 Honda Insight Hatchback Listings and Inventory

There are currently 1 used and CPO 2011 Honda Insight Hatchbacks listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $5,495 and mileage as low as 135636 miles. Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a prew-owned vehicle from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a used or CPO vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2011 Honda Insight Hatchback.

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2011 Honda Insight Hatchback for sale near you.

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Should I lease or buy a 2011 Honda Insight?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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