2013 Honda Insight Review
2013 Honda Insight Review
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Used Insight for sale
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Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- Thrifty fuel economy
- low price for a hybrid.
- Unsophisticated ride
- cramped backseat
- air-conditioning shuts off with auto-off engine at traffic lights.
After numerous updates last year, the 2013 Honda Insight returns unchanged.
While fuel-efficient and reliable, the 2013 Honda Insight doesn't quite measure up to its archrival, the Toyota Prius.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2013 Honda Insight EX 4dr Hatchback (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.43 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
Avg. Compact Car
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.
Performance & mpg
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.
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.
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.
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.
2013 Honda Insight models
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.
2022 Honda Insight
EX and Touring
See All Trims
MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, $995 destination charge and accessories. Dealer prices may vary. MSRP does not include $395 charge for select premium colors. $395 charge applies to 2021 and newer models.
3.9 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
4.5 out of 5 stars
2012 Insight EX with Navi
2012 Honda Insight EX 4dr Hatchback w/Navigation (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
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).
4.63 out of 5 stars
Honda's Gift to the World
2012 Honda Insight EX PZEV 4dr Hatchback (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
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.
4.88 out of 5 stars
Honda Insight, the unknown deal
2013 Honda Insight LX 4dr Hatchback (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
I compared several vehicles that met my requirements in a new vehicle and the Insight showed up. I had never heard of one before. Perhaps it is so unknown because Honda does not promote it. Few people are familiar with it but it meets my needs perfectly. I do not think most of the criticisms of it are fair. It is not noisy. It is comfortable. It runs smoothly and the gas mileage is … terrific. The AC does turn off when the engine stops at lights, etc. but that is overcome by moving the car into Park which I do in our recent 100 degree weather. It is fun to drive. I am not a car nut. I expect my vehicles to get me where I am going as cheaply as possible. The Honda Insight LX does that.
4.5 out of 5 stars
Excellent Value and Fun to Drive
2012 Honda Insight EX 4dr Hatchback (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
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.
We have a limited number of reviews for the 2013 Honda Insight, so we've included reviews for other years of the Insight since its last redesign.
Features & Specs
- Base MSRP
- MPG & Fuel
- 41 City / 44 Hwy / 42 Combined
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 10.6 gal. capacity
- 5 seats
- Type: front wheel drive
- Transmission: Continuously variable-speed automatic
- Inline 4 cylinder
- Horsepower: 98 hp @ 5800 rpm
- Torque: 123 lb-ft @ 1000 rpm
- Basic Warranty
- 3 yr./ 36000 mi.
- Length: 172.3 in. / Height: 56.2 in.
- Overall Width without Mirrors: 66.7 in.
- Curb Weight: 2747 lbs.
- Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 15.9 cu.ft.
NHTSA Overall Rating
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverallNot RatedDriverNot RatedPassengerNot Rated
- Side Crash RatingOverallNot Rated
- Side Barrier RatingOverallNot RatedDriverNot RatedPassengerNot Rated
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront SeatNot RatedBack SeatNot Rated
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover11.3%
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Side Impact TestGood
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood
- IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front TestGood
More about the 2013 Honda Insight
Used 2013 Honda Insight Overview
The Used 2013 Honda Insight is offered in the following submodels: Insight Hatchback. Available styles include EX 4dr Hatchback (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), LX 4dr Hatchback (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), EX 4dr Hatchback w/Navigation (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), 4dr Hatchback (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), LX PZEV 4dr Hatchback (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), EX PZEV 4dr Hatchback (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), PZEV 4dr Hatchback (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), and EX PZEV 4dr Hatchback w/Navigation (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT). Pre-owned Honda Insight models are available with a 1.3 L-liter hybrid engine, with output up to 98 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2013 Honda Insight comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: continuously variable-speed automatic.
What's a good price on a Used 2013 Honda Insight?
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Should I lease or buy a 2013 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.