2014 Honda Insight Review
2014 Honda Insight Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- Thrifty fuel economy
- low price for a hybrid
- relatively good handling dynamics.
- Unsophisticated ride
- cramped backseat
- air-conditioning shuts off along with the auto-off engine.
For 2014, the Honda Insight sees no changes.
Although very fuel-efficient and affordable, the 2014 Honda Insight still doesn't measure up to its Toyota Prius C archrival in key areas like mpg, passenger room and available features.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2014 Honda Insight 4dr Hatchback (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric mild 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 $3.12 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$95/mo for Insight Base
Avg. Compact Car
Upon initial inspection, the 2014 Honda Insight looks like a solid choice for an economical car. With a starting MSRP under $20,000 when new, a hybrid powertrain and a Honda nameplate, the Insight has plenty of advertisement appeal. But do some deeper research and you'll likely find that this four-door hybrid hatchback isn't quite so compelling.
It's true that the Insight is one of the most fuel-efficient cars you can buy, with an EPA-estimated 42 mpg in combined driving. But the Insight is actually a mild hybrid, meaning it's one that cannot propel itself solely with electric power. The upshot is that it's not as stingy with fuel as a full hybrid, which can move without using the gasoline engine in slow stop-and-go traffic. Also problematic is the Insight's rather confining rear seat, which simply isn't adult-friendly. Further, we don't care for the car's stiff-legged ride quality over broken pavement.
The 2014 Honda Insight's most direct competitor, the 2014 Toyota Prius C, is similar in size, concept and price, yet it offers a wider range of equipment and even better fuel economy (50 mpg combined) thanks to its full hybrid design. You might also consider a non-hybrid that rides better and is better equipped, like the 2014 Ford Fiesta or the 2014 Volkswagen Golf TDI -- both of which have EPA combined mpg ratings in the 30s and are capable of 40 mpg or better on the highway. If a low entry price and high mpg are your main priorities, and you happened to only visit a Honda showroom, then you'd probably be pretty happy with the 2014 Insight. However, savvy consumers will find that other small cars offer all of the Honda's best qualities, but with fewer drawbacks.
Performance & mpg
The 2014 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 maximum combined output is 98 horsepower and 123 pound-feet of torque. Power flows to the front wheels through a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that basically functions like a regular automatic. An automatic stop-start system shuts down the gasoline engine when you're stopped in traffic to save fuel.
In Edmunds testing, the Insight accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 10.8 seconds, identical to the Prius C but slower than a Golf TDI. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 42 mpg combined (41 city/44 highway).
The 2014 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. A rearview camera is available on the EX via the optional navigation system.
In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, the Insight received the best possible rating of "Good" in moderate-overlap frontal offset, side-impact and roof strength tests. Its seat/head restraint design was rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts.
On the road, the 2014 Honda Insight drives less like a hybrid and more like a familiar gasoline-only-powered model. This is due to the reality that the car's four-cylinder engine is always propelling the vehicle -- the electric motor kicks in only when more power is needed. Contrast this to full hybrid powertrains (as in the Toyota Prius C), which can propel the car at low speeds via the battery-powered electric motor.
One minor annoyance is that the Insight's air-conditioning compressor shuts off along with the gasoline engine when you come to a red light or stop sign. Although the A/C resumes operation (along with the engine) when you start moving again, you might not appreciate this efficiency measure on hot days.
Thanks to the Insight's well-calibrated steering and firm suspension, it's a bit more enjoyable to drive than the Prius C, though you'd still have more fun in a Fiesta or Golf. In addition, the Honda's ride may be a little too firm for your taste, while the cabin is noisier than we'd like at highway speeds.
Inside, the Honda Insight offers fairly basic accommodations, especially in base models, which lack a 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 -- the background color of the digital speedometer changes depending on how frugally you drive.
While the Insight's front seats are comfortable enough, the rear seat is short on both head- and legroom. Interior cargo space (15.9 cubic feet behind the 60/40-split rear seats or 31.5 cubic feet with those seatbacks folded down) is adequate, though you'll find more in other hatchbacks.
2014 Honda Insight models
The 2014 Honda Insight is a four-door hatchback that seats five. It'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.
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.
4.5 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.
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.
We have a limited number of reviews for the 2014 Honda Insight, so we've included reviews for other years of the Insight since its last redesign.
2014 Insight Highlights
|Engine Type||Mild hybrid|
|Combined MPG||41 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$95/month|
|Cargo Capacity |
All Seats In Place
|Drivetrain||front wheel drive|
|Warranty||3 years / 36,000 miles|
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.
- Small Overlap Front Driver-Side TestNot Tested
- Small Overlap Front Passenger-Side TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – OriginalGood
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Side Impact Test – OriginalGood
- Side Impact Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood