- $22,930 - $28,340
Our favorite among fuel-sippers, the Insight is a hybrid for people who want stellar fuel economy but don't necessarily want to broadcast their green credentials. It is roomy, quick among compact hybrids, and has refreshingly well-proportioned styling and a clean, function-driven cabin.
- $25,320 - $34,990
The Honda Accord Hybrid is a great choice for a hybrid sedan. It boasts sleek styling, generous interior space and plenty of safety features. Factor in great fuel economy and pleasing performance and you have a family sedan that does just about everything well.
- $36,850 - $43,150
Most of today's big sedans offer roomy interiors, plenty of standard features and large trunks. But no rival can match the fuel economy of the Toyota Avalon Hybrid, which sips gas like a compact car but still has ample power on tap.
- $33,520 - $38,120
If you're looking for a plug-in hybrid with extraordinary electric range, the Chevrolet Volt should be at the top of your list. It's capable of going more than 50 miles on a charge before it switches to using gas. A sleek design and the latest tech features round out the Volt's appeal.
- $39,995 - $45,545
The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid provides rare fuel-sipping transportation for seven. You give up something in the process, though — namely, Chrysler's cool second-row Stow 'n Go seats. But there's no other three-row EV or hybrid that can transport so many people in such comfort.
The surprisingly quick Mini Countryman S E plug-in hybrid delivers a shot of excitement to a class that's not exactly known for it. This Mini uses its plug-in hybrid system as more of a performance enhancer than a range-extender; indeed, real-world range (electric plus gas) is rather paltry at around 240 miles, and you'll struggle to get 12 miles out of EV mode.
Luxury hybrids offer impressive fuel economy, of course, but healthy power from their electric motors can also make them quicker than their gas-powered counterparts. Expect all the luxury trappings, along with better mileage and maybe even more oomph.
Redesigned in 2019
Redesigned in 2014
Redesigned in 2013
Luxury plug-in hybrid cars
Luxury PHEVs generally aren't focused on maximizing electric range and fuel economy like their mainstream counterparts, instead prioritizing refinement, comfort and, in some cases, lots of extra torque from their electric motors.
Not enough vehicles yet to rank
Redesigned in 2016
Luxury plug-in hybrid SUVs
Luxury PHEV SUVs offer improved fuel efficiency and limited all-electric range in refined packages. These premium vehicles don't sacrifice comfort or acceleration to earn their green cred.
Not enough vehicles yet to rank
Redesigned in 2018
Redesigned in 2014
Edmunds' experts test 200 vehicles per year on our test track. We also test them using a 115-mile real-world test loop of city streets, freeways and winding canyons. The data we gather results in our ratings. They’re based on 30-plus scores that cover performance, comfort, interior, technology, utility and value.
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Video reviews2019 Toyota Prius vs. 2019 Honda Insight - Hybrid Comparison Battle
2019 Toyota Prius vs. 2019 Honda Insight - Hybrid Comparison Battle
ELANA SCHERR: The epic battles of automotive history-- Corvette vs. 911, F-150 vs. Silverado, 3-Series vs. C-class, Camaro vs. Mustang. DAN EDMUNDS: And don't forget-- Honda Insight vs. Toyota Prius. [MUSIC PLAYING] ELANA SCHERR: These high mileage hybrids represent another iconic car pairing. DAN EDMUNDS: That's right. These are the longest-running names in the hybrid business because they're the ones that started it all. ELANA SCHERR: Today, we're going to figure out which of these two is right for you. DAN EDMUNDS: But before we get into that, remember to use Edmunds next time you're ready to buy a car, truck, or hybrid vehicle. And click Subscribe if you want to see more videos like this one. ELANA SCHERR: Also follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. [MUSIC PLAYING] With EVs, plug-in hybrids, and standard hybrids on the market, it can get confusing knowing which car falls into which category. The Prius and the Insight we have here are standard hybrids-- no range anxiety or need for a home charger. These guys charge their own batteries. DAN EDMUNDS: And they can do that because they have electric motors paired with their gasoline engines. Those motors don't just move the car forward, they also generate electricity and slow the car each time you hit the brakes. And that's why hybrids get such great fuel economy. In fact, most deliver higher city mileage than highway mileage. So the Prius is actually a really nice place to sit if you're the driver. That didn't used to be the case-- at least for me. But this new generation that's been around the last couple of years, they lowered the seat, they made it height adjustable, and they improved the reach of the steering wheel. So it's a more normal driving position. I don't feel like I'm in a bus. Car's a little bit narrower than I might like, but certainly my headroom and leg room-- plenty of that. After that, the weirdness of the Prius starts to become apparent. For one, I've never been a fan of the centrally-mounted instruments. The other thing that always bugs me is this shifter here. It's so bad that they have to put a beeper in it in case you put it in reverse inadvertently. You couldn't tell otherwise. It's also got a park button and a park brake, which always gets people confused. But other than that, the climate control system is really easy to use. These are nice, big cup holders-- seat heaters are here. The stereo in this Prius doesn't have Apple CarPlay, but that's going to change in 2020. But you will lose the CD player, which is here now, and it won't be next year. Well, that's about it for the front. Elana, how are you doing in back? ELANA SCHERR: Actually, it's great back here. I mean, you're a tall dude, and I got plenty of space, lots of headroom, two USB ports, and cup holders. DAN EDMUNDS: Nice. Well, why don't you hop in the front and let's go for a drive? ELANA SCHERR: Do they have cup holders up there? DAN EDMUNDS: Oh yeah. ELANA SCHERR: I feel like the Prius is a really good example of a car where if you haven't been in one in a few years, your idea of what it's like to drive one is just totally wrong now. DAN EDMUNDS: Oh, absolutely. A couple of years ago, they redesigned the car completely, made it look a little bit more like a Dart. And in the process of doing that, they really improved it in a lot of ways, actually. Driving position here where I am is much better. And then the ride is also more refined and smoother because they've replaced the old twist beam suspension with a multi-leg setup. And that just makes the ride that much more pleasant. It also improves the handling, the steering is good. The main dynamic problem I have with it is the way the brakes feel. ELANA SCHERR: They feel very soft. It's not that they don't stop the car-- they will stop the car fine. But they feel-- what's the opposite of confident? Insecure. They have insecure feeling brakes. DAN EDMUNDS: What's going on is this kind of a brake by wire system. So when you press the pedal, you're really telling the computer you want to slow down. And it's looking at how hard and how far you press the pedal and kind of determining how much stopping power to give you. And then it decides well, I'll use the magnetism of the electric motor or I'll use the friction brakes or maybe both together. And so as a result, you're not really pushing on a master cylinder like you are in every other car. Now, all electrified cars-- electric cars, hybrids, plug-in hybrids-- they all have brakes like this. But for some reason, the Prius has just never gotten any better from what they landed with about 20 years ago when the car came out. And the biggest thing for me is when you back out of a parking space, because you're trying to just kind of lightly dab the brakes and they're a little too grabby at that point. And it just doesn't feel right. ELANA SCHERR: Yeah, it would be hard to stage this car for a dragster. Speaking of dragsters, my feelings about the Prius are always like, oh my god, it's the slowest car you can buy. And that is not true anymore. DAN EDMUNDS: No. It's no problem when you want to merge onto a freeway or past somebody. I mean, it's not a speed demon, but it certainly has enough power to get out of its own way. ELANA SCHERR: Well, and then we took these cars all the way up in the mountains because we wanted to be surrounded by trees because we're eco conscious. We're saving gas. We're saving the environment. DAN EDMUNDS: And we like trees. ELANA SCHERR: And we like trees. And we had some serious hills to get up here, and the Prius seemed like it had no problem doing that. DAN EDMUNDS: Right. And in the past, a Prius might have made a lot of noise as the continuously variable transmission spun up the engine. But now they've got more sound insulation, and it's not nearly as noticeable as it has been in the past. On coarse roads like this one, you'll hear a little bit of road noise because these are low-rolling resistance tires and they're kind of skinny. And there's just only so much they can get a tire to do when they're trying to maximize them for fuel economy. ELANA SCHERR: Something that we're seeing in pretty much all new cars is all these different changeable modes, right? Because you're no longer stuck just with however the car was designed originally, because there's computers controlling everything. So when you're in a performance car, a lot of times they have modes like comfortable driving, semi-sporty driving, and then hardcore track driving. When you're in EVs and hybrid, it's almost the opposite. The different modes are not to be more power usually, they're sort of more efficient. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, exactly. In this car, you've got the normal mode, which is just fine. You can get the rated fuel economy. In fact, we've had 48 miles per gallon on the way here without really trying very hard. But there is an eco button, and it really just kind of helps by making the throttle a little deader-- in case you're a lead foot, maybe it helps you out-- ELANA SCHERR: Was that directed at me? DAN EDMUNDS: If you can't help yourself. ELANA SCHERR: Was that, like, very pointedly directed at me? DAN EDMUNDS: I didn't say-- ELANA SCHERR: You looked at me. DAN EDMUNDS: I said you in a kind of a more general sense. It wasn't you. ELANA SCHERR: Yeah, it was me. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah. Anyhow, that also turned down the air conditioner a little bit. And on the other end of it, there is a power mode which will use more fuel but will help make it a little bit more responsive. But really, this car is just fine in normal mode. You really don't get a lot for either of those other two modes. Now, there is another mode, an EV button is here. And if you're going slow enough, you can cruise along a little ways in electric mode. But it isn't really anything you can do for any distance. ELANA SCHERR: Is that mostly for light coming quietly into a neighborhood or tooling around a parking lot? Or is it kind of just a for show thing? DAN EDMUNDS: It's one of those things where it feels like something you can amaze your friends with, but it's not enough to actually go anywhere in that mode. And if you get on the throttle at all and ask the car to accelerate even a little bit, it pops out of that mode right away. ELANA SCHERR: This is a really pretty road, and it's also a very curvy road. DAN EDMUNDS: Yes. ELANA SCHERR: So you're behind the wheel right now, what do you feel? DAN EDMUNDS: The steering feels pretty good. It weights up in corners. The car follows the line I want it to go on. There's no surprises there. It doesn't feel like it's going to be affected by bumps that I might hit in the middle of the corners. And that's partially helped by the rear suspension, which is a lot more compliant than it has been in the past. It's just really easy to drive on this road and actually a little bit of fun. ELANA SCHERR: Yeah, I was surprised because the design of the car, it looks kind of top heavy. But of course, it isn't. DAN EDMUNDS: Right. Well, one of the benefits of the lower seating position is you don't move as much when the car rolls in corners. And the car doesn't roll as much in corners because the center of gravity isn't as high. ELANA SCHERR: They put better tires on them now too, right? The very early ones had these kind of very hard, super low-friction tires. I felt like they didn't have a great grip. DAN EDMUNDS: Well, these are still low-rolling resistance tires, but the technology that goes into low rolling resistance tires has been improving for 20, 25 years. And so the tires that we have today can provide more grip. ELANA SCHERR: Dan, I think you and I have the same major complaint about the Prius. All right, say it on three-- ready-- one, two, three-- DAN EDMUNDS: The shifter. ELANA SCHERR: The center console-- oh. DAN EDMUNDS: What? No actually, I agree with you. ELANA SCHERR: I agree with you. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, they're both a little bit weird. I mean, the shifter in the Prius started out weird when they first introduced the car. It's so weird that they have to have a beeper inside the car when you're in reverse to let you know that you are in reverse because if you look at the lever, you won't be able to tell. Woo, corners. The center display is, well, it's in the center. And it's just not where I want to look. I want to look straight ahead at the road. Right here inside the steering wheel's where I expect the instruments to be. And they're just not there. ELANA SCHERR: Well, OK, to be totally fair, people like a little quirk in a car. DAN EDMUNDS: Well, that's true. ELANA SCHERR: I could get used to the information being in the center console. Even the Mercedes A-class and stuff is starting to have these big, long displays that go all the way across the dash. So obviously we as humans can get used to that. But they didn't do anything with the blank space behind the steering wheel. It's just this sad, blank piece of plastic. It just seems like such a design fail to me. DAN EDMUNDS: If I have to give it one positive point, it's because if your eyes don't focus as well as they used to, it's further away than it would be if it was right here. And that makes it easier to keep in focus. So I can just see it. ELANA SCHERR: That's a stretch. That's a stretch, Dan. DAN EDMUNDS: Is it? ELANA SCHERR: I think that's a stretch. DAN EDMUNDS: Talk to me in 10 years-- maybe 20. ELANA SCHERR: I will say, though, that the graphics that tell you how you're doing and what's recharging what and how full your battery is are a super fun game. And I understand why so many Prius drivers are doing weird braking things and driving slow in front of you, because they're recharging their batteries and they're watching it happen in real time. And it is kind of addictive. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, the highest I've ever scored is 93 out of 100, and I don't know how to get to 100. ELANA SCHERR: I really enjoy getting into the Insight. First of all, it's a very friendly car. It makes a sweet humming sound when it's in the electric mode. And when you first get into the car when you have the key-- even before you turn it on-- it sort of plays you this little song like it's happy to see you. So I feel affectionate towards it. It doesn't hurt that it looks great too. I mean, I like it for its personality, but also it's got good looks. The materials are nice and they're interesting. Some of that is because we are in the touring tram, and so the power leather seats are something that you do pay for. But I think they're worth it. Everything is laid out nicely in the Insight. I know exactly how to work it even if I've never been in one before. It has a kind of funky push button shifter, but unlike some of the other cars with their very strange shifters, it's real obvious what you press to get what gear you need and also what gear you're in. I mean, it lights up. I do have one complaint about the shifter-- this is only going to be relevant to those of you who do this-- which is that the park button is really skinny, and I keep hitting my nail on it. And I'm kind of worried I'm going to break one. So Honda designers, hear me out. Think of the manicures. Another thing that's great about the interior is that it's all very adjustable. First of all, nice, big phone pad. You can fit a lot of different models in it. And the USB ports are right up next to where you're going to put the phone so you don't end up with a cord that's running all the way across your console. There's also a 12-volt outlet. Your different driving modes-- very clear, very obvious. There's cup holders in the console. It also slides back, and you can fit a giant Big Gulp. This armrest also slides back. So if like me you're short, you have your seat far forward, you can move the armrest far forward. And if you are Dan and you are tall, you can move the armrest back. And then you've got a console underneath. Very smart. Honda always does a good job with storage in the interior. Gauge clusters nice and clear, and you've got a nice infotainment screen. It's big, it's very clear, it has all these nice, physical buttons that run down it and a volume knob. And it works very well. But if you don't want to use it, you don't have to, because Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both supported. Because of the push button shifter, there's a lot of room up here in the front seat. But I don't know if Dan's going to say the same thing about the backseat. Dan? DAN EDMUNDS: Actually, it's pretty spacious back here. I've got plenty of leg room. It's nice and wide. My hair touches the roof just a little bit, but I'm 6 foot 2. So this is pretty decent. I could spend a lot of time back here. ELANA SCHERR: Unless you needed to charge a phone. DAN EDMUNDS: Oh right. There are no USB ports back here. This is the touring, right? ELANA SCHERR: Why don't you get in the front seat? You can charge up here. DAN EDMUNDS: OK. ELANA SCHERR: Dan, I'm hoping that this next drive gives us some insight into which one we like better. DAN EDMUNDS: I see what you did. ELANA SCHERR: I did that. DAN EDMUNDS: The Prius has certainly changed, but it's still following the same path it established when it was new. But the insight has really had a lot of twists and turns. It started out as a really weird little car that's still beloved by people who own them. And then it turned into something that tried to be a Prius. And now-- ELANA SCHERR: It looks like a regular civic. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah exactly, just with a more premium interior and a little bit less of a boy racer exterior. ELANA SCHERR: Hey, nothing against boy racers. DAN EDMUNDS: No. So how is this driving? I mean, it feels a little bit different than the Prius. ELANA SCHERR: I think the Prius feels a little bit more powerful. This engine seems to be working a little harder to make us move-- or at least it's making more noise about what it's doing. DAN EDMUNDS: It sounds like it's working harder, yeah. I don't know if it is. ELANA SCHERR: I mean, it isn't like it's not getting us up the hill. And if I'm not satisfied with it in the normal mode, I can put it in a sport mode and it does give me sort of a little more throttle response then so I don't have to floor it. DAN EDMUNDS: Right. This car feels like a real sedan. How does it drive? ELANA SCHERR: It drives like a real sedan. Actually, I think in some cases it drives better than what you'd expect from a real sedan, because it's kind of got that nice, low center of gravity. And you do feel that when you're going around corners because it doesn't feel tippy. I mean, the whole car is a little bit longer and wider than it used to be. And it's longer and wider than the Prius. DAN EDMUNDS: I mean, this looks and feels like a premium Civic not the kind of hybrid that the Insight used to be, which was a wannabe Prius. ELANA SCHERR: Well that's exactly what it is. It shares a lot of its underpinnings with the Civic. And it looks like a Civic. It's basically the Civic hybrid but with a fancy name. DAN EDMUNDS: What? I couldn't hear you about that engine there. ELANA SCHERR: Oh I know. How would you describe that sound? Sad cow? Haunted house? DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah there's some of that. It sounds like it's complaining, but it's doing the job. I think it's just not as much sound insulation or something. You seem to be getting around these corners really easily. I see a smile on your face. ELANA SCHERR: It's actually pretty fun. This is a beautiful road. And to be able to take a car like this up here without worrying about the range or where I'm going to plug it in to charge it is kind of the whole point of getting a hybrid. DAN EDMUNDS: Exactly. Yeah, and it's interesting how these cars have such different approaches but they end up in the same place as far as fuel economy. They're both rated at about 52 MPG combined, which is outstanding. ELANA SCHERR: Yeah it's crazy. You think about how just 20 years ago a car that was getting that much would be full-on science fiction. DAN EDMUNDS: And really dinky. ELANA SCHERR: One of the things that I really like about driving the insight is the seats are so comfortable. DAN EDMUNDS: Right? ELANA SCHERR: Oh my god. We've been on a long drive for this shoot, and I have not wanted to get out of this car. DAN EDMUNDS: Power leather-- we are on the touring, so it has some of those bells and whistles. ELANA SCHERR: Yeah, I think you give up 2 or 3 MPG to get power seats and this fancy moonroof. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah. The 52 MPG is the LX and the EX not the touring. ELANA SCHERR: But it's still very affordable, even in the touring trim. DAN EDMUNDS: Oh absolutely. I mean, yeah, you don't have to pay a lot of money to save money on gas. ELANA SCHERR: Which you used to. I mean, that is an incredible thing about the new hybrids. It used to be you were kind of doing it to make a point. You weren't really going to drive the car for as many years as you would need to make up how much more expensive it was than just getting a gasoline engine. But nowadays, they're really affordable. It's also not a forced look anymore. And that, I think, is what the Insight gives you over the Prius. You don't have to kind of join a community of hybrid people. You can just have a nice car that's a hybrid. DAN EDMUNDS: Right. The Prius is a little bit more like a tattoo in that regard. Everybody knows what you're in. ELANA SCHERR: So really when you're thinking about the two cars together, it isn't like a one is a better approach than the other, it's just that they're so different they really give you an option. DAN EDMUNDS: Right. Even though they're two different approaches, they're pretty much the same fuel economy. ELANA SCHERR: Which is interesting, because they don't drive the same. DAN EDMUNDS: Right. ELANA SCHERR: They're very different. So, Dan, which of these would you take home? DAN EDMUNDS: Oh, it's a close call. I like them both and there's things I don't like about them both-- the noise in the Insight and the brake pedal feel of the Prius, but those two things kind of cancel each other out. And in the end for me, it's the Insight, because it's the bigger, more mature car that I could see myself driving every day. ELANA SCHERR: I've got to go with you, Dan. I would also choose the Insight because I'm extremely shallow and I think it's prettier. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, it is prettier. ELANA SCHERR: But seriously, in the end, it was so close. I did not expect it to be so close, but both cars were really pretty nice to drive and they would both be extremely useful as day lays. I think that the Prius might win out in terms of being more family friendly, because it's available with all-wheel drive and that hatchback. It just has a little bit more room for everybody. But the Insight looks so much better. DAN EDMUNDS: Oh yeah. Absolutely. And that reminds me in the past cars like this, you had to give up a lot to get high fuel economy. But that's not true anymore. Each of these is a great daily driver. You can't go wrong with either one. But in the end, the Insight is higher ranked on the Edmunds rankings. It's got the number one spot. ELANA SCHERR: So get out there, save some money on gas, and figure out what you're going to spend it on. [MUSIC PLAYING]
When you think of long-standing car rivalries, you might not consider the 2019 Toyota Prius and the 2019 Honda Insight. You should. These two fuel-sipping cars were the vanguard of affordable hybrid technology in the late '90s. And today, they're still at it.