2019 Honda Insight Touring new car reviews

Honda’s pitch for their new Insight hybrid is rather simple: It’s not meh.

The Insight nameplate has been with us for nearly 20 years. Originally it was attached to a three-door, two-passenger hybrid that could be ordered with a real stick shift. It was fun and torquey. It wasn’t meh at all.

The second-generation 2009-’14 Insight was a more traditional five-door sedan. And the name returns for 2019 on a car that’s more or less a hybrid Civic.

We tested the top-of-the-line Insight Touring. It retails for $28,090 and features a combined EPA fuel economy rating of 48 mpg.

Other staff views

Marjorie Suddard Marjorie Suddard
General Manager

Smuggers searching for a more obviously hybridized vehicle should bypass the Honda Insight, because its mainstream Honda styling and lack of garish decals lets it slip by unnoticed as it cruises smoothly and quietly to nearly 50 mpg.

My only complaint is that the gas engine seems rough and harsh when it kicks on, but perhaps that’s only because the electric power is so quietly powerful.

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Robbie
Robbie PowerDork
8/28/18 2:15 p.m.

"clicks on name 'touring' expecting a wagon; leaves disappointed"

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
8/28/18 2:18 p.m.

I didn't even know a 2nd generation 09-14 Insight even existed. Must have been Meh indeed to not ever even notice one here in commuter-ville.

 

Edit: upon looking it up, I guess I have seen them but never cared enough to even realize what they actually were. 1st gen Insight is totally distinctive and I always notice them. The 2nd gen just looks like a Prius without all the goofy styling cues.

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
8/28/18 2:20 p.m.

This new one looks fine. I actually makes me happy that it looks like any other car. I hate the "our hybrid has to look weird so everyone knows you're not driving a dirty normal car" thing. 

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
8/28/18 7:26 p.m.

So the internet tells me the base Insight is $23k. That seems like a bargain if you're into that whole gas saving thing. I think the Clarity plug in is cooler, but it's also $10k more. 

Matthew Kennedy
Matthew Kennedy Reader
8/28/18 8:33 p.m.

Will a Subaru flat six fit in the back of this one? If not, I'm not interested.

Nitroracer
Nitroracer UltraDork
8/28/18 8:33 p.m.

I've already seen two of these on my daily commute and they look good in person.  Its the right mix of Accord and Civic styling rolled into one.

rob_lewis
rob_lewis UltraDork
8/28/18 9:09 p.m.

I like it, which I'm afraid is why it won't do well for Honda.  If I was shopping a daily driver, this would be a the top of my list because it doesn't "look" like a hybrid.  Agreeing with Margie on this one that the styling is nice and simple without the hybrid "smugness". 

clutchsmoke
clutchsmoke SuperDork
8/28/18 11:02 p.m.

Wow. They nailed the rear end styling. Much better looking than the accord. 

Vigo
Vigo UltimaDork
8/28/18 11:13 p.m.

I didn't even know a 2nd generation 09-14 Insight even existed. Must have been Meh indeed to not ever even notice one here in commuter-ville.

Yeah, I've driven them and they're boring. Pretty much not better than a Prius in any way other than feeling Honda-ish if you're into that. I spent a couple years before the 2g insight planning to buy a Fit Hybrid when it 'finally got here'. It never did, and we got that Insight instead.  

Unlike the last Insight, this one is actually different enough from a Prius that it won't draw all those direct comparisons that the Prius would win anyway. This thing is fairly pretty and much faster than a Prius while being fairly 'stealth' about its hybridness. I think a lot of people who wouldn't like other hybrids will like this one. 

pinchvalve
pinchvalve MegaDork
8/29/18 10:38 a.m.

I think this will pull sales from the Civic and the Accord.  If I was forced to buy a Civic that was not a Sport, Si or Type-R, I would skip straight to this.  No weird looks, same great Honda controls and ride, and close to 50 mpg.  Wish it had the hatch though, or a mini A7 hatch. 

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