2019 Honda Insight Mainstreams Hybrid Drive Experience

2019 Honda Insight drives as good as it looks


Honda Motor Company launches the 3rd generation Insight and sets a new segment benchmark with a fun to drive and affordable mainstream hybrid sedan. Sized between Honda Accord and Civic, Insight may be the most advanced affordable compact 4 door sedan in North America. What’s the Insight difference? Read on.

For decades the hybrid car driving experience was one of compromise. Initially high in fuel economy, low on power and accessories, the hybrid gasoline electric car or crossover held a market niche of limited appeal — not so much today. Although relatively low in market sales volume, hybrid electric is going mainstream in the America with Honda Accord, Clarity, and now Insight gaining public acceptance.

Hybrid car mainstreaming remains challenging

Granted, Toyota, Hyundai, Ford and other major auto makers have done much to mainstream automotive electrification despite a car buying public that prefers larger crossovers and SUV s, to alternative fuel-efficient compact and midsize sedans. With plentiful relatively cheap gasoline , zero percent financing, and factory incentives pushing larger more expensive 2 and 3 row crossovers, that trend continues today.

However, Honda Motor Company now lays claim to the compact electric sedan segment with Accord and Clarity gaining market wide momentum. Although Los Angeles remains ground zero for automotive electrification, Honda looks to a broader market with the 3rd generation Insight. Built on the 10th generation Civic compact car world platform, Insight utilizes a manufactured in Japan 2 motor Accord Hybrid drive system. Co-generation is achieved Via a 1.5 Liter Atkinson Cycle normally aspirated 4 cylinder engine; resulting in superior fuel economy and measurable torque.

2019 Insight takes advantage of next generation Accord Hybrid power

As with the Accord Hybrid, torque is transferred to the pavement Via an e-drive CVT (constant variable transmission) with additional torque and battery regeneration duty delegated to a high torque output electric motor. This results in a  very impressive drive and ride experience generally associated with a much larger car. Outside of an occasional slip and slide torque transition when accelerating to passing speeds, 2019 Honda Insight is the quietest, most refined compact sedan in its class.

Back in July I penned an initial 2019 Honda Insight 4 door Touring drive review in Torque News, so I’ll save some ink and go to what I do and don’t like about the 3rd generation Insight.

It’s that very cool initial electric-only drive-off that hooked me on 2019 Honda Insight

Initially, Honda’s market strategy escaped me when Insight was introduced as a sedan only offering. After all, the #1 selling gasoline electric hybrid in the world is the Toyota Prius Hatchback. So Honda, why no Insight Hatchback offering? Our friends at Honda tell us that Insight is targeted at the  Civic buyer that loves the compact size but wants a bit more refinement and “premium.” When we assess the total drive and ride package that is Insight, for the money, no other offering in the compact sedan segment is as comfortable, tech-rich, active safety equipped, and as well standard equipped as Insight — a car that Honda proudly hails as the most sophisticated, upscale Civic ever built. And that it is.

Priced from $22,830, Toyota can’t touch this

With a abase MSRP of $22,830, consumers discover a well equipped 2019 Honda Insight equipped with Honda SENSING active safety suite standard. We’re talking about a world-class driver assist collision mitigation tech rich driving environment, that’s designed to save lives in, and outside of the car. Also, Insight is an automotive “Looker.” Carrying the design language of the reinvented Accord lineup into the compact car class, Insight looks as good as it drives. Also, the power adjusted driver’s seat is comfortable on first sitting.

Superior ride and handling: Thanks to a wider, lower and slightly wider footprint, when combined with the lower center of gravity inherent to a gasoline electric hybrid car, (battery module on board) Insight handles well through the sweeps, and features a nice Freeway float for the long haul. Claiming an EPA 51 city/45 highway,

Not a big fan of CVT

Honda engineering scores high marks for total car packaging when measuring the attributes of 2019 Insight. While I do note a cost saving measure or two on examining the rather well finished and appointed cabin, Insight passes with high marks in my initial quality review. This car looks and feels great in and out.  I’m not a big fan of the high rev torque search one encounters when fully depressing the drive-by-wire gas pedal. And, the second row seating could be a tad more comfortable. However, the dash layout, center stack, consul storage, and touchscreen color monitor is top of class. Perhaps in the near future Honda will come up with a software mapping cure for the annoying over rev.

2019 Honda Insight presents exceptional drive and ride value

Our fully loaded 2019 Insight 4-door Touring test ride comes off the lot at $28,985.00 And I do mean fully loaded. For a complete list of features, options, trim levels and pricing, click here.

I recommend a 2019 Honda Insight test drive to anyone considering the purchase of a near premium 4 door compact sedan.