2012 Honda Insight

Ever since it was introduced in 1999, the Honda Insight has been quite popular. Being a hybrid vehicle, the Insight quickly became popular among those who wanted an efficient and economical vehicle.

The 2012 Honda Insight is an affordable and fuel efficient car with very high fuel economy ratings. Like most other hybrid cars, a high fuel economy is achieved by compromising on power.

Specifications

General Info
Vehicle Type: Hybrid Hatchback Base Price: $18,500.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 10.6 gallons (40 liters) MPG: 41 city / 44 hwy
Dimensions
Length: 172.3 in. (437.6 cm) Wheel Base: 100.4 in. (255 cm)
Height: 56.2 in. (142.7 cm) Width: 66.7 in. (169.4 cm)
Curb Weight: 2747 lbs (1246 kg) Ground Clearance: NA
Luggage Capacity: 15.9 cu ft Maximum Seating: 5 people
Performance
Engine: 1.3L In-Line 4 Cylinder SOHC i-VTEC® Compression Ratio: 10.8: 1
Horsepower: 98 HP Max RPM: 5800 RPM
Torque: 123 lb-ft @ 1000-1700 rpm Transmission: CVT
Motor: DC Standard Output: 100.8 Volts
Horsepower: 13 HP @ 1500 rpm Torque: 58 lb-ft @ 1000 rpm
Available Trims & Engine
Option:Insight LX MSRP: $20,275; MPG: 41 city / 44 hwy
Option:Insight EX MSRP: $21,965; MPG: 41 city / 44 hwy
Option:Insight EX w/ Nav. MSRP: $23,690; MPG: 41 city / 44 hwy

Engine & Performance

The Honda Insight is powered by a 1.3 liter gas engine with four cylinders and an electric motor. Maximum power of 98 horsepower is produced at 5800 rpm. Unlike the Toyota Prius, the electric motor of the Insight cannot power the car to run from standstill. The Insight has a very good fuel economy of 41 mpg in cities and 44 mpg on highways.

Although the Toyota Prius and Honda Civic Hybrid have slightly better mileage than the Insight, both vehicles are much more expensive. However, the transmission is loud and the ride is not as smooth as other hybrid vehicles in the market.

The 2012 Insight is ideal for those who want better gas mileage and is willing to compromise on the ride quality. Acceleration is fairly good and the Insight uses regenerative brakes to charge the battery. Coming from the stables of Honda, the Insight has a strong suspension and firm ride.

Exteriors

The Insight resembles the Toyota Prius in many ways. Both have five doors, high tails and a vertical lift gate glass panel. Furthermore, both hatchbacks are designed to reduce wind resistance and provide maximum efficiency. However, projector beam headlights are unique to the Insight.

The Eco Assist system is the hallmark of this vehicle. It indicates the fuel efficiency of the vehicle. While the front seats are comfortable with adequate legroom, passengers in the second row might feel a bit uncomfortable.

Interior

Rear visibility is limited due to the split window at the back. Other interior features include power doors, power windows and tilt steering wheel. In order to make the 2012 Honda Insight affordable, Honda has used hard plastics in the vehicle.

Large gauges are functional as well as futuristic. When it comes to cargo space, the 2012 Honda Insight exceeds expectations. Compared to other hybrids in its class, the cargo space of this vehicle is good.

Safety & Reliability

Honda has provided the Insight will all the safety features found in other vehicles in its class. Along with side curtain, front and side air bags, it comes with active front head restraints, anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control. Outward visibility is decent due to the low window line. Rear visibility in this model is much better than that is earlier ones.

As far as safety ratings are concerned, the Honda Insight gets a good rating in most aspects including roof strength, rear impact, frontal offset and side impact. It comes with a power train warranty of five years or 60,000 miles and new vehicle warranty of three years or 36,000 miles and rust damage warranty for five years.

Most vehicles in its class have similar warranties. While the battery pack is covered by a warranty, the time period of coverage varies.

Trims

With its price tag, the 2012 Honda Insight is one of the cheapest hybrid vehicles in the market. Base, LX and Ex are the three trims offered. The first version of this vehicle was a three door hatchback. This model was upgraded to a five door hatchback in 2010.

The 2012 Insight has received a few changes from the previous model. Interior styling and the suspension has been updated, that includes better stability and handling. This compact hybrid car is slightly smaller than the Toyota Prius.

Low price, fuel economy and Eco Boost System are the most notable features of this vehicle. On the whole, the 2012 Honda Insight is a decent vehicle that will give strong competition to the other hybrids in its class.

Competition

The Ford Fusion Hybrid (MSRP $28,775; 39 combined), Toyota Prius V and Honda Civic Hybrid (MSRP $24,200; 44 city / 44hwy) are some of the vehicles that compete with the Insight. But only the Toyota Prius V-Two (MSRP $26,550; 44 city / 40 hwy) can be compared to the Insight. The Toyota offering has a lower mileage on the highway as opposed to the Honda Insight.

Overall Rating
66 out of 100

What others say:

“The 2012 Honda Insight is hardly a sport sedan, but its response and roadholding are more engaging than many other fuel-efficient hybrids.”Car Connection

“Insight may not be exactly sporty, but a lack of body lean in corners and good steering feel contribute to a generally rewarding drive. Some testers complained of spongy brake feel in one test car.”Consumer Guide

“The Insight was Honda’s first hybrid vehicle and returns to the market as a compact 4-door, 5-passenger hatchback that will be more appealing to American families.”MSN Auto-ConsumerReports

“Thrifty fuel economy; low price for a hybrid. Unsophisticated ride; cramped backseat; air-conditioning shuts off with auto-off engine at traffic lights.”Edmunds

“While its fuel-economy figures are not as impressive as the Toyota Prius, the 2012 Honda Insight hybrid nevertheless is a gas mileage champ. And, unlike some hybrid cars, the Honda Insight is priced competitively enough as to be able to justify the added hybrid cost relative to future gasoline savings.”KBB