The all-new, 2019 Honda Insight is a big step in the company’s renewed efforts to drive green, without looking like a tree hugger. The Toyota Prius holds most folk’s hybrid attention, but Honda was actually first in the U.S. market with the quirky 3-door, hatchback, 2000 Insight. 

In 2009, the second generation brought a more normal looking, wedge-shape, 5-door hatch. Still, the Insight never challenged Prius for sales, so after 2014, Honda went back to the drawing board again. 

To contemplate this third generation, more upscale, and most normal looking yet Insight. In fact, it easily slips into Honda’s lineup between the compact Civic …on which it is based…and the mid-size Accord…adopting much of its front fascia and sleek coupish roofline. 

Power comes from Honda’s evolving 2-motor hybrid system. Total output; 151-horsepower. Most of the time, the 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle engine works with the generator motor to produce electricity for the propulsion motor or the lithium-ion battery pack. The electric motor powers the front wheels… so there’s no conventional transmission. EPA Combined ratings range from 48 to 52 mpg depending on trim, the same ballpark as the smaller Prius.

The Insight’s gas engine takes over at highway speeds through a lock-up clutch. The torque seems to die off sooner rather than later, and we found ourselves hitting sport mode more often than not. Engineers put Macpherson struts up front and a multi-link in the rear. 

ZACH MASKELL: We started off in the LX and it definitely felt like a Civic when it comes to suspension anyway, move on from the LX and the suspension is noticeably a more plush ride.

JOHN DAVIS: Extra sound insulation, creates a quiet cabin serving as background for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Honda’s Hybrid technology has certainly progressed from merely an “electric assist” … to heavily favoring electric power… with a much more mainstream design. The 2019 Honda Insight is on sale now starting at just under $23,000.


  • Engine: 1.5 liter
  • Horsepower: 151
  • Price: starting at under $23,000