2014 Honda Insight Review

May 26, 2023
David Sunnyside

The Honda Insight is a small, inexpensive hybrid that's one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles on the market. However, it can only be called a mild hybrid, since it cannot move itself using electric power alone. That's a bit of a drag for a car that claims to be so efficient, especially in stop-and-go traffic. Also, its air-conditioning compressor switches off along with the engine when the vehicle stops moving -- a waste of energy.

The Insight combines a four-cylinder gasoline engine with an advanced electric motor, powered by a battery pack and continuously variable transmission. It delivers a combined 152 hp and is quite capable, as shown by its 7.3-second 0-60 time in our tests. Its five-door body style allows you to use it as a family sedan, although head room in the rear is limited. Cargo space is adequate, at 15.9 cubic feet behind the rear seats or 31.5 cu ft with them folded down.

Unlike some hybrids, which feel like Geek Squad toys with their computerized displays and controls, the Insight uses simple, conventional gauges and switches. A special Eco button optimizes how the CVT and gas engine work together, while a unique feedback system changes the background color of the digital speedometer from deep green to shades of blue, depending on how efficiently you drive.

The Insight is a IIHS Top Safety Pick and earned excellent scores in crash tests. It comes standard with airbags, anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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