The 2019 Honda Insight sedan joins Honda’s growing family of electrified vehicles as a dedicated hybrid sedan. Insight features the kind of fuel efficiency hybrid buyers demand, but with sleek styling, robust acceleration, and driving refinement they might not expect.
Though the third Honda to bear the Insight name, the 2019 Honda Insight is all-new, positioned as a premium compact sedan between the Civic and Accord. Its universally appealing styling wraps around a refined 5-seat interior with class-leading interior space, premium appointments and the latest technology, such as standard Honda Sensing® and available in-car Wi-Fi, Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ integration.
With power derived from the latest generation of Honda’s innovative two-motor hybrid system, Insight also offers robust acceleration performance along with an EPA-estimated 55 mpg city rating. Refined and responsive driving performance at the top of its class is assured by the adoption of the 10th-generation Civic body and chassis architecture along with numerous enhancements, including revised springs, dampers and bushings along with unique sheetmetal in nearly every location.
The new Honda Insight comes standard with the Honda Sensing® suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies. All trims also come with a multi-view backup camera system, and EX and Touring models come with Honda LaneWatch™. Insight Touring models also includes the latest iteration of HondaLink, which offers multiple cloud-based services including a 4G Wi-Fi mobile hotspot (data plan required), smartphone-based remote vehicle locking/unlocking, stolen vehicle tracking and more.
The sleek lines, coupe-like profile, and wide stance of the new Insight communicate a sophisticated yet elegant design. Details like the “flying wing” grille, standard low-profile LED headlights and taillights, tasteful use of chrome, and dynamic character lines emphasize its premium compact sedan character. Touring models up the ante with larger, 17-inch alloy wheels and LED fog lights.
Insight’s design is as functional as it is aesthetically pleasing. Careful attention was paid in wind-tunnel testing to control airflow over, under, and around Honda Insight for optimum fuel efficiency and noise reduction. The low aluminum hood helps to reduce weight and improve air flow and visibility. Out back, the short trunk lid contributes to the coupe-like profile, and the sharp cut-off at the rear edge helps the airflow separate cleanly from the rear of the car, aiding fuel efficiency. Underneath, Insight features the flattest underbody of any Honda production vehicle, helping smooth airflow under the car as it travels rearward, and reducing wind noise in the cabin.
Interior Design and Packaging
The driver-focused cockpit of the 2019 Insight features an elegance not found in its hatchback competitors. Premium appointments include a stitched dash, soft-touch surfaces, a sport steering wheel and ergonomically sculpted seats. The instrument panel features a customizable digital (color TFT) driver’s meter and a 7-inch multi-information display (MID), while an available 8-inch Display Audio touchscreen with Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ integration sits atop the dash.
Insight doesn’t compromise function for the sake of form. The long wheelbase provides for a class-leading 97.6 cubic feet of passenger space (LX/EX), including 37.4 inches of rear legroom, which is up to four inches more than top competitors. By locating the hybrid battery under the rear seats, Honda Insight provides up to 15.1 cu-ft of trunk space, bigger than many gasoline-powered midsize sedans while preserving the people- and cargo-carrying flexibility of a folding rear seatback – one piece on LX trims and split 60/40 in EX and Touring. Insight’s interior benefits from numerous storage compartments, including a multi-level user-configurable storage area between the front seats. On the center console next to the shift-by-wire gear selector is a cell phone pocket designed to accommodate larger smartphones.
Audio and connectivity on LX models includes a 140-watt audio system with 6 speakers, operating with a 5-inch LCD screen with USB connectivity, Bluetooth® streaming audio, and Pandora® integration. Insight EX and Touring trims get an 8-inch Display Audio touchscreen system with Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ integration, SiriusXM Radio, HD Radio, two USB inputs, and two additional speakers for the 180-watt system. For Insight Touring trims, there’s a 450-watt system powering 10 speakers (including a sub-woofer), along with the latest iteration of Honda’s Satellite-Linked Navigation with Voice Recognition and Honda HD Digital Traffic.
Honda Insight Touring models also feature the next-generation of HondaLink cloud-based services. By pairing the car using the HondaLink smartphone app, drivers can use the subscription-based service for maintenance reminders, to schedule vehicle service, and even access to the Owner’s Guide. HondaLink also provides Insight owners with a variety of remote functions, such as starting the car, locking or unlocking doors, stolen vehicle tracking, fuel range and status, and tire pressure monitor system status. Parents can enable geofencing and speed alarm capabilities to keep an eye on young drivers.
The 1.5L Atkinson Powertrain
Powering the 2019 Honda Insight is the third-generation of Honda’s two-motor hybrid system. The highly efficient 1.5-liter Atkinson-cycle gasoline engine and powerful electric drive motor combine for a system output of 151 horsepower and 197 lb-ft of electric motor torque. Under most conditions, Insight operates as a series hybrid — the gasoline engine connects to a generator motor to produce electricity that either powers the electric propulsion motor, recharges the 60-cell lithium ion battery pack, or both.
To customize the driving experience for maximum efficiency or driving performance, drivers can choose between ECON, SPORT and EV modes, in addition to the Normal driving mode. Drivers can also choose between three different levels of regenerative braking using selector paddles mounted on the steering wheel. By pressing the EV button on the center console, drivers can opt to go for roughly a mile under electric power alone. Since the electric motor directly powers the drive axles, Honda Insight’s two-motor technology works without a conventional automatic transmission. When circumstances demand, a lock-up clutch connects the gasoline engine directly to the electric drive motor, providing the most efficient operation for highway driving.
Insight drivers can also choose ECON or SPORT modes. ECON alters throttle inputs to help optimize fuel efficiency. SPORT provides more aggressive throttle inputs while drawing more on the battery for a more energetic acceleration feel. Additionally, SPORT alters the Active Sound Control (ASC) for a more aggressive engine note.