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The 2021 Honda Civic was the inspiration for the 2021 Insight. More than just a hybrid engine sets these two models apart. While both sedans have the same high-end feel, they each have a unique profile of features. How do the two sedans differ in driver experience, interior comfort, safety, and reliability?

a lavender 2021 Honda Civic (similar to the hybrid Insight) on display
2021 Honda Civic Guillaume Payen/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Safety ratings are neck and neck with one small exception

When comparing the safety ratings of both the 2021 Honda Civic and the Insight, the differences between them disappear. Aside from some optional safety features available on the hybrid option, these two cars are well-matched in this category.

The IIHS gave the Honda Civic top marks across six crashworthiness categories. Some lower trim levels have headlights that fall below IIHS standards, earning them a “poor” rating. The Honda Insight’s headlights fared better, receiving passing scores at all trim levels.

Which is more comfortable, the 2021 Honda Civic or Insight?

Shoppers looking for an open feel can easily choose the Honda Insight. The hybrid has an impressive 6 inches of headroom. That’s a 1.5-inch jump from the Civic. If legroom is a deciding factor, go for the Civic, which has more in both the front and rear seats. Between both rows, the Honda Civic has 3.5 more inches of legroom.

black leather interior of the 2021 Honda Insight hybrid sedan
2021 Honda Insight interior | Honda

The 2021 Civics’ climate system ratings are slightly higher than its hybrid sibling, making it a better choice for drivers in extreme climates. The touring trim level Honda Civic offers heated seats in the rear as well as the front row. The Honda Civic is a much better choice for those driving in extreme cold.

A standout in reliability

There’s a clear winner between these models regarding reliability, and it may surprise you. The Honda Civic is known for its legendary dependability. Consumer Reports ranks the 2021 year model three out of five in this category.

Its sibling, the Insight, impresses with a perfect five out of five score in reliability. This is very impressive, considering that hybrids are typically less dependable than other fuel types. This will likely change as this relatively new technology continues to improve. In short, fossil fuel engines have been at it longer.

The 2021 Insight doesn’t offer many options

One clear discrepancy between the 2021 Honda Insight and Civic is the lack of options that the hybrid model offers. The Honda Insight is only available in one body style, whereas the Civic is available in both a sedan and a four-door hatchback. The Insight features three trim packages, while the civic totals more than eight.

2021 Honda Insight | Honda

This explains the major hike in the price range between the more affordable Insight. For drivers unconcerned with these limitations, Insights’ lower price tag is welcome. Manual drivers will prefer the Civic as the Insight is only available with an automatic CVT.

When compared toe to toe, the Honda Insight’s base trim level has more to offer. Push-button ignition is standard on the Base Insight but not the Civic. LED headlights are part of the Honda Insight’s base trim package too. Buyers would have to choose the most expensive tier Civic for the same. Shoppers looking for the most bang for their buck at the starting MSRP will find the Insight is


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