The competition among compact sedans is tighter than ever. And the 2021 Honda Insight is pushing its way to the top of the heap. Impressing eco-friendly consumers, the hybrid Insight boasts motorcycle-like fuel efficiency without sacrificing the attractive styling other hybrids lack.
Those benefits, plus a lower sticker price, have propelled the 2021 Honda Insight past its closest rival, the Toyota Prius.
The 2021 Honda Insight tops this list
In a nation where SUVs rule, automakers who continue to produce sedans either go hard or go home. To compete for the few coveted spots on MotorTrend‘s yearly “The Best Sedans to Buy” list requires a commitment to features like handling and efficiency without ignoring passenger and cargo space. The sedans that best meet these requirements make it onto the list. Finding the right balance in the compact class is no easy feat. But the 2021 Honda Insight makes it look easy, nabbing the nod for the best compact sedan.
Considering the competition includes the Toyota Prius, Volkswagen Jetta, Kia Forte, Hyundai Elantra, Subaru Impreza, and Nissan Sentra, you know this contest is tough. Topping MotorTrend’s list a second time proves Honda’s decision to reintroduce the Insight on a Civic chassis in 2019 was a wise move.
So, what sets the 2021 Insight apart from the competition? According to MotorTrend, the Insight’s Civic-like styling, roomy cabin, and ample trunk space (15 cubic feet) are among its most attractive features. And its excellent fuel economy and sticker price make it nearly impossible to pass up. The Insight’s electric motor produces 129 hp and 197 lb-ft of torque. EPA estimates are an impressive 55 mpg in the city and 49 mpg on the highway. Its handling and safety features provide additional buyer motivation.
Among the Insight’s innovative features is the engine’s clutching into a single-speed transmission at higher speeds. That allows the electric motor to power the wheels directly.
And all of that comes in a package costing about $2,000 less than the Prius.
The 2021 Honda Insight holds its own among hybrids and EVs
Hybrids rarely top MotorTrend’s compact sedan category, which makes the Honda Insight’s win even more impressive. But where does it rank among hybrid and electric cars? Well, it’s not a one-trick pony.
U.S. News ranks the Insight in a tie for sixth with last year’s Hyundai Ioniq in the publication’s “Best Hybrid and Electric Cars for 2021.” Despite its mid-list ranking, the Insight boasts a fuel economy that exceeds four of the five vehicles ranked above it. That includes the Sonata, Avalon, Camry, and Accord.
The Insight’s closest compact-sedan-class competition on this list is the 2021 Toyota Prius. Though the Prius’s fuel economy is slightly better than the Insight’s, the advantage goes to the Honda for performance, handling, interior styling, safety features, and sticker price. This comparison helps explain how the hybrid Insight landed at the top of MotorTrend’s compact sedan list this year.
The 2021 Insight deserves a serious look
Sedan buyers tend to look for better handling and fuel efficiency without sacrificing too much passenger space and cargo capacity. Honda seems to have found the right balance of these features in the 2021 Insight. An outright performer among hybrids and EVs, the Insight doesn’t skimp on interior or exterior styling, handling, or performance. Still, it continues to post an affordable sticker price.
So if you’re in the market for a compact sedan with impressive features, the 2021 Honda Insight deserves your attention.