Hybrids & Electrics

The Honda Insight Has All the Benefits of a Prius Without the Ugly Looks

Have you been pondering which is the best hybrid car in 2020? Chances are, you have considered the Toyota Prius and the Honda Insight. And you might be wondering why you keep leaning toward the Insight.

As a hybrid car enthusiast, you want to buy a fun, functional car without purging your purse. If you are debating between the two hybrid cars, you won’t go wrong with the Insight.

Read on to understand why the Honda Insight is better than the Toyota Prius.

The 2019 Honda Insight recap

Honda was the first automaker to sell a gas-electric hybrid car in America. Its first hybrid edition debuted in 1999.

According to Kelley Blue Book, “That original Insight, a two-seat, teardrop-shaped oddity equipped with a 1.0-liter 3-cylinder engine, a manual transmission, and an electric motor with a battery pack, was EPA-rated to get up to 61 mpg on the highway.”

As the second entrant into the American hybrid car market, Toyota introduced its 5-seat Prius seven months later. In 2004, Toyota remodeled its edition with its picturesque boomerang-shaped roofline. Honda also redesigned its original Insight into a Prius replica.

The 2019 Honda Insight dropped its predecessor’s funky wheel skirts and liftback styling. The Insight is now just a revamped Honda Civic sedan with more attention to detail and appearance.

The Insight dominates the high-MPG hybrid cars’ category largely due to these updates. But why does the 2019 Honda Insight win against the Toyota Prius, its closest competitor?

Why CNET loved the 2019 Honda Insight

CNET advises that, “If you want the benefits of a Prius without having to look at or own one, the Insight will scratch all your itches.”

The base trims of both hybrids are strikingly different — the Insight is genuinely stylish and more upscale than the Prius. Borrowing heavily from the Accord and the Civic, the 2019 Honda Insight is the most traditionally designed hybrid in the car market.

Both hybrids’ wheelbases measure 106.3 inches but the Insight is 2.3 inches wider, 4.9 inches longer, and 2.5 inches lower than its rival. The Insight also wins against the Prius with its larger 16-inch wheels and fully automatic headlights.

Honda Insight vs. Toyota Prius performance

The 2019 Honda Insight’s 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine makes 107 hp and 99 lb-ft. Combined with its 129-hp and 197-lb-ft electric motor, its continuously variable transmission delivers 151 hp to the front wheels. This makes it more efficient and powerful than the Prius’ 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine which, combined with its electric motor, delivers 121 hp to the front wheels via a continuously variable transmission.

Both hybrids have matching combined MPG ratings but the Insight has a better city MPG than the Prius. The Insight’s fuel economy and powerful performance make it a smarter choice.

Comparing the Insight’s and Prius’ interiors and extra features

The Honda Insight is a fuel-efficient hybrid-powered vehicle.
2021 Honda Insight | Honda

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The Insight’s interior mimicks the Civic. It boasts a simple, state-of-art cabin that is not as tech-heavy as in most hybrid models. Regarding music, the Insight’s high quality, 5-inch touchscreen, 8-speaker sound system is incomparable to the Prius’ lesser-quality one, per CNET.  

To the chagrin of the Prius, the Insight offers its rear passengers 4 inches of extra legroom and flaunts an additional 4.5 cubic feet of total passenger volume. The front seats also provide 0.3 inches of extra hip room and 1.9 inches of extra shoulder room. Being roomier, the Insight provides a wider stance for better handling than the Prius.

Honda’s deceleration selectors, which are standard on each trim, facilitate improved regenerative braking that recharges the battery — Toyota does not offer deceleration selectors on any Prius trim levels.

The Insight offers a 3-mode drive system. The sport mode, which delivers an energizing driving experience, lacks in the Prius.  

Honda offers the Insight Touring and EX models standard with remote engine start, a key feature lacking in all Toyota Prius trim levels. The remote engine start feature makes the Insight ideal for both hot summer afternoons and chilly winter mornings.

The Insight EX, for smart safety and convenience, has the Walk Away Auto Lock and the Road Departure Mitigation System. The Prius LXE does not come with these crucial features. What is more, Honda offers an extra year of roadside coverage to augment your driving experience.

The bottom line

As a savvy driver, you want a smarter and greener car. So, you should choose the Insight over the Prius.

The Honda Insight is elegant-looking and powerful. Yet, it offers you more perks than the Toyota Prius in terms of value, technology, efficiency, and premium features without sacrificing its looks.